Last night I went with a group of eight people to see Traveller Blues Band at their first gig at AJ’s Bar None in Torviscas. We all had a tremendous time. The bar was not filled to capacity; however, there were about 20 of us who stayed the whole evening and lots of holidaymakers were coming and going.
At one point the bar ran out of tables although they had a few chairs left and we invited a couple of tourists to join us, but they turned down the ‘mad locals’ who were singing and dancing to all the well known classics like Voodoo Chile, Johnny B Goode and Minnie the Moocher.
Every time I see this band they add more and more music to their already large repertoire, there were several new songs last night. I can´t recall all of them but there was a really good Traveller take on the Rolling Stones, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and Get off of my Cloud. I thought their version of Gimme some Lovin was as good if not better than Spencer Davis, and I used to really rate Steve Winwood. There was quite a jazzy little original number called Bad Medicine tucked in there – I can´t remember how it went just that my toes were tapping which for something you have never heard before has got to be a good sign.
Whiskey’s 9-year-old son AJ joined them on stage until mum took him reluctantly home, as it was school tomorrow! It was funny to overhear him say to Mags the owner, this is called AJ’s bar, is it mine?
I think anyone who goes to a Traveller gig will be surprised; you will never see the same show twice. It is not every band that’s willing to stake out new musical territory and embracing fresh challenges. I believe Traveller are now more than the Blues Band they originally started out as. They are what I think is technically called a ‘jammin band’ while this iconoclastic combo play by their own rules they still play the music people want to listen and dance to but in their very own style. I know they rehearse but sometimes halfway through a number they will throw in something different. The chemistry between these four guys is so good that it is not until the end of the number that someone (usually Mad Dog) laughingly says, what was that, we didn´t rehearse it like that, thought you would catch us out?
At almost 1.00am when most people had gone back to their hotels, we had a special treat. Andy James, who is the best Robbie Williams around, started to jam with the band. He did not know Robert Johnson’s Crossroads, but picked up the words and gave us a Robbie version, it was brilliant. I am hoping these two entertainers will get together again in the future, as it would be interesting for ‘Robbie’ to sing along with Traveller and vice versa.