When one of the first things mentioned from a musician is, “british people know how to dance!” you know they’re either lying or must be making some truly funky music to get people busting a move. And Escort are definitely the band to do that job. Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, this band is bringing disco into the 21st century. No throwbacks or nostalgia, “it’s not sequins or bellbottoms! I may have big hair but that’s it!”
Whilst we sit in the lush surroundings of Dean Street Townhouse, the energy that radiates from these three is palpable. Eugene, Adeline and David, three members of the highly-acclaimed band Escort, have three different backgrounds in music. Eugene began playing clarinet in elementary school before joining a Ska band in high school. David has a similar story, starting with drums in the third grade and then also joining a Ska band in high school. Adeline’s story, however, is rather different. Born in Paris into a family of musicians and singers, she joined choir at the age of seven, touring and appearing on TV. After high school, she made the move to New York and took up bass before Escort whisked her away to join their adventures. Whilst they’ve only just started to become known in the UK they’ve already made some huge waves back on their home turf in the US.
Escort began as a reaction to all of the old disco tracks circulating in New York. “You see, DJs playing whole sets of old disco for people in clubs today, that’s what really sparked the whole project. That’s what we were into,” Eugene reflects. What is most surprising, is how many people make up the band itself. A whopping seventeen members make up Escort during their live performances, because, “to pull off disco music live you need all the instruments.”
The name of the band itself conjures up something that is slightly deviant but classy. However, Eugene tells me otherwise, “it started as an email thread of terrible joke names. We’d all try to 1-up each other on the crapiest names. Then our guitarist, Dan, saw someone carrying their dog and the brand of the dog carrier was ‘pet escort’. We took the ‘pet’ off and we got a pretty good name from it!”
These loveable, crazy musicians always make sure they have a good story to tell. The three tell me about a few of their gigs from 2012 and they certainly have plenty to spill. “In 2012, we had one of the most unbelievably fun shows in Lisbon with 500 people in this club," David reminisces. “It was Eugene’s birthday and we hadn’t slept a wink. We bought out the cake between the last couple songs and, as we started singing happy birthday, the club joined in singing. Then they sang it back to us in Portuguese!” Adeline then goes on to tell me about more of their crazy adventures. “We played our biggest show ever (Montreal Jazz Festival with an audience of 100,000). It was completely insane. It was like we’d stepped into a ship and gone to a different planet.”
Escort are certainly on course for the stars. Last year, Rolling Stone magazine announced them as one of their ‘Top 40 albums of 2012’. “It felt great and I can’t wait to be number one!” Even with all their success so far, they’re still dreaming big (and wild) for the future. “We’ll take Celine Dion’s spot in Las Vegas and we’re going to have multi-coloured tigers, not just white but red and purple!” says Eugene. Adeline adds even more to their plans, “I’ll come down and swing from a trapeze and I’ll have guys shaving my legs on stage. That’s my dream!” From anyone else I’d have been scared by now but somehow you could just see it working for such an energetic and brilliant band. The world had better get Escort firmly on their radars and radios because they are bringing disco into the 21st century.
Escort will be re-releasing their self-titled album on June 17.