It’s Scotland’s turn to showcase their musical heritage at Kicking Horse Culture’s Summer Kicks.
The Edinburgh-based six-piece Celtic band, Shooglenifty, is taking the stage at the Spirit Square on Wednesday July 25 at 7 p.m.
Over the past dozen or so years Shooglenifty’s unique twist on the traditional has won them an extensive and devoted fanbase not only across Europe, North America and Australasia, but as far as India, Malaysia and Japan.
The band is known to blend traditional Scottish music with influences ranging from electronica to alternative rock.
Since the release of their first album in 1994, Shooglenifty has racked up some prestigious performances including a show for Nelson Mandela, Emperor Akihito of Japan (not at the same time), and they were also the first band to incite a stage invasion at the Sydney Opera House.
Among the current Shooglenifty line-up are four original members Angus Grant, Malcolm Crosbie Garry Finlayson and James Mackintosh, while the bassist Quee MacArthur and the Tasmanian expat Luke Plumb, on mandolin, banjo and bouzouki, joined five years ago.
The band’s collective CV takes in backgrounds as diverse as Crosbie’s apprenticeship in alt.rock obscurity, Finlayson’s early blues fixation and Grant’s childhood immersion in the West Highland fiddle tradition. Beneath their folky-looking exterior lurks electric as well as acoustic guitar, samples and programming as well as “real” percussion, while Finlayson switches between regular banjo and his own customised hi-tech version, or “banjax.” All six players, though, are maestros of effects, distortion, feedback and improvisation.
The resulting sound marries traditionally based tunes – primarily Scottish in style, but featuring a wealth of other world-music flavours, with the rhythmic energy, inventiveness and sophistication of contemporary dance music.