Talking Music: Jo Dudderidge of The Travelling Band

Focused around the songwriting talents and production skills of Jo Dudderidge and Adam Gorman and the rhythmic driving force of enigmatic drummer Nick Vaal, Manchester’s The Travelling Band have been quietly honing what Marc Riley described as “Mancunian Americana”. 

Their latest album, SAILS mines a rich seam of influences, with key album track ‘Last Night I Dreamt (of Killing You)’ and the grungy ‘Wasted Eyes’ highlighting the band’s love of American indie rock, but still with that Mancunian twist nodding to Elbow and I Am Kloot. ‘Mopping Forwards’ draws on their time spent in East Nashville and the almost Satie-like melancholic ballad ‘Loser’belies the darker turn that Jo and Adam’s lyrics have taken.

Andy Howells recently put questions to Jo Dudderidge of the band.

What lead you to decide you wanted to become a musician?

I’m not sure you decide as such. It decides you. I was about 6 when I started messing around on the piano at home. I picked it up pretty quick and never really looked back. 

Who are your music influences?

Hendrix and Nirvana were my early obsessions followed by Oasis and then The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. At 13 I was writing songs and I spent my teens basking in the tail end of Britpop. Then around the age of 19, which was when I started playing in bands earnestly,

I began getting into more 60’s stuff, as well as folk, bluegrass and country. Everything by Dylan and Neil Young, the giants of American music like Tom Petty. Then I got obsessed with vocal harmonies and bands like Crosby, Stills, & Nash and The Grateful Dead. I love bands like The Shins, Wilco and The National too. Songwriters like Mark Kozelek and Damian Jurado. And Radiohead of course. Always. Good guitar music, basically. Good songs.

Can you tell us about your new release SAILS?

It’s our fourth album and has been produced by myself and Adam at Pinhole Sound Studio in Manchester. It’s deceptively melancholic and wry but it’s also very beautiful with big mood swings. A lot of people are saying it’s our best album.

If there’s a track that best defines you as an artist what is it and why?

Oh man! I don’t know about that! That’s not for me to say really. Out of this current crop of songs I’d say I’m most proud of ‘Loser’. It’s deeply honest and probably one of the better songs I’ve written.

What can people expect from your forthcoming show?

We’ll probably play most, if not all of the new album, but also reworks of older stuff that we’ve not been near for a while. We have a couple of new members too, so it should be a brand new show for most of our fans.

What are you listening to presently?

Elle Mary & The Bad Men

Vinyl or digital?

Vinyl. Simply because you have to engage in the process of listening when playing records. Digital music is often a passive experience.

  • The Travelling Band play Bristol’s Thekla on November 2nd, visit for further information.
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