Tag Archives: Shooglenifty

Artist profiles: Shooglenifty

Shooglenifty

Shooglenifty is one of Scotland’s most unique exports. This six-piece band is credited for being the originators of ‘acid-croft,’ a fiery and infectious blend of Celtic traditional music and dance grooves that band members describe as “hypno-folkadelic ambient trad.” While their mainly instrumental sound is difficult to put into words audiences from around the world have fallen under their musical spell.

Many people think the name Shooglenifty has deep Scottish meaning but it was in fact a flash of inspiration that guitarist Malcolm Crosbie had in a Madrid tapas bar during one of the band’s early busking periods. Shoogle is a Scottish word for shake agitate move around and ‘nifty’ means dextrous.

Shooglenifty released their first album Venus in Tweeds in 1994. Since then the band has gone from strength to strength breaking down musical boundaries between the mainstream and folk music.
The band’s past recording credits include three highly acclaimed albums including a live record released on Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. They have also been joined onstage by Prime Minister Tony Blair who was seen in a photo in papers around the world holding up the Shoogles studio release A Whisky Kiss and delightedly proclaiming “Buy this CD!” They’ve performed in front of the Prince of Wales who was seen clapping along to their infectious beat alongside Robin Cook and Nelson Mandela. The band also appeared at The Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle, USA in 1997, as part of a line up that included Cornershop and Beck.

Solar Shears was Shooglenifty’s first U.S. release (Compass Records). Featured on the album are Angus Grant on fiddle” Garry Finlayson on banjo Conrad Ivitsky on bass Iain McCleod on mandolin, James MackIntosh on drums/percussion and Malcolm Crosbie on guitar. On Solar Shears” the band makes liberal use of distortion pedals and effects boxes in addition to pillaging DJ’s techniques working in all types of looped beats scratching, electro-atmospherics and sampled ‘discovered sounds’ from industrial clanks and rumbles to snatches of telephone conversation and recorded pelican-crossing announcements.

Bassist Conrad Ivitsky describes the recording process for Solar Shears. “The album was produced by Jim Sutherland” like our last two albums in his studio above Edinburgh’s Bongo Club which is great because that’s where we rehearse and do occasional gigs. Jim is a total audio pervert: if he can fry a sound he will. He goes through every single plug processor and file available and spends hours trying different permutations. You’ve got those thousands of dollars worth of equipment but Jim is very into unorthodox approaches to get whatever sound he is looking for.

He has a whole array of toys and he tends to play with all of them. His favorite things at the moment are a small Tandy mike worth very little and a little cheap plastic red speaker. On the track Igor he recorded all the drums through it and then used various compressors processors and equalizers to get a fat juicy sound.

As far as the recording process itself we came in with our live arrangements and Jim ripped them apart. They get multi-tracked then deconstructed and shredded down. The album is typical of Sutherland touches notably lots of sampled ‘found sounds’ such as The Shipol Airport and Berne Railway Station which are dropped into the mix.”

The Arms Dealer’s Daughter was released in 2003. The CD Radical Mestizo was recorded live at the band’s concerts at the Teatro de la Ciudad de Mexico and Celtic Connections in Glasgow.
Shooglenifty’s sixth studio album is Troots released in 26. Recorded between tours of Australia Europe and the US the new album features several new unique compositions plus the extraordinary vocals of North American Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq Gillis.In 2007 the band included Tasmania’s Luke Plumb (mandolin/banjo) and bassist Quee Macarthur alongside original members Angus Grant (fiddle) Garry Finlayson (banjo/banjax) Malcolm Crosbie (guitars) and James Mackintosh (percussion).

The Untied Knot was released in July 2015 on Shoogle Records. The recording features Gaelic vocalist Kaela Rowan and new mandolinist Ewan MacPherson along with connections with the music of Rajasthan (India).

Angus R Grant, one of the founders of Shooglenifty died in 2016. He was 49.

