The Golden Troubadours – The River (Trent) Men
The Golden Troubadours are the best band to come out of Nottingham since Barrie Cadogan (Primal Scream Guitarist) formed Little Barrie.
The Golden Troubadours create dream like semi acoustic, folk, flamenco, blues numbers. So far they have released 2 EP’s of beautifully crafted original material, with a 3rd EP set to be released shortly. If you miss Fleet Foxes then The Golden Troubadours fill their void nicely, with echoes of Real Estate tinged Guitars and Nick Drake swooning ballads.
The band was formed in 2009 with founding members Lee Noon (Acoustic Guitar) , James Pheasant (Bass) and Matthew Taylor (lead vocals) playing around with Bob Dylan and Nick Drake tunes. After a year or so Matthew introduced a couple of his own songs and they started to play these at open-mic gigs to great response. When Jade Bowman (Acoustic & Electric Guitar) joined they soon completed a set of original music together and performed around the bars of Nottingham. The band is now complete with drummer Stefan Bainbridge, a cellist, a trumpet player and a trombonist. Key influences continue to include Bob Dylan, Nick Drake, Love, The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Gomez, Donovan and I Am Kloot, amongst others.
Their debut EP Silent Revolution was a surprise acoustic bolt out of the Nottingham blue sky. I think it was because I knew Matthew since going to school together and he brushed upon the band he was in and their imminent release that I stumbled upon them. I was shocked by how great they sounded. Your usual Nottingham band is either your average covers band playing the Bell Inn or a xylophone playing busker in the middle of the city centre. The Golden Troubadours were everything I was looking in a new band from my home city, a sharp folk, blues outfit, with exciting new material. With their 2nd EP Beautiful Revolving Jane again hitting a further level of musical maturity that sees the band carry on their pop, blues, flamenco, wig out you know this band mean business.
Their latest EP release, Portrait of an Autumn Queen, hit’s the high notes from the off, each song hitting similar but cleaner tones than Fleet Foxes. The band have their own originality to each song, that takes you to a place far away from the city streets of Nottingham, you can imagine these songs being brought together in Sun Studios or Sunset Sound. Matthew has one of THE best folk, blues voices I have heard in for many a year. If you thought Steve Winwood hit the brief with Traffic’s seminal track ‘No Face, No Name, No Number’ then Matthew on this EP and on the bands previous EP’s is the voice you’ve been waiting for. The rest of the band come together with such gentle beauty, they also display this on the live circuit, something that is rarely heard these days amongst the manufactured major label bands. Each track has been produced with the sort of production George Martin would be proud to own up to; clean, light and airy. The Golden Troubadours would win the Great British Folk off with ease.
The Golden Troubadours are a name to watch out for, Robin Pecknold, watch your back. To date the band have been playing the pubs and clubs in and around Nottingham, but they are fully deserving of a national tour of their own. Watch this space.
More writing by Matt can be found at his Louther Than War’s author archive.