Quietly dominant, in so far as their enduring legacy, and actually maintaining a quite cult-hero status as a stand-out band, the members of Travis are currently on tour celebrating their album, ‘The Man Who’. The sophomore album was originally released in 1999, and ultimately led to the band growing into what they are today. During the set at The Cambridge Corn Exchange last night, Frontman Fran Healy took his time between songs to give plenty of fleshing out of the back story for each track but also illuminating the details of the sonically brilliant album as a whole.
The album generated tracks such as ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’, ‘Driftwood’ and ‘Turn’ which led to the Scottish group achieving the BRIT Awards for Best British Album and Best British Band, solidifying the quality of what they had created. Staying 11 weeks at No.1 and selling nearly 3 million copies, the album garnered them headline slots at Glastonbury and Reading Festival. But, Healy explained that the album did not initially do well critically, leaving quite the bad taste with some, who marked it as too depressing. However, what became the sleeper success story that year, was the release of the single, ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ and their performance of that song at Glastonbury. Fate stepped in and ‘the heavens opened’, as Healy put it, on the first line of the song during the festival, creating an atmosphere of serendipity and securing the song in a bit of music history.
Playing through their set, woven with ease, each song a distinctly Travis-type narrative, thematic yet pared down and seemingly effortless, this band know who they are after 22 years, and it is both comforting and something to respect. As they gathered in the muted spotlights together during moments of the performance, the admirable brotherly bond is plainly evident, and can only build upon the big heart they inject into their sound. Finishing on ‘Sing’ during the encore, the audience were left on an undoubtable high, all openly satisfied knowing they had just seen a bit of greatness performed.
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