'In this way I shall preserve many things that would otherwise be lost in oblivion. I shall find daily employment for myself, which will save me from indolence and help to keep off the spleen, and I shall lay up a store of entertainment for my after life.'

For James Boswell posts please follow the labels on the right.

This blog mainly contains reviews from the Edinburgh Festivals from 2008 to 2010 which I wrote for the Edinburgh Festivals Magazine. These reviews cover everything from comedy to contemporary dance; children's theatre to Handel.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Shooglenifty Review


‘Hullo’ says the Hagrid like lead violinist from Shooglenifty, the six man fusion of music which could only be vaguely described as traditionally Scottish. Indeed the sounds experienced are far more international than Scottish. I can only imagine how the group ever actually managed to produce the sounds they do.

It probably involved the violinist and bearded banjo player hoping onto a boat and heading east like a pair of Celtic holy men. Here they picked up Mediterranean sounds from the Aegean, as well as some eastern tones from the Levant. Then, getting lost, they travelled via India, the Caribbean and ended up in the gritty streets of L.A. At some point the mandolin player, who is straight out of Miami Vice, is rescued from a life of tracking down drug dealers in fast cars. He continues, however, to look moody.  

The resulting sounds Shooglenifty can produce are extraordinary and have been described as ‘hypnofolkadelia’. While there are no vocals, the music is a multilayered, syncopated and often psychedelic tapestry. You are as likely to recognise the gritty base line of Led Zeppelin as you are Scottish ceilidh music.

Shooglenifty provide an eclectic Odyssey of sounds whose inspiration reaches far beyond Scottish borders.

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