Music preview: Ellen & the Escapades @ Electric Circus, Edinburgh

Published by METRO

You’ve had a rotten week so far. On Monday you were late for work, because your train was delayed. A black cab sped past you during Tuesday’s lunch hour, covering you in dirty puddle water as you waited for the green man at the traffic lights. Welcome to November. Unless you win big on tonight’s lottery, you’ll somehow need saving from your midweek blues while the Christmas countdown remains at least another calendar page away.

Meet Ellen & the Escapades – the folk-pop quintet who’ll be your saviour tonight. Guaranteed to tide you over to the weekend is the band’s warm sound, delicate rhythm and evocative lyrics, which perfectly complement the distinctive vocal style of their frontwoman. And venues for such a performance don’t come more suitable than Edinburgh’s Electric Circus. As they play out their enormously catchy songs in this intimate hub at the heart of the city, the Leeds-based outfit’s soothing soundtrack will transcend the cold reality outside.

“We’re really excited about coming to Edinburgh. It’s our first trip to Scotland and the only one for now, so we’re very much looking forward to it,” said the eponymous vocalist and guitarist Ellen Smith.

While she cited Ryan Adams and Carole King as among her personal influences, the singer described the importance of Fleetwood Mac in shaping the band’s own sound, and explained how Bob Dylan and the Beatles are majorly revered by all five group members.

For an outfit formed just over two years ago, Ellen & the Escapades appear to have learnt their trade with extraordinary speed. In their relatively short life they’ve supported Paolo Nutini, played a host of top UK festivals, including Glastonbury, Green Man and Bestival, and set up their own label – Branch Out Records.

Their biggest break, however, was when they triumphed at the Glastonbury Emerging Talent contest in 2009. ‘It just seemed to open a lot of doors for us because people became a lot more aware of the band,’ said Smith. ‘We’ve been very lucky.’

With each release gaining them greater airplay and critical exposure, the momentum is well and truly behind this five-piece. Their new single When The Tide Creeps In – which reached No.1 in the Amazon Folk Downloads Chart – is a heart-warming, soul-searching acoustic epic, and a harbinger for a forthcoming debut album that’s set to hit the shops next year.

So, is there an escapade this lot are likely to turn down? ‘Actually, the name’s really just down to alliteration to be honest,’ said Smith. Well, with the band in the thick of their first national tour, they’re certainly living up to their moniker whether they like it or not.