All staff and associated artists at TRACS were extremely saddened to hear news of the passing of Angus R Grant of Shooglenifty.
Angus was described as ‘making fiddle playing cool again’ and having a ‘rock and roll swagger’. Although hailing from the Highlands, son of the renowned fiddle player Aonghas Grant from Lochaber, Edinburgh became Angus’ adopted home and where he played in many sessions and gigs. In 2013, the first year of TradFest Edinburgh, Shooglenifty played a spectacular home appearance in Teviot Row House. David Francis, musician, Executive Officer of the Traditional Music Forum and Associate Director of TRACS, says:
“Shooglenifty brought something entirely new to the folk scene. Here was music that was identifiably Scottish and very hip, combining fiddle tunes with beats from the clubs, often in extended jams. 'Acid croft' they called it with tongue in cheek. Instantly recognisable, Angus was at the very centre of all that. With an unarguable fiddling pedigree he brought a high level of musicianship and a sense of cultural rootedness, which he never felt as a restriction. He was a free spirit, a great musician and his loss will be keenly felt.”
Steve Byrne, musician and TRACS Board Member pays his own tributes:
“I first met him in the sessions round Edinburgh when I was a keen young thing and the Shoogles were really taking off, and although I didn't know him very well he always had a wee hello each time we met at festivals and the like. Was delighted to be able to bring him back to Scots Music Group to teach a couple of years ago and his classes were always full. Tells you everything you need to know about the high regard in which his playing was held. Condolences to his family, friends and the Shoogles.”
Angus was a great inspiration to other musicians as well, including composer and musician Mike Vass:
“I listened to Venus in Tweeds on repeat when I was a teenager excitedly trying to make my fiddle playing swing like Angus. When I moved to Edinburgh to study, I took the first opportunity I could to see the Shoogles at the Queens Hall. I recently took all of my siblings to the 25th anniversary concert and it was the first night out we'd had all four of us in years, and what a special occasion for it. So gutted to hear the news about Angus. A huge inspiration to me, there was a lot of sadness in the air last night at the Celtic Colours festival club. I'll be playing his tunes for years to come.”
TRACS offers its deepest condolences to all of Angus’ friends and family.
Angus Roderick Grant, born 14 February 1967; died 9 October 2016.