Discography

Venus in Tweeds (Greentrax, 1994)
A Whisky Kiss (Greentrax, 1996)
Live at Selwyn Hall (WOMAD, 1996)
Solar Shears (Compass Records, 2001)
The Arms Dealer’s Daughter (Compass Records, 2003)
Radical Mestizo (Compass Records, 2005)
Troots (Shoogle, 2007)
Murmichan (Shoogle, 2009)
The Untied Knot (Shoogle, 2015)

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Interview with Shooglenifty

Scottish band Shooglenifty
Shooglenifty in Delhi (Oct 2014)

 

Scotland’s folk-fusion band Shooglenifty was formed in Edinburgh 25 years ago, and the 1980s electronic and dance influences are evident in their sound today as well. For the first time, the band’s lineup includes a vocalist. The group blends Scottish instruments and danceable melodies with funk and jazz (‘Acid Croft’), and the band has collaborated with musicians from Africa and Asia as well.

The group has toured extensively around the world, and performed at the Rainforest World Music Festival earlier this month (see my coverage here: Rainforest World Music Festival 2015: 18 years of global sound, diversity and celebration! ). Shooglenifty’s drummer James Mackintosh joins us in this exclusive interview on the group’s musical journey, collaborations and message.

 

Drummer James Mackintosh (Shooglenifty)
James Mackintosh (Shooglenifty) at Reel Festival in Beirut (2011)

 

Q: What was the vision behind founding of your music group? What new lineups and instruments have you experimented with since the early days?

A: We simply wanted to play the music we had passion for, and to explore it’s many possibilities, rhythms, sounds and melodies. We have had four switches in line up since we began. Our original mandolin player Iain Macleod left after our third album and Luke Plumb from Tasmania joined on mandolin and toured for over 10 years, contributing to the following four albums (he also contributed two compositions to our latest album ‘The Untied Knot’ before deciding to settle in Australia with his new family).

Ewan Macpherson has joined playing mandolin and Jaw harp, and he has contributed a few tunes to the album as well. Our bass player Quee Macarthur has been with the band since the original player, Conrad Molleson left after our third album. This is our first album to include vocals, which are sung by Kaela Rowan, who has contributed in the past but hasn’t toured with us until this year. It’s great to have her on board as it adds a further dimension.

We have always experimented in the studio, sound effects, pianos, clavichord on the new album, bouzouki, all sorts of percussion, as well as samples and vocal harmonies.

 

fiddler Angus R Grant (Shooglenifty)
Angus R Grant (Shooglenifty) at Celtic Connections 2015

 

Q: How was your overall experience at the Rainforest World Music Festival?

A: Overall it was a wonderful experience. The hospitality we received on arrival from Jun Lin Yeoh and her team was lovely, which makes all the difference after a very long journey. This being my fifth visit I thought knew what to expect but you’re always in for a few surprises at Rainforest World Music Festival!

The Kecak group from Bali were a highlight for me, particularly as they participated in the percussion workshop I was hosting, and the spontaneous contribution from one of the audience members was hilarious. The Congolese group was a rare treat, beautiful sounds and beats. Being able to participate in the Kecak ritual was a very special moment, and overall the delightful audiences and sense of festival community were the best aspects of the weekend.

Q: What are the challenges you face as a musician and composer?

A: It’s not the easiest means of making a living, so you have to be prepared to be versatile. Many of us do a little session work or teaching to complement our earnings from the group. Keeping our sound fresh and not becoming complacent is always desirable. Exciting trips and festivals such as Rainforest World Music Festival are always a bonus.

 

Shooglenifty in Rajasthan (Oct 2014), James (middle), with Kaela, Angus, Malcolm and musicians from Rajasthan
Shooglenifty in Rajasthan (Oct 2014), James (middle), with Kaela, Angus, Malcolm and musicians from Rajasthan

 

Q: Who would you say are the leading influences in your musical career? Who are some of your favorite musicians?

A: Too many to list here, and I gained a few more over Rainforest World Music Festival. I am constantly inspired by many of the diverse and outstandingly talented musicians I meet, be they singers, drummers guitarists or otherwise.

