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Concert Review: Shooglenifty


Shooglenifty call themselves “hypno-folkadelic ambient trad” and it’s a valid description if you can figure it out. They could also be described, with equal validity, as bouncy, catchy and a lot of fun.

With violin, mandolin, guitars, bass, drums and several singers, this Scottish band delves into their Celtic roots to create fast, captivating folky riffs that got me (and the rest of the audience) grooving along. The violinist did a lot of the singing, and a woman came on halfway through and took over vocals, changing the pace before the band revved it up for the final part of the show.    

I had seen Shooglenifty at the WOMAD festival in Auckland in 1998. They were excellent then and remain excellent in 2016. I had the feeling that they genuinely loved the music they play – it’s something that can’t be faked. 

The venue was the Spiegeltent, an intimate space where the band and the audience were on
 the same level. This made for a different kind of interaction than you often get at shows – a closer connection between performers and audience.