Seven months into my quest to listen to different musicians and I’ve arrived at a band I’ve known for twenty years (!) and enjoyed but fallen out of touch with. Travis have had huge worldwide success and have recorded many albums over those twenty years and, judging from reports and YouTube, are an awesome live band. I’ve chosen this band because Alfie worked with them a couple of years ago, recording (down the phone from NYC) the backing vocals for Paralysed:
Shades of Opera Dude from the Clint Boon days! Great song, performance and sheer delight from Alfie. The track is from Travis’s 2016 album Everything At Once and for me, is the stand out track. That might just because Alfie’s on it! Magnificent Time is a great track to dance to and I also really enjoyed Idlewild, the band’s first recorded duet, with Josephine Oniyama – what a lovely voice.
I first became aware of Travis, around twenty years or so ago, with the release of The Man Who (1999) and their indie music, tailor made for live gigs. Writing To Reach You is a lovely song, but Driftwood is my song of the album:
This is the closest thing to an upbeat song, at least from that album, from Travis – their songs do have somewhat of a reputation for being a little…downbeat shall we say? Fran Healy, write and lead singer says that Driftwood is “an ode to my girlfriend at the time and now wife, Nora, who was a bit of a hippy, and just floated through life and didn’t really focus all her talents of which she has many… not exactly uptempo but the lyrics in ‘Driftwood’ are as good as it gets and I could quite happily put it up next to some of the songs by my heroes and give them a good run for their money.”
Alfie’s vocals on Paralysed aside, the album I liked best when researching this was the 2001 follow up to The Man Who, The Invisible Band. There are many songs that I like, including Side, Pipe Dreams, Flowers in the Window and Indefinitely, but the video I’ve chosen is Sing:
If you know anything about Travis, Sing (along with Why Does it Always Rain On Me?) will more than likely be the song you know – it was a smash hit at the time and has withstood the test of time. It’s a great song about stepping out of your comfort zone and just doing it – a life lesson I’ve embraced wholeheartedly in the last five years. Outside the comfort zone is where the magic happens. It’s a great video too!
Everything At Once (with Paralysed) is available here:
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