Q: How do you blend different musical influences and genres in your music? How do you bring about this ‘fusion without confusion?’

A: It’s not a conscious thing, we are like sponges, soaking up the sounds and atmospheres we are immersed in, and these influences infuse our music. Like a well blended tea. Hopefully a nice infusion!

 

 

Q: How would you describe your musical journey and how your albums have evolved and changed over the years?

A: Educational, inspiring and worthwhile. We have evolved from novices in the recording studio to a group who produce and create and present their own music. The music has hopefully evolved into something that is entirely our own, and that no one else really sounds like, something unique.

Q: How does your composition process work through a main songwriter, or through collaboration/jams between your band members? Do you compose on the road also, while travelling?

A: All of the above! Someone will write a tune, we will rehearse, jam, deconstruct, always collaborative ultimately, then rehearse again. I recall Luke writing tunes on the moving walkway in an airport.

Q: What are some unusual reactions you have got during your live performances?

A: Someone threw an orange onto the stage at Rainforest World Music Festival the second time we came. It was a playful gesture, I hope. It’s unusual if people manage to get through one of our gigs without dancing.

 

 

Q: What kinds of social and political messages have been conveyed in your recent albums? What is your vision of what music can do in this age of political/economical turmoil?

A: None overtly. We are musicians and we have been extremely fortunate to have worked with and collaborated with many other musicians from many far flung parts of the globe: Afghanistan, Korea, North American Inuit, Rajasthan, Poland, Africa, etc. etc.

Perceived divisions are usually instilled by political systems and governments, when it comes down to it, the basic human instinct must be to co-exist peacefully, with mutual respect and enjoy each others’ talents and diversity. I was wondering at Rainforest World Music Festival if such a condensed and concentrated weekend of integration and camaraderie can offer as an example of positive human interaction.

If you meet someone in a neutral environment and you have no idea where they are from, how do you respond? The overwhelming evidence from Rainforest World Music Festival seems to be very positive, a small example of how the world could be. Each culture has so much to offer the other in so many different ways.

Biography and discography at Shooglenifty [updated in 2017]

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Shooglenifty to Release The Untied Knot

Shooglenifty - The Untied Knot
Shooglenifty – The Untied Knot

 

Celebrated Scottish contemporary folk and world music band Shooglenifty is set to release its seventh album, titled The Untied Knot on Shoogle Records in July 2015. The new recording features Gaelic vocalist Kaela Rowan and new mandolinist Ewan MacPherson as well as connections with the music of Rajasthan (India).

Buy The Untied Knot in North America

Buy The Untied Knot in Europe

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All Star Line-Up of Folk Musicians Announced for Homecoming Scotland Suite

On January 25th, the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns birth, Celtic Connections will stage the Homecoming Scotland Suite – a suite of brand-new commissions by leading contemporary composers, the performance of which promises to be a momentous evening of cross-genre collaboration, with the bringing together of celebrated classical, folk and jazz musicians. A who’s who of folk musicians will perform alongside the Royal Scottish National Orchestra at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, including Shooglenifty’s James Mackintosh, David Milligan, Martin O’Neill, Alyn Cosker, Duncan Lyall, Ali Hutton, Jarlath Henderson, Martin O’Neill and Catriona McKay. They will perform new commissions by the likes of Aidan O’Rourke, Greg Lawson, Chris Stout and Steve Forman.

The centerpiece of the night will be the US tenor saxophonist Branford Marsalis performing the premiere of Sally Beamish’s newly rewritten Under the Wing of the Rock, which she rescored especially for him after hearing his performance of her concerto The Imagined Sound of Sun on Stone. Marsalis will visit the UK especially for this one-off show (and for a round of golf on The Old Course at St. Andrews, which he has been challenged to by Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith, who also premieres a new commission in the Homecoming Suite).

