“If Carlsberg did ceilidh bands, they still wouldn’t be half as exciting as The Big Shoogle! You KNOW when you’ve been Shoogled!”
The Big Shoogle are a top notch, high-energy rock-influenced ceilidh and covers band with over 25 years’ experience playing in some of the world’s most prestigious venues and for countless blue chip clients. Initially starting purely as a ceilidh band, they played regularly at ceilidh venues such as The Riverside Club in Glasgow and Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery and quickly built their reputation to be in high demand for weddings, parties and corporate events around the UK and beyond.
They’ve played at countless caledonian society events, weddings, parties, corporates and festivals in Russia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Italy, France, Denmark, Belgium and The Channel Islands, as well as all over the UK and Ireland. They’ve headlined T in the Park’s Ceilidh Tent several times and played at Stirling Castle for Stirling’s Hogmanay to an audience of over 6,000.
“All dances called. Tunes Murdered, Guests insulted indiscriminately”! While we do take what we do very seriously and provide the very best experience and performance for all of our clients in the most professional manner, we like to keep it all as light-hearted as possible therefore much of our chat over the microphone is often quite tongue-in-cheek and we always have a great rapport with our audiences. We love the banter… So yes we do “call” all of the ceilidh dances so that everyone is included and nobody is left out but if some people are refusing to get up onto the dancefloor, we may hurl some abuse at them… In the nicest possible way, of course! So let’s say that we take what we do very seriously but don’t take ourselves seriously! If The Big Shoogle can’t get the audience up onto that dancefloor then nobody can.
Our sound is contemporary with strong rock influences, so much so that we even mash up rock anthems and riffs with the traditional jigs and reels, so it’s full of surprises and keeps it interesting for everyone. We are perfectly happy to play for ceilidh dancing for a whole evening but if that’s too much for some we have a great selection of rock and pop covers that we play 100% live with no backing tracks. This versatility and flexibility makes us rather unique since we can adapt the musical balance between ceilidh and covers each night and know instinctively when to switch between each style to suit your requirements. No two evenings are ever the same!
Our standard lineup is a 3 piece comprising accordion with midi bass/keyboards, electric/acoustic guitar and drums. 3 vocals and dance caller. It’s a big sound. However, we also regularly perform with a superb guest fiddle player, and can easily provide this 4 piece lineup on request. It’s the icing on the cake.
While the wide tuning of an accordion is enough to make most mortals weep, this super hero thrives on the dissonance created by the wildest of reeds, the wonkiest of time signatures…
More is known of the myth than the man. An internet search will result in thousands of questions, but few answers. There is footage, but it is hard to separate the real from the fake. I want to believe…
Gordon has played in countless different bands, appearing on numerous radio sessions – from the John Peel Sessions to Radio One’s Rock Show. And when on tour with Runrig has on occasion stepped in for Ian Bayne on drums.