13 October 11
Posted at 10:24
The Portland Arms Cambridge saw the first night of The Travelling Band's UK tour . They only returned from the recent European tour on Monday so no rest for one of Manchester's finest bands. The boys seemed pleased to be back on British soil. Steve 'Muggsy' Mullen's constitution suffering most, the claim being the cause was the staple European diet of ham and cheese and little else. I suspect the 'little else' may well have consisted of biere, bier, beer and the odd jagermeister! Enough of that, back to the gig. The Portland is not the biggest venue on the tour by a long way but big or small venues I'm sure they will all be as packed as the Cambridge kick off was last night (so I suggest you get you tickets without delay).
The boys started with One Dime Blues, a cover version of an original by Blind Lemon Jefferson. I only know that because some months ago I was puzzelling how the lyrics came about. I put a little AV sequence together for the tune- see/hear it here
As I mentioned the venue is quite small, so small in fact bass guitarist Chris Spencer could not fit on the stage, luckily he's quite tall so it probably didn't notice! One Dime Blues was followed by four more tracks from their latest album Screaming is Something. The crowd were well into it by now, the room was hot and the band were hotter. One thing you can guarantee with The Travelling Band is they will put everything into their set, no matter how big or small the venue, how big or small the crowd (although these days their following is, quite rightly, big enough to ensure every house is packed). A couple of years ago I introduced a friend to the band, after the performance he said "wow! they are stadium ready, they'll have no problem stepping up". And it's true, that's the energy and professional show you get at every TTB gig. They are tight and totally together.
After introducing a new song Borrowed and Blue, which is sure to become another favourite they wowed us with Sundial, officially released on October 17th. Sundial's sleeve's artwork is from David Shillinglaw top artist and top bloke who also did the artwork for Screaming is Something. Check him out.
I will certainly catch the band again on this tour and suggest if you can you do too, you will not be disappointed. Check out dates here