It was 1999 at the Glastonbury Festival in England and Travis were performing. It had been sunny for several hours before Fran Healy sung the first line from the song Why Does it Always Rain on Me, then it suddenly began to rain. The following day the story was all over the papers and television, and with word of mouth and increased radio play of this and the album’s other singles, The Man Who rose to No. 1 on the British charts. It would go on to win Best Album at the 2000 BRIT Awards along with Travis being named Best Band. It was a glorious time for the band, but something that never quite translated over to the states.
It’s really quite puzzling to me that Travis would never have their breakout moment in the US, while Coldplay would come along and turn into a British version of U2. I really think that Travis write better songs and put together better records as well, but what the hell do I know? I’m just happy to see the band is still going strong and sounding better than ever before.
Their show at the Regency Ballroom was no exception. With a brilliant catalog to pick from the band played everything a fan would want to hear leaning heavily on The Man Who. The only thing missing was “Beautiful Occupation” from their dark horse release 12 Memories. This album was where I believe the band truly found themselves. It remains the dark horse of the band’s catalog, but to me I think it’s the band’s Zeppelin III. If The Man Who is their Zeppelin IV, then 12 Memories this is their terribly underrated less celebrated masterpiece. For some reason this one’s not even available as a download???
Other highlight from the evening included songs from the band’s latest album, Where You Stand. Many will say this is a return to form for the band, but that’s what pretty much everyone says when a band just simply decides to make a great album based on what they do best. For Travis that is simply writing amazing songs and connecting with their audience on an emotionally level. If that’s a return to form, then it seems as though they never strayed far to begin with.
There was one disappointment this evening, although minor. There was not any merch for sale. I was so looking forward to picking up the new record on vinyl and bringing home a T-shirt to proudly wear the next day. Sadly this was not an option and there were many fans that seem disappointed as well.
Check out more of the exclusive photos in the gallery.