Travis @ Islington Assembly Hall 13th June 2013

Even though I have been a fan of Travis since the get go this was the first time I had witnessed them perform live. Now I arrived outside the venue at 1.40pm to see 2 people already sitting at the front of the venue. Talking to them was Neil Primrose who is the drummer in the band. After having a short conversation about how I look forward to the gig that evening and the new album Where You Stand it was then an agonizing wait until doors opened at 7pm. During that time it rained plus it was blowing a gale. The final 30 minutes went by quickly as the band came out to have official photos done then they waited around and had photos taken with the fans. After I had a picture with Fran Healy I then went back to my spot in the queue. Doors opened just after 7pm and once in I decided to run to the barrier and looking back at it there was no need to as I could of just walked up to it

Everything was plunged into darkness then just after 9.05pm the Scottish 4 piece took to the stage and opened with a song from the new album Where You Stand. This being Mother and this was extremely mellowing and beautiful with some lovely harmonising. This had been perfectly written and was played at a steady pace. “Why did we wait so long” was one lyric prominent in this song and judging by the reception and how terrific this song was new album Where You Stand will be simply incredible. Straight after it was onto Selfish Jean which was taken from the 4th LP The Boy With No Name. This was a slice of indie pop and it went down with the audience. This tune told the tale of a broken friendship and how Jean and her self-centred ways ruined a relationship. Its vocal delivery was superb and the bridge of this tune was actually taken from Standing On My Own which appeared as a B side to Tied To The 90’s. There were rapturous cheers for Writing To Reach You. This was the 1st single which was lifted from the sophomore LP The Man Who. In fact this sounded incredible just witnessing it being performed live in front of me. Writing To Reach You was both infectious and hypnotic at the same time. “How you all doing London. We’re back. We’re going to play some old songs and we’re also going to play some new songs. Which you won’t of heard. Remember these are the new babies. We’re kind of bringing them to introduce them. You’re like the aunts and uncles. So you got to be gentle” Fran Healy said before they launched into what will be the next single Moving which was written by Dougie Payne. Now I rather liked this tune it does take time to grow on you though. Moving will make a promising single and I cannot wait to hear the studio version to it. 12 Memories song Love Will Come Through was the next to be performed on the night. This number was very enchanting and extremely lovely as well. This was a song about how your loved ones always will come through for you. How you can rely on your parents, friends and so on – no matter what the issue may be.

It was then onto the newest single by the band and this being Where You Stand taken from the 7th LP with the same name. This was rather emotional and it sounded rather heavy at the same time. Fran’s vocals were powerful and this song was flawlessly delivered. There was plenty of cheering as soon as they launched into Driftwood. As expected this turned out to be one massive sing along as the gentle lyrics were quite contagious. My favourite part had to be its luscious chorus “You’re driftwood floating underwater/ Breaking into pieces pieces pieces/ Just driftwood hollow and of no use/ Waterfalls will find you bind you grind you”. There was a tinge of emotion from its lyrics as well. “We were away for about 5 years. Everyone was like oh we’ve split up which is understandable. We decided after our last tour that we write all these songs and you go and promote them and you play them. But then you have you’re own kids. They’re real like real people. Travis were really massively successful. If that success could get us anything it was this time with our kids which we’ll never ever have again” Healy then mentioned revealing the reason where they had been for the past 5 years. My Eyes was written when Fran knew he was going to have a son. This was taken from the album The Boy With No Name and it was a uplifting mellowing tune which was spectacularly delivered. Its lyrics depicted the very moment he knew he was set to be a father. The penultimate new song of the evening was Another Guy and this was a right cracker. This served as the pre album teaser which had superb lyrics. It sounded ever so majestic. It was then onto Closer. This number was indie meets pop and it had lyrics which just grab you. I was hypnotised by this and you just want to sing along to the lyrics. It was a favourite with the audience. “Just need to get closer, closer/ Lean on me now, lean on me now/ Closer, closer/ Lean on me now, lean on me now/ Lean on me now”. Paper aeroplanes were launched at them during the performance of this song. “I wrote this song if I was not there” Fran said referring to his son. It was then onto Reminder which had lyrics which were rules. For example one lyric was “Celebrate, Don’t be late, Finish what’s on your plate”. I found this to be rather cheery and the lyrics were superb. It was then onto a double dose of material from The Invisible Band. First up was Sing which was in fact the highest charting single by the band. This had lyrics which were delivered at a steady hypnotic pace and it was also highly addictive. It came as no surprise that this was a favourite with the audience. Everything went into delivering a superb performance of Sing. Everyone has there favourite Travis tracks and Side was mine. Whenever I hear this song I immediately remember watching the video when it was released in 2001 and how the band got abducted by aliens at the end of it. The lyrics were excellent and it was aided by a killer chorus which you want to sing along to. Side was a song you just want to jump up and down to. Slide Show was next to be played. “Today was the day/ For hugging and for kissing” Fran then sang altering its first line as it appeared both Dougie and Andy were kissing. Slide Show was mellowing and it had a slow tempo. What was straight after was Blue Flashing Light which was the hidden track on The Man Who as it was attached to the end of Slide Show (after 3 minutes of silence). What ended the phenomenal 16 song set by Travis was Turn which was the 4th and final single taken from The Man Who. This turned out to be a joyous track which had everyone singing along. Once over the band left the stage only for people to start chanting for one more song.

Moments later they came back onto the stage asking everyone to hush as they performed on the edge of the stage with the PA turned off. This turned out to be Flowers In The Window which was taken from The Invisible Band. This was simply spine tingling. The band were extremely close while delivering this addictive number acoustically. Even though it was a contagious no one sang along until its very end. There was also the sense of what I was witnessing was extremely special. “This is dedicated to y’all” Healy said before getting stuck into All I Want To Do Is Rock which featured on the début album Good Feeling. I actually really like this number. It was faultlessly sung and it was nice just to hear something from the first ever Travis album. “We’ll be coming back” Fran then said before leaving us all with the predictable Why Does It Always Rain On Me?. “This baby is a 17 year old now” Healy then said before they got stuck into this infectious tune.

SET LIST

Mother
Selfish Jean
Writing To Reach You
Moving
Love Will Come Through
Where You Stand
Driftwood
My Eyes
Another Guy
Closer
Reminder
Sing
Side
Slide Show
Blue Flashing Light
Turn

ENCORE

Flowers In The Window
All I Want To Do Is Rock
Why Does It Always Rain On Me?

OVERALL: First of all I should mention the support act Thomas J Speight who played a marvellous warm up set.

As for Travis what more can I say other than WOW. The set that they performed was greatest hits packed along with 5 songs from the new album Where You Stand. Each track performed was faultlessly delivered and it was a pleasure seeing old classics like Driftwood, All I Want To Do Is Rock and Why Does It Always Rain On Me performed live. Also the 5 new tracks were right belters and I cannot wait to hear the studio versions.

I enjoyed myself at this gig and I definitely will be back seeing them on the Where You Stand tour.

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