Celtic Connections runs Thursday 15th January – Sunday 1st February, 2009

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Heavyweights Shooglenifty, Moving Hearts, Bodega and More World Music January 24 at Celtic Connections 2008

Shooglenifty
Shooglenifty

Some of the leading Scottish bands, Shooglenifty, Moving Hearts, Bodega, make their appearance at Celtic Connections 2008 on January 24. The festival will also present the spectacular 11-piece Romanian brass ensemble Fanfare Ciocarlia and many more top of the line acts.

Complete program:

Iain Anderson In Conversation
George Parsonage, Alex Gray & John MacKay
Thu 24 January, 12:30pm
£3.50
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

BBC Radio Scotland’s Iain Anderson hosts an eclectic mix of local figures as well as musicians performing at the festival for a lunch time blether.

Danny Kyle’s Open Stage hosted by Gibb Todd
Thu 24 January, 5pm
Free
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall

Hosted by Danny Kyle’s good friends Gibb Todd and Liz Clark, the Open Stage is a chance to see new musical talent as they try to win a coveted support slot at next year’s festival – and all absolutely free!
In partnership with the Evening Times
Moving Hearts with Bodega
Thu 24 January, 7:30pm
£20, £18
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Main Auditorium

Seismic, seminal, visionary, defining – Moving Hearts’ impact on contemporary Celtic music can hardly be overstated. Originally blazing their brief but brilliant trail from 1981-84, they were the first to open up traditional Irish sounds to the bracing influences of rock, funk and jazz, paving the way for such subsequent fusioneers as Capercaillie, Sharon Shannon and Mike McGoldrick.

As announced by their triumphant reunion gigs at Dublin’s Vicar Street a year ago, and a superb set at last summer’s Hebridean Celtic Festival, the band are firing gloriously on all cylinders once again, in an all-instrumental line-up featuring Dónal Lunny (bouzouki), Davy Spillane (uilleann pipes/whistles), Keith Donald (saxophones) Eoghan O’Neill (bass), Noel Eccles (percussion), Anto Drennan (guitar), Graham Henderson (keyboards) and Liam Bradley (drums).

Having met while attending the National Centre for Excellence in Traditional Music, at Plockton High School, the Highland five-piece Bodega – winners of the BBC Young Folk Award 2005/6 – are one of Scotland’s most exciting traditional bands. Mixing up bagpipes, fiddle, clarsach, guitar and djembe with Norrie MacIver’s powerful singing, in English and Gaelic, their sound is as fresh as it’s accomplished, matching youthful boldness with precocious maturity.

Showcase Special with Shooglenifty, Dàimh, Stereocanto, The Anna Massie Band & Emily Smith
Thu 24 January, 7:30pm
£15
ABC

A bumper-explosive night of top-Scottish talent, featuring five contrasting acts at the forefront of the current Celtic scene. Shooglenifty lead the folk-fusion pack, cooking up tunes borrowed from a wide swathe of world traditions with influences as diverse as prog rock and urban breakbeats.

Highland sextet Dàimh alternate blistering pipes ‘n’ fiddle-led instrumentals with spellbinding Gaelic songs, while Stereocanto is a new jazz/folk combo led by the mighty musical mind of Fraser Fifield, featuring his saxophone, bagpipes and whistles alongside fiddle, vocals, drums, bass and guitar.

Completing the line-up will be The Anna Massie Band and Emily Smith who have established themselves as some of Scotland’s finest young talent.

The Sounds of New Scotland: Bricolage, Wake the President, Zoey Van Goey & Santa Dog
Thu 24 January, 7:30pm
£12.50
The Classic Grand

While wearing their debt to Glasgow’s Postcard scene proudly in their collective sleeve, Bricolage add their own post-Franz twists with sneaky dance grooves, feelgood tunes and witty lyrics.

Wake The President’s local influences range from the acoustic whimsy of early Belle and Sebastian to the slam and snarl of Arab Strap.

