Gemma & the Travellers give a nod to the early deep Soul, R&B, Northern Soul and Funk of the Sixties but add a refreshing twist with their unique songwriting. With her powerful and distinctive voice, Gemma M. is a true Soul woman who left the south of Italy as a teenager with a small bag in her hand and a bit of cash in her back pocket. Travelling through Europe, she met Robert P., an Anglo-Swedish guitarist living in Germany at the time and formed a travelling duo, which ended up returning to Robert’s hometown London. After many years getting sick and tired of the city’s distractions, they looked for a more creative environment beside the sea and fell in love with Northern Brittany, where they formed the band Gemma & the Travellers with friends and musicians from down the road.
Contrary to the “Motown” or “manufactured” model where the singer is rarely the songwriter, Gemma M. writes all of her songs with the help of Robert P. on the guitar. Her influences are Aretha Franklin and Julie Driscoll - genuine vibrations where life is your own creation! Recorded live at Lemoncake Studios in northern Brittany, producer Robert P. strived for an authentic and original Soul sound with a certain crunchiness and analogue distortion, like that of an old vinyl from the Sixties without falling under the overused retro banner.
The title track of Gemma & The Travellers’ debut album “Too Many Rules & Games” is a song about a woman who has had enough of a world run by the men looking only for their own personal glory and fame. Love is the answer to the problems of this world! “Where I lived before” is another highlight: “I am looking back at the years of my upbringing living in the south of Italy, a juxtapose of poverty, injustice and hardship with all the beauty of the land and warmth of the people; it was hard to be a teenager there as my mum would not let me go out, which amplified the rebel in me,” Gemma explains.
In 2015, the band played their live debut at London Jazz Café, opening for the Craig Charles’ “Funk & Soul Show”, who then described the band’s sound as a “tasty little nugget of Soul”.
Gemma & The Travellers are:
Gemma M: Lead Vocals & Songwriter
Robert P: Guitar, Songwriter & Producer
Damien B: Wurlitzer Electric Piano
Robin T: Drums
Alan B: Bass
Kevin H: Saxophone (Tenor & Baritone)