Preview: Shooglenifty

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2015 has been an epic year for Shooglenifty, the Edinburgh-formed band who this year celebrate their silver anniversary.

Retaining four of their original members plus their bass player of 12 years standing, the line up has been invigorated in the past year by fiery young mandolinist Ewan MacPherson who contributes four tunes to their critically acclaimed new CD release The Untied Knot – their seventh studio album.

Also new in 2015 is ‘puirt a beul’ (mouth music) of Gaelic vocalist Kaela Rowan, which brings a captivating and energising new element to the band’s sound.

Shooglenifty’s sound springs from traditional Scottish dance music, energised by the beats and bass line of something altogether more contemporary.

It is not a sit-down kind of music, it’s a join-in, and get 
on your feet kind of vibe.

Attempts to describe this almost uncatagorisable band include: ‘dub-diddly’, ‘hypno-folkadelic-ambient-trad’ and ‘Acid-Croft’. Whatever it is, it has endured, evolved and, above all, entertained for quarter a of a century.

The band are most at home playing live, and matching the excitement of releasing the new album, 2015 has been a year of very special gigs. They enjoyed not one, but three(!) 25th Anniversary Parties – they sold out the city’s iconic Old Fruitmarket venue at Celtic Connections in January, they blew the roof off a packed Glenuig Hall in April, and, in May, celebrated at a late night album launch at La Belle Angele, Edinburgh, scene of their first residency in the early 90s.

Summer 2015 was packed with appearances at festivals at home and abroad: including HebCelt in the Isle of Lewis, Cambridge, Rainforest World Music Fest in Borneo and Interceltique in Brittany (with current collaborators the Dhol Drummers of Rajasthan). To crown it all, they will see in the new year at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay for 2015/6.

Shooglenifty will play Mac Arts, Galashiels, on November 7. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets, costing £15, available from