News Story

As part of the International Festival’s Global Communities programme, members of Scottish Celtic-Fusion band Shooglenifty led workshops at Canongate Youth and Lyra ahead of their performance at The Lyceum this August.

On Friday 21 June, Garry Finlayson (banjo/banjax) and Laura Wilkie (violin) visited the Canongate Youth Music Café and participated in an Open Mic session which saw the Shooglenifty musicians performing alongside young musicians from the youth group. Garry and Laura spoke to the young musicians about their own musical backgrounds and influences as well as the band’s recording projects with Dhun Dhora and Tanxugueiras.

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Shooglenifty’s workshop exposed young people to new genres of music and instruments, which they loved. It was great to see them jamming with band members and having the confidence to play along with professional musicians.
Clare Jamieson, Children and Young People’s Programme Manager at Canongate Youth

The following day, Malcolm Crosbie (guitar) and Quee Macarthur (bass) visited the Lyra Youth Music project in Craigmillar and worked alongside regular Lyra tutors to deliver a composition and recording workshop. After some highly entertaining warm-up games, the group sat in a circle while Malcolm and Quee spoke about the band’s origins, where the name ‘Shooglenifty’ came from and Malcolm told a hilarious story about how his home-made amp once caught fire at home when he was younger.

After coming up with a concept for their song, the group collectively devised lyrics for a verse and chorus before assembling a melody and harmonic structure. Following a bit of rehearsal, the song was recorded by Quee and participants were able to listen back to their own piece. As this was the final day of Lyra’s Youth Music sessions before summer, the band were also invited to stay for a shared picnic in Artspace where they met members of the wider Lyra community.

Participants from these workshops, as well as other young musicians from Tinderbox Collective, are being invited to attend Shooglenifty’s performance at the International Festival for free as part of another community-based initiative called Culture Club. This project aims to connect communities to each other and the world through cultural experiences and groups from across Edinburgh are invited to attend a shared meal together before going to a performance as one larger group.