Manchester based The Travelling Band will release their new album, Sails, ahead of a UK tour including a gig at Band on the Wall.

The album follows the release of their latest single Last Night (I Dreamt of Killing You), a song inspired by a nightmare in which lead singer Jo Dudderidge murdered his girlfriend!  On the inspiration behind the song, Jo commented, “It was a real dream and it kind of messed my head up at the time. The song explores the darkness of love and the brittle nature of relationships and escapism. I’d revisited J D Salinger’s ‘The Catcher In the Rye’ and reflected on the protagonist Holden’s misguided adventures in New York as he searched for a deeper meaning in life. There’s a part of me that hasn’t really grown up and is constantly searching for something missing. I relate to his character in that way. I tried to weave that into the song as best I could. I’m not a killer though, I’m way too untidy to get away with it.”

Beneath the surface of the rockier exterior and beautifully woven string and horn textures, are unexpected darker lyrical themes.  They reveal a band navigating stormy waters with personal and relationship issues emerging after ten years of hard-hitting life on the road. Two of the five remaining founding members jumped ship during the album’s turbulent recording process, and an album that was essentially recorded live ended up taking a further twelve months to complete.

Ironically, it was Spenny, one of the two departing members, who had driven the band to get back in to the studio after the event that Jo has dubbed “the Christmas miracle”. The band received national publicity following a social media outcry after all their gear was stolen along with their tour van. “What happened made us feel wanted and relevant to people’s lives. The band seemed bigger than just the members,” Jo says. When the van and all the gear was safely returned, Spenny floated the idea of getting straight into the studio to record a new album live, quickly.

However, despite the initial enthusiasm, the band started to fracture. As the recording process stalled, Jo travelled to Nashville and became inspired by the sense of community amongst artists and musicians in the city’s buzzing East Nashville suburbs. He returned to Manchester with renewed confidence, wanting to create a similar kind of supportive hub in his home city.  “It seemed an obvious thing to me” he explains, “if there’s a city in the world that has that collaborative spirit at its core, then it’s Manchester.”

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).  This followed the departure of original members Mugger (guitar) and Spenny (bass). Chris Hillman (guitar and pedal steel) joins them for live shows, which feature the dual lead vocals of Adam and Jo.

When do The Travelling Band release their new album?

The Travelling Band’s new album Sails (the title has been taken from a lyric in the closing song Leftover Lines) is released on 25 August.

Where and when do The Travelling Band play in Manchester?

The Travelling Band play at Manchester’s Band on the Wall on 17 November 2017.  The gig is one of 14 dates The Travelling Band perform in November.