“If this doesn’t rock your ceilidh nothing will ****” – Billy Rough, Songlines
“West Highland musical mayhem” – Alex Monaghan, The Living Tradition
“The magic is brighter than ever” – Johnny Whalley, Folk Radio
“It’s just pure dead brilliant” – Liz Lochhead
Shooglenifty is delighted and excited to announce that their 9th studio album, cunningly titled Acid Croft Vol 9, is coming soon. The band wanted to call it Now That’s What I Call Acid Croft Vol 9, but thought that title might come with certain copyright difficulties.
Acid Croft Vol 9 was recorded in November 2019 at Watercolour Studios in the Scottish Highlands. It’s an incredible spot with unbeatable views of Ben Nevis, and the kind of outdoor peace that’s only interrupted by the sounds of rutting stags and soaring sea eagles.
Produced by Andy Bell (Karine Polwart, Martin Simpson, Sam Sweeney) and engineered by Barry ‘Spad’ Reid (Croft No5), the new album a collection of eight brand new tracks written and collected by the band.
Including tunes and songs by band members Eilidh Shaw (fiddle), Ewan MacPherson (mandolin), and Kaela Rowan (vocals), the album also includes compositions by Shoogle pals Ian Carr and Tia Files (The Poozies). Acid Croft Vol 9 is notable as the first release with the new permanent line up featuring Eilidh Shaw on fiddle.
But don’t worry, Angus is in there too, as the album features Silence of the Trams a tune he was working on shortly before he died. He’s never far away from the Shoogles when they’re together playing tunes so it’s great to include this composition and others inspired by the band’s late frontman.
When driving back from gigs Angus was usually the last to be dropped off. One night Malc and Angus were saying how good the gig had been. Malc said that the atmosphere had been quite euphoric, well euphoricish anyway. Angus laughed and said that’s the name of the next album right there, it sounds like the name of a village in the west coast. It was not the name of the next album, but Eilidh and Malc decided to use it for this tune. Eilidh’s got a thing about nouns.
Billy’s Birthday Tune (E Shaw)
This tune was written in honour of Arisaig’s finest brickie, Billy MacMillan, on the occasion of his 60th birthday
Colonel Sig of the 2-2-6 (E Shaw)
A friend who lives in the Middle East asked Eilidh to write a tune for Colonel Sig as a thank you for saving his life. He was fairly evasive and sketchy on details.
Black Dog On The Balcony (E MacPherson)
Written on a balcony in the Otara Guest House, Jodhpur. We drank the Black Dog Indian “whisky”, howled in harmony with all the street dogs, got eaten by mosquitoes, and told ourselves what we really thought of each other after all these years.
Tìll an Crodh Laochain • Return the Cows, Lad (Trad)
This version was sung by Peggy MacRae, Isle of Canna, and collected by John Lorne Campbell and Margaret Fay Shaw. Originally a pipe tune that became a pibroch song, it was used whilst milking to pacify the cows.
The song tells of the wedding of young Glengarry and the MacIntosh chief’s daughter. The nuptials were interrupted by cattle thieves looking to steal MacIntosh’s herd. Dòmhnall, the young Glengarry distinguished himself by helping to bring the cattle back, then calmly returned to the wedding feast. Father Allan MacDonald of Eriskay documented the words from Angus MacInnes of Smerclet, South Uist in 1896.
The Roaster (E MacPherson)
A tribute to the overly enthusiastic post-gig grippers who corner you so you can’t get to the bar. Angus used to point and run away.
AIR CHUAIRT • ON TOUR
Air Allaban • Wandering (E MacPherson/K Rowan/A Macdonald)
Throughout his life, our good pal Angus R Grant was on the wander, arriving at one kitchen table or another, one festival or another. There were endless nights of tunes, friendship and craic. He held dear his time with friends, singing till dawn, and mulling over the wonder of life.
This started life as a “strathspey” of Ewan’s. Kaela then wrote words in English, and then Allan MacDonald, very creatively rewrote them into the Gaelic.
Sùil a ‘Ghobhair • Eye of the Goat (E Shaw)
He has the eye of the goat; he’s a randy devil.
Featuring Suilven Solo by Lindsay Warrack, read by James Mackintosh
CARAVAN UP NORTH
The Caravan Up North Tour (E MacPherson)
This title of a highland tour back in 2014 was emailed to thousands of promoters all over Scotland, by our erstwhile agent. Caravans up north are also temporary homes for various Shoogles.
An Robh Thu ‘Sa Bheinn • Were You in the Hills? (Trad)
Kaela heard this waulking song sung by Mary Morrison, Isle of Barra, luckily captured on recordings by folklorist John Lorne Campbell. She was an incredible singer who basically rocked it. Waulking songs helped liven up the otherwise monotonous work of stretching out tweed cloth for days on end. As usual we’ve shoogled things about a bit.
HUNTING FOR ANGUS
(E MacPherson/K Rowan)
The tune started life during a trip to Applecross and was still in its infancy when we lost Angus for the last time. It has taken on a whole new meaning since then with Kaela telling us of many of Angus’s hangouts, the places he might go on the galavant and the places we might look if he didn’t want to be found.
It is opened by a poem written by Magi MacGlyn, resident poet of Balquhidder. Angus and Magi would occasionally see each other across the road, hitchhiking in opposite directions. Like in a spaghetti western … their eyes would meet.
Hunting for Angus has become a favourite song to play live, a big tune.
Featuring Musick Art an Dance by Magi McGlynn, read by the poet.
SQUAT LOBSTER (With lyrics by K Rowan)
Bigger House (I D Carr)
Ian Carr lived in a flat in Newcastle which was burgled ten times. He then moved to another flat which was burgled on his birthday. Finally he found a very secure but very small bedsit. It was fine at first because he had no possessions but as he acquired some it became apparent that he needed a bigger house.
Maratime (C Files)
Maratime was written by Tia Files for a group of great young Lochaber musicians after a memorable time at Fèis na Mara in Mallaig. With added lyrics by Kaela about climbing in the water, presumably to retrieve lobsters (see below).
Thanks Fradz (E Shaw)
Fradz from Glenuig provided us with delicious squat lobsters and other goodies while we were recording the album
The Red Hot Tubbers (E Shaw)
The Red Hot Tubbers are a group of dedicated party animals who specialise in hot tub maintenance.
Brutus The Husky (E MacPherson)
Brutus the Husky is a sled dog Ewan met while on holiday in Iceland. Brutus, the special one, took part in an amazing dog sled trip under the northern lights. What they don’t describe in the brochures is the smell that permeates through the magic of dog sledding from meat-fed huskies. Those of you who can hear smells will get this.
Silence of the Trams (A R Grant)
One of Angus’s last tunes, Silence of the Trams was kicking about for a few years so we’re delighted to have recorded it for this album. He wrote it while Edinburgh’s tram project was temporarily suspended for some reason.
Tom and Lisa’s (E MacPherson)
When Ewan lived in Balquhidder he ran a session in Mhor 84 which was regularly frequented by Angus and occasionally by the rest of Shooglenifty. This is a tribute to the proprietors Tom and Lisa who are the perfect hosts.