From: Folk in the Barn [debs_at_folkinthebarn_dot_co_dot_uk]

Sent: 04 November 2017 17:19

Subject: High Praise for Elephant Sessions from Rolling Stone Magazine


Hello it's me again.  Sorry to bombard you, but it's my duty to spread tasty folkness and this article and iPlayer link is too good not to share.    Elephant Sessions recently featured on The BBC Quay Sessions and their excellent performance is available to view on iPlayer for another 14 days here...   Please have a look and if their music appeals to you do come and see them next weekend at Folk in the Barn at St George's Place, CCCU.   We're now going to be in the smaller room next door to The Lounge, which in the day time is Barista and Baker, a cosy coffee shop.  It'll be exactly the same just more intimate - which we like!  Some of you may remember our Terry & Gerry gig there a few years ago. There will be seating and tables as well as space to stand and/or dance if you feel like it.   Opening the evening will be a small selection of students currently studying for a music degree at Canterbury Christ Church University.  Simon and I took a run out to the Broadstairs campus to one of their music evenings last month and I think you'll be as impressed as we were with the standard of performance.  From solo singer songwriters to an acapella harmony trio, it's great to be able to offer a stage to youngsters at the very start of their musical careers. 


The Rolling Stone magazine article is mentioned in an article in Scots newspaper The National - copied below.  You can see from this that this band really are going places, but this will be their first visit to Canterbury.  As always it would be amazing to give them a warm welcome and full venue, please come and see some stunning musicianship if you can.


Elephant Sessions supported by CCCU Students S3A, Eviette and Megan Wardroper

Sunday 12th November 2017

Barista & Baker, CCCU SU, St George's Place, Canterbury

Doors 7pm for 7.30pm start

Tickets ?12 online
?13 offline
?14 on the door
?6 Students for booking links and venue/parking directions etc



Here's the full article, worth a read if you have the time.....

THERE can't be too many Scottish folk bands who can point to a glowing review from Rolling Stone magazine but The Elephant Sessions are one. "These Scots are using their instruments like weapons to destroy cliches. We love them!" said the magazine of the Highland five-piece. The magazine was not wrong. The band's latest album, All We Have is Now, the follow up to their debut The Elusive Highland Beauty, is infused with energy and excitement - and a willingness to stray from the trad norms into, not just rock, but electronica. There are shades of The XX apparent, especially in new single Summer, while the entire album is a maelstrom of musical influences.


The National spoke to Mark Bruce, the band's guitarist, as they prepare to head out next month for a UK-wide tour, and asked who had been the band's biggest influences. "We have to tip the hat to Croft No 5 and Martyn Bennett, they both did some great things to push the genre" said Bruce. "We all have totally different music tastes, which I guess adds to the melting pot when we come together and write music in the band." This is all to the good as band members Alasdair Taylor from Inverness (mandolin), Greg Barry from Dingwall (drums), fiddler Euan Smillie from the Black Isle, Seth Tinsley from Hexham in Northumberland (bass), and Bruce himself, who hails from near Tain, bring together a fusion of styles that makes the band's sound so unique and easily identifiable. So how did the band first get together? "Alasdair was 12 and Euan nine when they first met at a fiddle class in Inverness and they have played together since in various different projects," Bruce explained. "They met Greg four years later through the Feis Rois movement and the three started what was to become Elephant Sessions. Euan and Greg went off to study music on the University of the Highlands and Islands course on Benbecula while Alasdair moved to Newcastle to go to university and met myself and Seth from the year above there. "We had been playing guitar and bass together there in a Newcastle band called The Benwell Project and Elephant Sessions all went from there." It was a fortuitous coming together that has resulted in some of the most eclectic and interesting new music to grace the traditional scene.


The band's live shows have become the stuff of legend - their sold-out show at Oran Mor during last year's Celtic Connections was a definite highlight of the festival (I was there and have to agree - Debs) - and the raw energy on display has seen a much younger audience than might traditionally be expected at folk music gigs outwith the Highlands. It's perhaps not surprising that a young band should draw a younger following but it is a sign of the dynamically changing landscape of traditional music. Bands such as Elephant Sessions, Talisk, Inyal and Niteworks are bringing their fans to festivals and gigs and they in turn are being introduced to new and old music alike. It feels like there's is something of a generational shift occurring in the Scottish folk world. "I guess so maybe?" Bruce said when the suggestion was put to him. "I think the genre is so strong at the moment - its totally amazing. I wouldn't say that its a generational change - I think that trad music has always been quite a young and ?cool' thing to be part of in Scotland. "Maybe things like social media are just helping to highlight it a bit more. Anyway, whatever is going on long may it continue and blossom. "We just enjoy doing what we are doing and are delighted that some people seem to like it. If we are helping to bring a younger audience to traditional music then great. The more the merrier!" And the merriment is not confined to Scotland. Indeed, the band's shows at the Interceltique festival in Lorient in France were so enthusiastically received the audience managed to break the sprung wooden floor... "Lorient was a massive highlight for us" said Bruce. "We played 18 shows in 10 days and we totally loved it. We just like to travel and play our music to people so we are really lucky. "European crowds have always been very kind. A lot of them seem to have strong Celtic roots so they tend to enjoy Scottish and Irish acts. It was pretty cool to see so many people dancing to music that we wrote in wee rehearsal rooms in the highlands. Euan also went for a wee surf on a giant inflatable pineapple - you can see that on our social media. Pretty funny, although the French security definitely would not agree..." The band's latest video, Summer, does indeed have a clip of the inflatable-surfing Smillie alongside footage of Mediterranean beaches and sun-kissed palm trees.


It seems like Elephant Sessions have made the most of their time during 2017. Is there anywhere they especially enjoy playing? "We played Glastonbury last year and i think that will always be a highlight for us all, it was amazing," said Bruce. "We love The Voodoo Rooms [in Edinburgh] so we are looking forward to that, we are also excited to play our first Parisian show - I love that city!" And is there anywhere they have yet to play that is on their to-do list? "Japan seems to be a general band consensus but we are just keen to visit anywhere that we haven't been yet." If the band continue on their current trajectory tvhen Japan, and indeed the world, will be their oyster. Elephant Sessions are on tour throughout November. For more info and ticket details see



Martyn Joseph tomorrow night at the Cathedral Lodge - there will be tickets available on the door. 


See ya


Debs :)

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