Travis at Islington Assembly Hall
Towards the back end of the Britpop era emerged a Scottish band whose coming-of-age story is so uplifting, it should be included in motivational speeches up and down the mainland. After their famous Glastonbury performance in 1999, Travis became household names with second album The Man Who, a melancholic follow-up to their rockier debut Good Feeling.
Originally bashed by critics, The Man Who went on to top the album charts, win a Brit award, and also a few Ivor Novello awards, among other accolades. The band released another four albums before stopping in 2008, but this year they have returned with their seventh record Where You Stand.
Last night Travis played to a packed-out Islington Assembly Hall after embarking on a sporadic tour between the Far East and the UK. Opening with Mother, you could sense the fatigue in frontman Fran Healy’s voice. The band then powered through Selfish Jean – the guitars amped up to the maximum.
Writing to Reach You was a welcome step into nostalgia which seemed to calm Healy’s voice and settled the sound overall. From there on in the mixture of the old and new pleased the fans. Songs like Moving, Where You Stand, Reminder and Another Guy were surprisingly well received, despite not being long in existence.
However, it was classics like Driftwood, Closer, My Eyes, Sing and Turn that had the whole auditorium singing in unison. The choral exchanges were moving and showcased Healy’s ability to pen infectious lyrics and attach them to melodies – each of them encapsulating a feel-good factor.
After the encore, the band unplugged to join Healy at the front of the stage to sing a succulent rendition of Flowers in the Window. The group finished up with fantastic performances of All I Want to Do Is Rock and Why Does It Always Rain on Me? with guitarist Andy Dunlop displaying particular enthusiasm.
This night proved Travis are back and should never be forgotten.
Photos: Charlotte Bruning
For further information and future events visit Travis’s website here.
Watch the video for Where You Stand here: