FEATURE: The Travelling Band – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed

This Bunch Of Fives has been lovingly provided by The Travelling Band who are bringing their brand of Mancunian Americana to The Cluny on Friday 10th November 10. The Travelling Band are a Manchester-based rock band. The core trio of Adam Gorman, Jo Dudderidge and Nick Vaal have been joined recently by Harry Fausing Smith (sax, violin, clarinet) and Sam Quinn (bass). They’ve just release their new album ‘SAILS’ via Sideways Saloon Records, and tell us their five favourite Americana albums…

Ryan Adams – Gold
I’ve loved this record for a long time.  It came out just after I had left high school and remember New York, New York being one of the first ever tracks I used to cover in a band with Mugger and our friend Tim outside of the school walls. I felt like the album captured elements of some my favourite bands such as Led Zep, The Who and The Stones.  Ethan Johns’ drumming throughout excited me.  I love the big “Bonham’esque”  playing in tracks like Enemy Fire and Nobody Girl. There is also a much gentler side to the album with tracks like Wild Flowers and La Cienega Just Smiled which I think is one of the most beautiful tracks I’ve ever heard.

Magnolia Electric Co. – What Comes after the Blues
This is a tough one to answer as it’s an extremely deep well and I’ve always found it difficult to tell where the lines of Americana begin and end. This could be a different answer on any given day, and Wilco’s double album Being There came to mind pretty swiftly, as did Ryan Adams self-titled record from a few years ago, or maybe Damn The Torpedos going further back! But today’s choice is Magnolia Electric Company’s What Comes After the Blues. I recently watched a documentary of Jason Molina and his band recording Josephine at Electrical Audio with Steve Albini and this brought me back to this record which I’ve revisited a lot over the years. It’s a beautiful record and can be desolate at points, and incredibly, I believe some of these recordings were the band playing the songs for the first time together, full live cuts, vocals included. It’s an album I’ll always return to from time to time.

Sun Kil Moon – Ghosts of the Great Highway
There’s a part of me that imagines Mark Kozelek hates the term ‘Americana’ and probably would think that our version of the opening song Glenn Tipton is stupid (if he heard it) because it’s too true to the original. I asked him to play it once at a show in Manchester and he duly obliged. That rendition was so different that night that it reminded of the seemingly stubborn ways Dylan reworked his early folk stuff where you couldn’t tell if he was doing it for his own pleasure or just to mess with the heads of people who wanted it to sound like the record. Either way, I love this album more than most, and that particular song saved my soul in 2008 after leaving my old band and my girlfriend in the same week. GOTGH bursts with nostalgia, obscure boxing references and is laden with beautiful imagery set to a stunning soundtrack.

Ryan Adams – Heartbreaker
I didn’t listen to Ryan Adams for a long time… he was always just a name that (for some unknown reason) had been logged under “middle-of-the-road rock” in the filing cabinet in my head. Somewhere along the line I started noticing that a lot of good friends who were massively obsessed with the guy, so much so that I started doubting myself – and that’s how I ended up listening to Heartbreaker. I still remember the exact room I was in when I heard it for the first time. The songwriting, the peaks & troughs, the Rock & Roll, the ballads, the Emmylou etc. etc. It’s an album that captures such a unique and honest energy!

Grateful Dead – ‘From The Mars Hotel
Tricky one!, but right now Grateful Dead’s From The Mars Hotel. There’s some super jammy tunes with a real vibey looseness to them, which I love – Bill Kruetzmann’s drumming seems to fray at the edges, the whole band, indeed, sounds like it is splitting at the seams, held only together by a one true groove! Add to the mix the pure, joyous quality of Jerry Garcia’s voice on tracks like Scarlet Begonias and Loose Lucy and it just leaves you with a smile on your face. The Dead are a bit like the Beatles in that they’re not afraid to display a sense of humour on record as well, which I like in a band.

Like this story? Share it!

Subscribe to our mailout