Words by Billy Rough
While some bands fall into repetition after a few albums, others continue to evolve and develop, still finding inspiration and excitement in a variety of different cultures and traditions. This is exactly what Shooglenifty have been doing for 25 years. The Untied Knot is their anniversary album and a remarkably exciting and fresh one it is too.
For their seventh studio album they have enlisted a vocalist for the very first time. The voice of Gaelic singer Kaela Rowan, who brings a new and richly layered aspect to the band’s sound. The rich addition of puirt a beul (Scottish mouth music) is atmospherically felt in the Eastern-inspired ‘The High Road to Jodhpur’. ‘The Scorpion/The Devil’s Breath Hornpipe’ conjures up an almost bluegrass flavour, while ‘Fitzroy’s Crossing’ sees the band inspired by the music and sounds of Australia.
Shooglenifty may almost be part of the establishment now, but there is still enough innovation in the band to last another quarter of a century. Here’s to the next 25 years and beyond.