Elephant Sessions set for Celtic Connections sell-out at first time of asking.

The award winning neo-trad quintet have already sold out their first ever headline gig at the alternative folk festival in Glasgow, seemlessly completing their transition from newcomers to top bill attraction.

Alasdair Taylor, mandolin and vocals, said: “Last year we supported Blazin Fiddles so it is quite nice to come back and have our own show.

“I suppose we have seen over the last year/year and a half ourselves going up in how late we go on at festival stages and how high we are up on the bill and stuff like that.”

It has been almost three years since the band released their debut album, The Elusive Highland Beauty, and won Scots Trad Awards’ ‘Up and Coming Act of the Year 2014’.

It does not seem too long ago that the band were just starting out, trying to make a name for themselves in the trad-music scene.

Seth Tinsley, bass, adds: “The biggest difference we noticed is going to show in places that we wouldn’t usually have people that we know there but lots of people turn up.”

Since their bumper year Sessions have been fine tuning their craft all over, becoming familiar faces on the summer festival scene, taking a trip to Denmark, performing the Avalon Stage at Glastonbury, and working on their new album.

Greg Barry, drummer, said: “Glastonbury was definitely the highlight. It was a really good gig actually.

“The stage we were playing on is run by the same guy who does Cambridge Folk Festival which we had done as well so that’s kind of how it came about. It was just on a different level in terms of size and everything.”

Having played Connections before this will also be the first time the band has played at the world famous Oran Mor venue.

Euan Smillie, fiddler, said: “Oran Mor’s going to be a big venue, quite kind of grungy sort of thing.”

Celtic Connections kicks off tonight (Thursday 19th January) for 18 days of traditional Scottish musicians converging with artists from all over the globe in one festival of culture.

This year’s festival is being opened by English folk singer-songwriter Laura Marling whose new album, Semper Femina, is set to be released in March.

Celtic Connections is always a huge draw for artists, both domestic and international, and this year is no different with names such as Admiral Fallow, Eddi Reader, Manran and Blazin Fiddles to name a few.

Smillie commented that: “There is quite a lot that I’d like to see that I won’t be able to.

This weekend is Shooglenifty’s Tribute to Angus which has been sold out for ages, I’d have loved to have seen that.”

Although there are a few shows beginning to sell out it is still possible to see many of the acts at Celtic Connections, including The Elephant Sessions, at the festival club.

The festival club (or Late Night Sessions) are held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday during the festival at Drygate Brewery (this year) from 11pm till late.

The sessions are very laid back affairs, the acts don’t know for sure when they are playing till a couple of days before, and the atmosphere is a much more raucous and party like atmosphere.

The Elephant Sessions were pretty sure that they would be playing at the festival club on the 28th so if you were not lucky enough to get a hold of an elusive Oran Mor ticket you could still get to see this ‘no longer just up and coming’ band from the Highlands.

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