Having assembled rather accidentally in Glasgow, Zoey Van Goey’s members hail from Canada, Ireland, and England. Their recently released debut single, Foxtrot Vandals was produced by Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian.

Completing the line-up will be Santa Dog, known for their sparkly, summer-soaked pop with chiming guitars and a sinister perimeter.

Fred Morrison with Djärv
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£12.50
Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite

Today’s supreme heir to the Gaelic piping tradition of his South Uist home, Fred Morrison is also a thoroughly 21st-century musician. One of the few pipers successfully to straddle the formal competition circuit and the contemporary folk scene, Morrison’s astounding technique and inspired improvisations – on Highland, Lowland and uilleann pipes, as well as whistles – have won rapturous international acclaim.

Djärv are a new Swedish folk/jazz five-piece whose influences include Väsen, Ale Möller, Groupa, Pat Metheny and Jan Garbarek, with a line-up of fiddle, flute, soprano sax, guitar, nyckelharpa, bass, percussion and vocals.

Margaret Stewart with Róisín Elsafty
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£12
The National Piping Centre

From Lewis comes the exceptional sean-nós Gaelic singer, Margaret Stewart, who tonight will launch her new CD alongside special guests. Opening the evening will be Connemara’s Róisín Elsafty, also renowned for performing in the ancient melismatic style.

Kaplin, Kane & Welch with Lissa Schneckenburger
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£12.50
The Tron Theatre

Americana singer-songwriters Kieran Kane and Kevin Welch formed their trio with renowned multi-instrumentalist Fats Kaplin in 2003 to create an Americana super-group that makes music with roots parameters, but in the spontaneity and vibe of a jazz recording. Tonight they are joined by Kane’s son Lucas on drums adding further rhythmic sinew to their gutsy yet lyrical sound.

Maine-born Lissa Schneckenburger’s dulcet voice and vibrant, dance-driven fiddle work have made her a leading exponent of her native New England traditions. She appears tonight with her band: Keith Murphy (guitar) Corey DiMario (double bass) and Stefan Amidon (percussion).

Duncan Chisholm’s Kin with Lori Watson & Rule of Three
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£12.50
St Andrew’s in the Square

Premiered at the 2007 Blas festival, Kin is a multi-media meditation on family, landscape and culture, created by fiddler Duncan Chisholm. Borders singer/fiddler Lori Watson leads her talented young trio, also featuring Innes Watson and Fiona Young.

Songs of Scotland
Heroes and Heroines hosted by Doris Rougvie
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£8.50
Universal

Over the last two years the Songs of Scotland series has looked at different regions of Scotland and the songs that have emerged from these areas.

For the 2008 festival the series looks at different themes that occur in Scots song, mixing Gaelic and Scots, and how they have inspired songwriters and singers throughout generations.

Each of the ten themes will showcase a selection of songs, so each night will see the audience taken on a journey of discovery through different languages, dialects and stories, all linked with one common theme.

Fanfare Ciocarlia with Nuala Kennedy’s New Shoes
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£16
Old Fruitmarket

Currently one of the hottest gypsy bands on the planet, the 11-piece Romanian brass ensemble Fanfare Ciocarlia won a Radio 3 World Music Award in 2006, and were featured on the soundtrack to the hit movie Borat, performing their unique version of Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to Be Wild’.

Heirs to a tradition dating back to Ottoman army bands, which often featured gypsy brass players, they whip up a dizzying whirlwind of tunes and rhythms from Romania, Turkey, Bulgaria, Macedonia and beyond, together with Klezmer, rock and hip-hop influences, bringing the exuberant soul and spirit of a traditional village wedding to the world’s most illustrious stages.

Acclaimed Irish flautist and singer Nuala Kennedy is joined by special guests Cathal McConnell and Troy MacGillivray. She returns to Celtic Connections with her band The New Shoes after her highly successful New Voices commission last year – which was heralded as ‘breathtaking’ and a ‘triumph’ by Scotland’s national press.

Boston Tea Party
Alastair Moock, Kris Delmhorst, Tim Gearan and Rose Polenzani
Thu 24 January, 8pm
£12.50
The Tall Ship

One of America’s most famous incidents saw colonists, disdaining British taxes, destroy crates of tea aboard ships in Boston Harbour in 1773. Two centuries on, Boston was famous for a music scene that developed in its tea and coffee houses. Joan Baez, Taj Mahal, Tom Rush and Bonnie Raitt are just some who served apprenticeships on the local scene before gaining international recognition and today, Boston remains as vibrant as ever.

This Boston Tea Party, like the original, held aboard a sailing ship, features four names who are major creative forces among the current crop of leading Massachusetts singer-songwriters.

Alastair Moock, Kris Delmhorst, Tim Gearan and Rose Polenzani present a program that will show why leading radio presenters both here and in the USA are describing them as “wonderful”, “outstanding” and “must-see”, performing together over three nights in-the-round, sharing stories and collaborating on some of the finest music of our times.

BBC Radio Scotland 92-95FM & 810MW Live Radio Broadcasts
Travelling Folk
Thu 24 January, 8pm
Free but ticketed
BBC Scotland, Pacific Quay

Archie Fisher presents a special live show featuring some of the best music from this year’s festival, from BBC Scotland’s new headquarters at Pacific Quay. Live on BBC Radio Scotland.

Celtic Connections Festival Club hosted by Gibb Todd
Thu 24 January, 10:30pm
£5
Central Hotel

The late night club ensures there is even more music to enjoy after all the gigs are over. Join local and international artists as they make special unbilled appearances or join in one of many sessions happening in the bars.

With food and drink in plentiful supply you can happily keep going into the early hours of the morning whilst witnessing some of the best musical collaborations of the festival.

Master of ceremonies, Gibb Todd returns to present each act on stage and Doris Rougvie hosts The House of Song in a peaceful oasis away from the main stage.

The 15th Celtic Connections festival takes place over 19 days in January and February in 14 venues across Glasgow, Celtic Connections is the UK’s premier Celtic music festival, with over 300 concerts, ceilidhs, talks, free events, late night sessions and workshops.

Tickets can be booked:

In person Glasgow Royal Concert Hall

2 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow, G2 3NY
City Halls and Old Fruitmarket
Candleriggs
Glasgow, G1 1NQ
By phone 0141 353 8000
Online www.celticconnections.com

For further information  check www.celticconnections.com.

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Shooglenifty and Iarla O Lionáird at Celtic Connections 2007 Saturday 20th January

Shooglenifty
Shooglenifty

Glasgow, Scotland – The first weekend of Celtic Connections 2007 sees the festival’s popular workshop program commence. These workshops, together with the live premiere of specially-convened orchestras and specially-commissioned pieces and ceolraidh, mean that encouraging and showcasing fresh music and talent makes up a large part of Saturday’s program. The festival also has a retrospective element, with a multimedia show which sets vintage black and white films from the Scottish Screen Archive to atmospheric music, and a world-renowned band relive highlights of their career by bringing their Reunion tour to Glasgow.

Celtic Connections takes place in 12 venues all over Glasgow. The focal point of the festival is The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, where performances take place in every available space, from workshops in the foyers to performances by world-class artists in the Main Auditorium. The City Halls and Old Fruitmarket, ABC, The Tron, The Piping Centre and Glasgow’s newest live venue The Classic Grand will all play host to Celtic Connections events this year over a period of nineteen days in January and February.

Program:

Celtic Connections Youth Concert
Sat 20 January, 1:00pm
£12.50
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Main Auditorium

Fèis Rois
Celtic Connections Youth Orchestra
Comhaltas
Mark Sheridan Conductor
City of Edinburgh Music School
West of Scotland Schools Symphony Orchestra
(1:00-3:00pm)

The Island Tapes with David Allison
Sat 20 January, 1:00pm
£12.50
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Strathclyde Suite
David Allison
Alyth McCormack
Ian Melrose
Allan Neave
(1:00-1:55pm / 2:15-2:50pm)

Danny Kyle’s Open Stage hosted by Gibb Todd
Sat 20 January, 5:00pm
Free
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Exhibition Hall
Supported by The Evening Times
The Open Stage features live music at 5pm every day during the festival.

