Live Review

Travelling Band, The Nest, Hoxton

The Mancunians oscillate between upbeat bluegrass folk and radio-friendly, country-rock fare.

Photo Credit: Natasha Morris

The etymology of band names is littered with odes and homages, obscure references preferred, to show musical depth and avoid any critical predicates. Bowie was muse to the Kooks, Iggy Pop imbued the Dum Dum Girls, and Talking Heads inspired Radiohead, to, pun excepted, name but a few.

Much like CCR, their likely inspiration, Travelling Band, are multi-instrumentalist urbanites, singing with a country styling, happily delivering vocal harmonies, finger picking, Americana-tinged guitar solos, and layering of various acoustic strings instruments, including the charming but genre-obligatory mandolin and harmonica.

Confusion is de rigueur, in the recently revived folk scene, bands swapping instruments, sometimes vocalists, and in thronged basement bar confines, the Mancunian five-piece oscillated between, at their best, upbeat bluegrass folk and, less inspiring, radio-friendly, country-rock fare, the highlight of the latter, the grand, orchestral accompanied, ‘Sundial’, pared down live, yet retaining its sweet but anthemic demeanour.

The more desirous moments, witnessed the lilting vocals, and flat-picked sliding guitar of ‘Battlescars’, the stop-go false endings and acapella vocals of ‘Weary Beaten Road’, and perky banjo and drums of the serene ‘One Dime Blues’.

The road to shoe-filling pilgrimage is a long one, filed with directional choice, and despite musical bright spots, this band have far to travel.

Tags: Features

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