What others say about Shooglenifty …
It is an honour to have presented Shooglenifty at the Findhorn Bay Festival in Moray, Scotland. The band continue to grow and inspire, their music is as fresh and infectious as ever, and new fiddler Eilidh Shaw steps in the boots of lead fiddler perfectly (wearing silver ones too!). Rooted in their Celtic background infused with their international influences to perfection, Shooglenifty, 25 + years on are still drawing young and old to their concerts and onto the dance floor. Our audience spanned 12-82 years of age!
Rhythm is a special feature of dance music and Shooglenifty infuses heart-stirring rhythms into traditional Scottish-Celtic music in a way that stirs the soul and makes people clap and dance. Shooglenifty has a special musical talent that also fuses Scottish, African and Asian music producing a magical beat that made me clap and dance again and again. Don’t miss a chance to see and hear this exciting band…great music.
It’s impossible not to dance to Shooglenifty, with their brilliant mix of traditional Scottish tunes, electronica and world music beats. The acid croft pioneers are a world music phenomenon of which Scotland should be proud. Superb musicians all, Shooglenifty are a class act and a tremendous addition to any festival line up.
One of the evening’s highlights was the unlikely combination of Celtic band Shooglenifty’s trippy dance rhythms blended with a collective of Rajasthani traditional musicians, Dhun Dhora. An unlikely meeting of minds but an irresistible tour de force in the live setting of the darkened main tent.
[From review of Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2018]
The ecstatic Edinburgh welcome for new fiddler Eilidh Shaw and the riotous burst of new material amongst the old favourites made for an electric atmosphere at Shooglenifty’s sell out gig at Edinburgh Tradfest 2018.
Settling into my seat for Shooglenifty with Dhun Dhora, I was intrigued to see how the band were faring after the sad loss of their frontman and fiddler, Angus R Grant, back in 2016. There was no need to worry as their danceable beats fitted like a glove with the trance like Rajasthani groove of Dhun Dhora.
[From review of Shrewsbury Folk Festival 2018]
It was wonderful to feature Shooglenifty in the Auckland Arts Festival. The energetic and dynamic musical offering that the band generously gave to our Auckland audiences was full of joy and delight.
We can’t wait to see you return to Bluesfest……..in fact, we are counting the days.
Still sounding fresh and innovative, and a great way to close any festival.
I can’t claim any particular connection with Shooglenifty but know from seeing them play over the years that Angus was an enormous part of all of them. Going to see them I wondered how they were going to overcome the presence that he had, the way he danced and moved around the stage, the way he interacted with the audience. But the strange, beautiful and emotional thing is that the music meant he was still there. Looking across to the stage after dancing to Vigo it was surprising that Angus was missing, so much had I felt him there. I’ve no idea how the band cope with such a loss and hope that they take comfort from knowing that he’s still there every time they play.
Legendary Shoogle fiddler Angus Grant – boasting one of the most recognisable beards this side of hipsterdom – wasted little time announcing they were “gonna play some dance tunes to keep you warm.” And keep the audience toasty they did, serving up a slew of fast-paced ‘nifty tunes that had many gasping for air (or was it whisky?) Whatever the case, the Edinburgh acid-crofters both rounded off 2015 and kick-started 2016 in true, shoogling style.
Shooglenifty were one of the taste-makers and boundary-breakers of the Scottish trad music scene of the 90s and were one of the acts that helped give Scotland a powerful voice on the world music scene, from the early days right up to the present day. Venus in Tweeds remains one of my all-time classic albums and it always delights me to know that the legendary Grant fiddlers – Aonghas and Angus R. – can count one of Gaeldom’s ultimate tradition bearers and one of the Shoogle creators of ‘acid croft’ as father-and-son. Just as it should be – roots and futures as one.
Shooglenifty were a great fresh way to start Bluesfest 2016 Day 4. Their Celtic flavours are not often heard at Bluesfest. A great contrast and way to refresh the ears, kind of like sniffing a coffee bean in between wine tasting. With a fiddle, banjo, mandolin, drums, guitar and bass these guys from Scotland had the audience experimenting with their best River Dance impersonations and moving in energetic ways that are not your usual Bluesfest hip swinging standard. With beautiful tunes, jigs and reels that branched out to sound almost middle eastern and esoteric at times, this band can really get you dancing.
Only recently I’ve started appreciating the amazing creativity of others of who have found a way of blending tradition and the new in their own unique way. I’m glad I came at it this way though, because it gives me a deeper understanding of how what I’m hearing came together and I must say, having gone through the back catalogue on Spotify I think The Untied Knot is my favourite! James [Mackintosh]’s drumming in particular is completely immaculate and I count him as one of the very best drummers in the country (a really rare thing indeed). The grooves he provides and the tempos etc. are always spot on.
I can still remember the deep shock (and seething indignation!) I felt when I discovered that traditional music could be funky. It was nearly 25 years ago and I was trying to look inconspicuous, hiding at the back of a dark, dank cellar in Edinburgh as Shooglenifty took to the stage. Until this point I’d had a very narrow view of folk music and was expecting some kind of Jimmy Shand with a drum machine routine. But it wasn’t like that. The Shoogles started with a soulful Celtic techno rumba and I watched in horror as my feet started to move spasmodically and my knees, normally so reliable, began to vibrate wildly. (This was before Riverdance.) I grudgingly realised that resistance was futile and within ten minutes I was in front of the stage, doing what could loosely be descrbed as dancing and grinning like an idiot. I’m sure Shooglenifty have performed this service for many more people over the years and I, for one, would like to thank them.
Shooglenifty were fantastic on the Saturday and had a hugely appreciative and happy crowd – one of many highlights from the weekend.
Shooglenifty invented a totally new and spellbinding way of playing ultimately Highland music as a modern groove-based entity. Along with Martyn Bennett they transformed this ancient music with respect and vision. 25 years on they continue to blaze a trail of ‘acid-croft’ that no others can touch.
Shooglenifty keep pushing the boundaries of ‘Scottish’ music, and we were proud to be able to bring them to work with Lebanese and Iraqi musicians in Lebanon in 2011. The Shoogle sound is unique, but it taps into the universal urge to dance!
Shooglenifty are the leading lights in Scotland’s inventive music scene. From the early nineties to current day they have led the pack with innovative arrangements, brilliant tunes and true worldwide appeal.
They are the nicest and gentlest of people, and then they go on stage to become monster musicians. It is always a joy and pleasure to work with them and to have them. They have been to Malaysia several times now – star performances each and everyone.