Scotland’s Music Live
Sat 20 January, 7:30pm
£15
Grand Hall
BBC SSO
Michael Marra
Chris Stout
James Graham
Dàimh
Karine Polwart

Celtic Connections actively promotes collaborations across musical genres and styles. Scotland’s Music Live, on Saturday 20th January, is a perfect example of this and is a unique celebration showcasing a range of Scottish music.

Solas with Iarla O Lionáird
Sat 20 January, 7:30pm
£18, £16
Main Auditorium
Solas (8:30-10:00pm)
Iarla Ó Lionáird (7:30-8:10pm)

Ceolraidh:
Peter Tickell with Adam Sutherland and Siobhan Miller and Gordeanna McCulloch
Sat 20 January, 8:00pm
£10
The National Piping Centre
Peter Tickell
Siobhan Miller
Adam Sutherland
Gordeanna McCulloch

Daniel Lapp Trio with Andrea Zonn
Sat 20 January, 8:00pm
£12.50
The Tron Theatre

Justin Currie with The Poems
Sat 20 January, 8:00pm
£15
ABC

Uncle Earl and John Spillane
Sat 20 January, 8:00pm
£12.50
Strathclyde Suite

Shooglenifty and Tanya Tagaq Gillis with Skolvan Big Band
Sat 20 January, 10:00pm
£15
Old Fruitmarket
This gig at the Old Fruitmarket comes shortly after the release of Shooglenifty’s sixth studio album Troots. Recorded between tours of Australia, Europe and the US, the new album features several new unique compositions, plus the extraordinary vocals of North American Inuit throat singer Tanya Taqaq Gillis, who joins them tonight.

Celtic Connections Ceilidh with The Scott Harvey Ceilidh Band
Sat 20 January, 10:30pm
£8
The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall Exhibition Hall

Celtic Connections Festival Club hosted by Gibb Todd
Sat 20 January, 11:30pm
£7.50
Holiday Inn – City West

Workshops

come&try
Mandolin Workshop
Sat 20 January, 11:00am
£6
Lomond Foyer

come&try
Traditional Scots Singing Workshop
Sat 20 January, 11:00am
£6
Clyde Foyer

Kids Percussion Workshop
Sat 20 January, 11:00am
£4
Exhibition Hall
Parents of 8-10 year old children are encouraged to stay during the workshop.

Opening Your Voice 1
Sat 20 January, 11:00am
£6
Buchanan Suite

come&try
Samba Workshop
Sat 20 January, 1:30pm
£6
Exhibition Hall

come&try
Whistle Workshop
Sat 20 January, 1:30pm
£6
Buchanan Suite

come&try
Fiddle Workshop
Sat 20 January, 1:30pm
£6
Lomond Foyer

Tickets can be purchased from the Box Office:

In person at: The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
2 Sauchiehall Street
GLASGOW
G2 3NY
Online at: www.celticconnections.com
By phone on: 0141 353 8000

Festival information: www.celticconnections.com

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Radical Scot Mestizos

Shooglenifty – Radical Mestizo

Shooglenifty – Radical Mestizo (Compass Records 744092, 2005)

The latest release by the hippest Scot band, Shooglenifty, is a live album. Radical Mestizo was recorded at various locations and countries during Shooglenifty’s international tours in 2004. The albums shows an effective band with a compact sound, composed by first-rate instrumentalists.

What differentiates Shooglenifty, from other modern Scottish bands is its use of of world rhythms and melodies as well as electronica. What sounds like a traditional jig can easily drift into a powerful blend of funky rhythms, Middle Eastern percussion, hip hop beats or electronic dance grooves.

