Published: 29/08/2014 16:41 - Updated: 29/08/2014 16:54

A night to remember with Elephant Sessions

Elephant Sessions
Elephant Sessions

HIGHLAND band The Elephant Sessions are hoping their debut album will be one to remember when it is released to the public this weekend.

Elephant Sessions are drummer Greg Barry from Dingwall, fiddle player Euan Smillie from Kilmuir, Alasdair Taylor from Inverness on mandolin, guitarist Mark Bruce from Edderton and the one non-Highlander, Seth Tinsley from Hexham in Northumberland on double bass.

Most of the band may hail from the north of Scotland, but they actually got together as a band nearer to Tinsley’s home territory.

"We formed out of the Newcastle Uni music course. That’s where we all met," Bruce explained.

"We call ourselves a neo-trad-quintet. It’s our own take on traditional music."

So much so that every track on debut album, The Elusive Highland Beauty, is self-penned.

"The whole album is written by us," Bruce explained.

"It’s a bit of a musical journey. We touch on some quote heavy rock influences at times and there’s some ska and funk. Over the last two years we’ve been writing lots of music and having ideas firing round. Some things don’t make it, some become tunes that have ended up on the album."

In the two-and-a-half years since coming together as a band, The Elephant Sessions have been seen live at a range of festivals including Loopallu, Belladrum and Brew at The Bog, as well as other shows including supporting the Treacherous Orchestra at Strathpeffer Pavilion, another band with an individual and unique take on traditional music.

It was in January this year that the band went into the studio to try and capture that live sound on disc.

The recording took place at Gran’s House near Biggar in South Lanarkshire, the studio run by Angus Lyon of Blazin’ Fiddles, with Chris Waite, from the band Sketch, in the engineer/producer role and Colin Train providing additional keyboards.

For The Elephant Sessions, the experience of creating music in the studio seems to have been both positive and enlightening.

"It’s been quite a musical journey from when we started it to where we are now," Bruce said.

"We’re really happy with the album and we’re really excited about bringing it out."

The album with be promoted nationwide later this year with an end to end UK tour in November.

First, however, the band will be launching The Elusive Highland Beauty from 8pm at Mad Hatters bar at Hootananny on Saturday.

The event will be filmed for a music video so the band are encouraging as many people as possible to come to the free show.

The band also plan a further launch in the band’s other spiritual home. Newcastle.

• The Elephant Sessions launch their debut album at Mad Hatters at Hootananny, Church Street, Inverness, on Saturday 30th August from 8pm.

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