City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Shooglenifty


By faysie1 - Posted on 25 August 2008

Shooglenifty in lift
5
Show details
Company: 
Shooglenifty
Running time: 
70mins
Performers: 
Angus R Grant (fiddle), Luke Plum (mandolin), Garry Finlayson (banjax), James Mackintosh (drums), Quee Macarthur (bass), Malcolm Crosbie (guitar)

I suppose the musical equivalent of "don't judge a book by its cover" could be "don't choose a band just for their name" - but thankfully, I don't subscribe to that sort of thinking. So when I came across the listing for Shooglenifty in the Fringe programme, I just thought, what a great name for a band, and signed up on the spot. And having deliberately done no more research than read the information in the programme, off I went to the Speigel Tent armed with no knowledge or preconceptions. And what a result.

Dear reader, I have to confess at this point that my normal reviewing procedures fell completely by the wayside. Any hope of making detailed notes of set lists etc. was abandoned about five minutes into the gig, because I was just having way too much fun. However, I can tell you that the opening number was a rhumba - from Lochaber - and it set the tone for the rest of the evening.

Shooglenifty have managed to take all the best bits of traditional Scottish music, and brought it right up to date, with overlays of contemporary rhythms. The band are adding to our musical heritage by creating new jigs and reels, some of which we were treated to last night, and which had the crowd clapping, stamping, whistling and reeling - in my case, with complete strangers, but that only added to the fun. The instrumental "front row" of fiddle, mandolin and banjo, is ably supported by bass, guitar and drums, creating a rich full sound.

Between them, the members of the band have an impressive pedigree, with stints with Capercaillie, Swamptrash and Sola appearing on their collective CV. The cliché about folk bands looking like yetis doesn't quite apply here, although fiddle-playing front man Angus R Grant is impressively hirsute!

Even after the encore, it seemed like the crowd would have been happy to keep jigging and reeling all night, but it was time to go. If you get the chance, go and see Shooglenifty - just great fun. And if you manage to get through the show without clapping your hands, stamping your feet or "shoogling" any part of your body, you should probably get someone to check you over for vital signs.

Times: Aug 23-25 at 20:00