Friday 10 June 2005

The Men Who...

Last Thursday, I had the good fortune to see a Travis gig. It was a wonderfully low-key affair; they had been drafted in to play the Isle of Wight festival as a last-minute replacement for Morrissey. Having not played live for a while, they needed to play a warm-up gig. So it was that they came to be playing to a crowd of maybe 1500 in a provincial university. And what a gig it was.

Most of the crowd had come hoping for a "greatest hits" set, and weren't disappointed, with nearly all the band's singles getting an airing, including "Sing", "Side", "Turn", "Driftwood", "Re-offender", "U16 Girls" and more besides. We were also treated to the first public performance anywhere of a new song, "Closer", and, during the encore, a cover of Morrissey's "Everyday Is Like Sunday". For me, and probably many others, the highlight of the evening was Fran's solo acoustic rendition of "Flowers In The Window". With the PA and monitors turned off, it was just a completely unamplified Fran and his guitar... plus the crowd for the choruses, of course.

As you can tell, I was very impressed with the whole show. Fran was very chatty with the audience, there was no merchandising or heavy-handed security, and the encore concluded with a rousing, sing-along rendition of "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" to send the crowd home happy. This gig is a new entry in my "top five gigs I have ever been to" list, so I am more than happy to sell Travis to you... you can find lots of good stuff from them on Amazon right here.