Shooglenifty: Great Scots.

3 March 2003 | 1:00 am | Deb Morrice
Originally Appeared In

I’m Your Venus.

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Shooglenifty play World Beat at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Sunday.

Scottish sextet Shooglenifty is a funky originals band with the presence of Celtic and eclectic elements in their music.

For over a decade the formation has accessed the World music scene via the International Festival circuit and organisations like WOMAD, World Of Music, Arts & Dance. The ‘Shoogles’ have even achieved headline status on many occasions.

Surprisingly the line up has only ever undergone minor changes and still involves mostly foundation members: guitarist Malcolm Crosbie, banjo master Garry Finlayson, on the skins drummer James Mackintosh, mandolin man and vocalist Luke Plum, fiddler Angus R. Grant and bass player Quee Macarthur.

The local lads of Edinburgh started kicking around in sessions and gigging on the home front, which in essence is a familiar route for most musicians to take till the hunger to travel sets in.

Shooglenifty first visited Australia about five or six years ago and now their third visit to the country for the World Beat Festival is hot on the heels of their Woodford Folk Festival debut made only last year. So it seems this world-class band is high on the popularity stakes!

When asked about their music relative newcomer to the band, bass man Quee Macarthur talks confidently about Shooglenifty’s sound: “Scottish tunes with a heavy funky rhythm section, yeah we do one or two traditional tunes but most of the stuff is actually original,” says Quee.

Macarthur then opens up about the band’s five major album projects commencing with an overview of the 1994 disc Venus In Tweeds: “That was kinda like a live album in terms of the way it was recorded, the feel, then the following albums are more kinda layered like doing one instrument at a time. The 96 album A Whiskey Kiss is a bit more production, samples, loops and effects and Live At Selwyn Hall a live gig. Solar Shears in 2000 is a little more like dance music with house and garage but the new album is going back to more of that live sound of putting it together.”

Shooglenifty’s latest 10-track album release, Arm Dealers Daughter was actually pressed in time for their current visit to Australia. The band is proud of the project and their involvement in the whole process. An awesome effort.