The Travelling Band step right up, walk right in, just in time for the autumn market. This is their fifth album, and their first for three years. Since forming in 2006, many have come to know, and love, the alternative folk rythmns emanating from this talented bunch from Manchester, England. The Big Defreeze, released 28th August on the Sideways Saloon label, is a joyful triumph, songs delivered with hope and glory.
Passing Ships is a rousing opener; a lively sea shanty with piano boldness. Garbo continues the party mood, thumping along accompanied by fuzzy guitars; a tune that, unlike the famous quote from the famous actress, definitely doesn’t “want to be alone”. It demands to be heard, even over a noisy, enthusiastic crowd. 25 Hours has more than a “feelin’ “ of The La’s at their jangle-pop, nineties best, and, Quicksand, like all the tracks, consistently delivers vocals on rebellious, tip top form.
The next composition, 78.8%, is actually 100% soft and delicious, although certainly rocks up towards the end. Half-way through the album, we find the bittersweet Making Eyes, followed by Borrowed And Blue, which like 78.8% , is another soft centre on a mostly up-tempo album, but that too revs up by closing time.
Sticks And Stones really bashes about with a lovely echoey chorus, with Fyfe and drum thrown in, and sequences nicely into, For The Fallen, a tune worn like a badge of honour on the (record) sleeve. Pinholes is a slow dance, and by the last track, Hands Up, we are roused from our easy listening chair.
I’m very impressed with the sonic quality beaming out, star like, from this mechanical wonder.
Contender for album of the year – already!