Famous for its music scene, Manchester didn't disappoint when offspring The Travelling Band visited the Big Smoke last Thursday; and despite it being a miserable rainy evening outside, Londoners weren't deterred from filling The Boderline in Soho. In fact, the rich warmth radiated from the set was enough to warm anyone on the cold November night.
Adam Gorman's gentle voice on opening song 'Screaming is Something' set the tone for the evening, and in true folk-rock style the background harmonies provided a perfect accompaniment to the melancholic melody and sincere lyrics. With a rendition of Blind Lemon Jefferson's 'One Dime Blues', the five-piece managed to cast enraptured silence over the audience from the first line that Jo Dudderidge uttered, and when he sang completely unaccompanied, you could have heard a pin drop in the venue. Constrasting with many of their other songs, the stripped back quality of 'One Dime Blues' was refreshing and even though it wasn't a Travelling Band original, the song was so uniquely arranged you wouldn't be mistaken in thinking that they'd written it themselves.
'Battlescars' easy breezy country pop was uplifting, and despite it being nearly Winter, the summery twang of the guitar brought back memories of the months just passed. With drummer, Nick Vaal, on the maracas and such an upbeat tempo it was a definite crowd-pleaser and much to my amusement I noticed two women link arms and dance around in a circle. The true highlight of the evening however, came in the form of 'Sundial', their latest single, and perhaps one of their most upbeat numbers as well. With a strong drum beat and catchy lyrics it was hard not to sing along, and Dudderidge picked up on this, dividing the audience into singing two part harmonies. The most successful of gigs always involve audience interaction, and it was no surprise that despite a few grumbles from the 'uncofident females' as Dudderidge described them, the crowd didn't hesitate in joining in.
Playing at such an intimate venue like Borderline, The Travelling Band's raw energy shone through in a way that is often lost on a larger stage, however as their fan base steadily grows it'll be interesting to see how they cope playing at far larger venues, though knowing them, the sound will only be bigger and better.
The Travelling Band continue on their tour of the UK, so check http://thetravellingband.co.uk for more details. Their album 'Screaming Is Something' is out now.