Elephant Sessions set to make a big noise at Oban Live

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Fiona Scott

Indie folk band Elephant Sessions will charge into the Highlands at the start of the month with performances at Oban (Friday, June 7) and Killin Music Festival (Saturday, June 15) rounding off their 2019 18-date UK live tour.

The five-piece outfit exploded onto the indie folk scene with their album, All We Have Is Now, and have since appeared at some of the world’s most notable venues and festivals.

Mandolin player Alasdair Taylor, who hails from Inverness, is hoping the band has the same effect on audiences a bit closer to home.

‘This will be our first appearance at Oban Live and Killin and we’re really quite excited about it.

‘We have followed Oban Live for the last couple of years and it always looks like great fun, so we were really chuffed when we got the phone call asking us to play.’

Charting in the French download charts and selling bucket loads across Europe, All We Have Is Now firmly establishes the band as unique.

Their new album, What Makes You, was released on May 10, coinciding with the start of the tour, and promises to build on the success of the band.

‘Our set in Oban will include some of our old stuff and some tracks off the new album that have never been heard live before, we were keeping something special back.

‘The tour has been pretty hectic, but we’re getting a few days off now and will be all rejuvenated for coming back to the Highlands.’

The band’s sound is created by Taylor and Euan Smillie on fiddle, who front the band, with Mark Bruce on guitar held together by the solid back bone of Greg Barry on drums, and Seth Tinsley on bass. Their unique sound is created by fusing their music with electronic dance beats.

2018 saw awards in abundance for the band. Opening the year as winners of Album of the Year at the BBC Scotland Trad Awards, they went on to be finalists as Best Group at the BBC Radio 2 awards.

Last May, Belhaven Brewery got together with the band to award the first ever Belhaven Bursary for innovation in music. The bursary amount matches the Mercury Music prize and was awarded in recognition of their unique and outstanding sound. It was accompanied by the bands own beer, Elephant Sessions Ale, which was also launched last May.

In August, the band  found themselves shortlisted for Scottish Album of the Year – an award covering every genre of music from indie, blues and rock to pop, folk and the individual sound that is Elephant Sessions.

Closing 2018 by picking up the coveted Live Band of the Year award (BBC Scots Trad Awards) the band, who met on the Newcastle University Folk Degree, have transformed traditional music and opened 2019 with performances across Europe.