Sound: Well before I move on to the Scottish phenomenon that is Travis, I'd just like to talk about the support band, Brinkman. To be brief, I was very impressed with the band. Other support bands I've seen include The Noisettes, Snow Patrol and The Bravery, and none of these bands matched up to Brinkman. The band, although young, look completely in control of themselves, and provide the listener with an incredibly tight, jaunty sound. The promoter described them as a cross between Travis and Stereophonics. I think that comparison is way out, and are more like Razorlight and The Kooks, only better. The harmonies from the two singers were spot on, and struck a note with everyone in the crowd. The drummer was on form, with amazingly fast snare rolls. Their new single "I Wish" is out soon, and I urge anyone to check them out. Now, on to Travis.
There are 4 members of Travis, and on the night, there was also a Swedish keyboardist. Fran Healy is the singer and rhythm guitarist. His vocals, as per usual, were spot on and his own rendition of Flowers In The Window was wonderfully stirring. Dougie Payne, backing vocalist and bassist, was also brilliant and kept the music going, as well as the crowd entertained. Andy Dunlop, the lead guitarist and banjo player, was constantly bobbing up and down with his gaze lowered to the floor whenever he soloed, and once climbed up his stack of Orange amps to jump off. Instead, he thought better of it, as the small audience didn't look that strong. Finally, there is Neil Primrose, the amazingly tight and accurate drummer that filled in the sound.
To be honest I didn't have a clear enough view of the instruments that they used, but Fran Healy used a Telecaster for half of the set and an acoustic for the remainder of the gig. Dougie, I'm sure, used only one bass, and Andy used a strat style guitar and a stand-up banjo for Sing (in which, he stepped forward to play whilst his guitar was still strapped to him, and then stood back again to play guitar in the chorus). The sound and quality of it was amazing. I have always been a Travis fan, but haven't had the chance to see them, as I live in a town far away from any large venues. This was a real treat, and the band not only played wonderful music, but the way Fran interacted with the crowd made it a stirring performance. // 10
Perfomance: The audience, although slow going and with little atmosphere, soon got into the swing of things when Travis came on. On the last song, Fran Healy asked everyone to pogo to the final chorus of Why Does It Always Rain On Me. To my surpirse, every single person in the audience (even the OAPs that may find it physically impossible to do so) pogoed on the spot. That just shows how much control the band has on the minds and souls of the audience. The band played songs from their new album The Boy With No Name (Colder, Closer, Eyes Wide Open, My Eyes, Selfish Jean and One Night) and each song was amazing, especially My Eyes, which is a rather emotional song with a classic Travis song. Closer also got the crowd singing along, as it is the first single off the album. To my surprise, Big Chair wasn't played Live. There were also the old classics that popped up, including Side, Flowers In The Window, Why Does It Always Rain On Me, Driftwood, U16 Girls, Pipe Dreams, Writing To Reach You, All I want To Do Is Rock (in which Andy Dunlop climbed on top of his stack to get the feedback he so-desperately wanted), Sing, Love Will Come Through and a few more that I fail to remember. Each and every song was delivered to the CD standard, and more. The visual effects were very good (but not brilliant, as Grimsby Auditorium is a small place that only holds around 2 to 3,000 people). // 9
Overall Impression: The gig was held in the UK, at Grimsby Auditorium on Tuesday, 15th May, 2007. I am now more into Travis than ever before, as I love the lyrics and the melodies that they make. They make every song seem almost effortless, and because they are the kind of band that I love to listen to, they are something to look up to. The ticket was 28, and was well worth it for a, quite frankly, amazing night out. I don't want to sound like I'm kissing their arses, but they really were that good! The greatest moment was when everyone started pogoing, including Travis themselves. My legs still hurt. And of course, if they come to Grimsby agian, I will go to their next gig. // 10