Knockengorroch World Ceilidh / credit: Douglas Robertson
As Knockengorroch World Ceilidh reaches its 20th anniversary, David Pollock discovers what's in store
Founded 20 years ago as the Ceilidh Gall Gallowa' Festival, Knockengorroch World Ceilidh has been held in various locations around Dumfries & Galloway since then. Although the 'world' part is accurate – with performers arriving from America, Mongolia, Egypt, Japan and across Europe – 'ceilidh' only gives a hint of what's on offer. In the headline slots, in fact, electronic music is most well-represented.
The leading name on the bill is Transglobal Underground, who were founded in London in 1990 as a fusion of Western, Asian and African sounds, and have continued in a similar vein ever since, with ten albums released and their song 'Temple Head' used in an advertising campaign around the 1996 Olympic Games. They'll be joined here by their original singer, the Belgian-Egyptian Natacha Atlas, who went on to establish her own solo career.
Knockengorroch World Ceilidh Also taking lead roles in the festival will be Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist and West African female supergroup Les Amazones d'Afrique. The former will be introducing his new AV show to go with the release of his second album Die Cut, with Knockengorroch his only date in the UK for this year, while the latter group is a quartet of singers whose 2017 album Republique Amazone received end-of-year praise from The Guardian, The New York Times and Barack Obama.
Elsewhere on the bill, a varied group of artists includes Barcelona-based multi-instrumentalists the Balkan Paradise Orchestra; MALKA, the solo project from the lead singer of 6 Day Riot; and Warp and Ninja Tune's experimental electronic producer Luke Vibert. Meanwhile, the Scottish contingent includes rapper and producer Kobi Onyame, DJ sets from Dolphin Boy and Samedia Shebeen, and the full Mungo's HiFi Soundsystem with Marina P on vocals, playing a bass-heavy set which will demonstrate why the Glasgow crew is Scotland's finest dub and dancehall reggae export.
An outdoor festival with the emphasis on roots music, the line-up is a melting pot of world, folk, fusion and dub reggae music with electronica, hip-hop and drum & bass thrown in for good measure, both performed live and DJed. Guests include Cut Chemist, Transglobal Underground and African super-group Les Amazones…