Fans of the band will recognize many of their favorites tunes in new, electrifying versions. The title of the album is a description that a Mexican journalist used to describe Shooglenifty’s music in Spanish.

Buy Radical Mestizo

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Celtic All Over

Various Artists – The Rough Guide to Celtic Music

Various Artists

The Rough Guide to Celtic Music (World Music Network 1155 CD, 2005)

Most folks know by now that “Celtic” and “Irish” are not synonymous. Still, it doesn’t hurt to get an occasional reminder that ancient Celt tribes settled all over Europe, establishing a culture that paved the way toward the Celtic music that has become so well known. This Rough Guide includes sounds from Canada, Spain, France, Scotland, the USA, Wales and, oh yes, Ireland. Quite a sharp selection it is, rife with artists who embrace tradition as well as those who nudge it just a bit and those who really take it and run with it.

Ireland’s Kila and Scotland’s Capercaillie, for example, have long specialized in spurring Celtic foundations along with added global textures and grooves, and both have solidly representative tracks here.

Likewise, Shooglenifty (also from Scotland), Galicia’s Mercedes Peón and sprightly Cape Breton fiddler Natalie MacMaster show how effectively varying degrees of modern electronic textures can judiciously be thrown in.

More along purist lines are pieces by Llan de Cubel, Bohola, Niamh Parsons (with an a capella song guaranteed to make the world around you stand still) and relative newcomers Flook, but everything here is really quite good.

With some strains of Celtic music having reached and seemingly passed something of a trend-fueled saturation point on the global scene, it’s still refreshing to revisit how uniquely satisfying the wider-ranging sound of it can be. Whether this disc comes across like a new revelation or an old friend, it’s consistently pleasing.

Buy The Rough Guide to Celtic Music

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Extraordinary Scottish Music

Shooglenifty - The Arms Dealer's Daughter</a
Shooglenifty – The Arms Dealer’s Daughter</a

Shooglenifty

The Arms Dealer’s Daughter (Compass Records 74362 2, 2003)

Shooglenifty is an instrumental band that is creating new ways of expression for Scottish music. Unlike many other contemporary bands in the so-called Celtic genre, Shooglenifty did not find a need to use vocalists and, frankly, they don’t need singers as the band members are a phenomenal group of
instrumentalists. The groundbreaking sound of the band is based in the combination of traditional Scottish melodies and rhythms with other cultures such as their Celtic cousins in Spain, as well as African guitar, Asian impressions, rumba beats and Afro-American jazz.

But this not your typical acoustic band reworking traditional songs. Shooglenifty creates an imaginative amalgamation of acoustic and electric sounds. Fiddle, banjo, mandolin and Galician pandeiro (frame drum) are mixed with electric guitars and bass, trap drums, samples and effects. The US release is out on Compass Records, a label that has managed to license some of the finest contemporary Irish and British folk music.

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Celtic Fusion Has Begun

Down, Northern Ireland – The annual Celtic Fusion International Music Festival began today and will run until August 10.

This year there was a special opener, Celtic Ceili with Pipes in Ballynahinch on Thursday 7 August, featuring Robert Watt, world champion piper and friends. Michael McGoldrick and Band in concert on Friday 8 August in Castlewellan.

On Saturday 9 August, the Main Festival Stage in Castlewellan Forest Park will play host to a number of highly regarded and talented international musicians including:

· La Bottine Souriante (Quebec, Canada)
· Altan (Ireland)
· Dougie MacLean (Scotland)
· Sharon Shannon (Ireland)
· Shooglenifty (Scotland).

Danu live in concert on Sunday 10 August in Newcastle.

Ticket prices for the main festival stage performance on Saturday 9 August in Castlewellan Forest Park are £20.00 (Under five’s go free). A limited number of family tickets will be available for this main event at a special price of £50.00 for two adults and three children.

Tickets are £10 each for the Michael McGoldrick and Band concert on Friday 8 August and for Danu on Sunday 10 August.

Tickets for the festival will be going on sale May 8th from Ticketmaster and usual outlets.

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