Fran Healey, frontman with Glaswegian four-piece rockers Travis is late for the interview. He has eschewed the dubious pleasures of talking to the press for the incomparable delights of chewing on one of Glasgow's finest culinary specialities.
'That's the first steak pie supper l’ve had in about six months!’ he belches.
Travis have been away. Leaving the land of the deep- fried sun for London in 1996, they were snapped up by Independiente, the new label of Andy ’GolDiscs' Macdonald.
Macdonald’s old label was a proven hit machine, turning out major records by Portishead, Paul Weller and The Beautiful South. That Midas touch has now been applied to Travis, whose three singles have nosed further and further into the charts.
Now, on the brink of releasing debut album Good Feeling, recorded by Steve Lillywhite in New York, Travis have high hopes.
'We expect fame,’ says Healey. ’We do something that is good and honest and true, and I hope that it will inspire someone, like Joni Mitchell's Blue inspired me when I was eighteen.’
Travis: salt 'n’ sauce 'n' rock ‘n' roll
The chances of such dreams coming true are very high. Kicking off with a double whammy of singles, Good Feeling moves from the leisurely stomp of 'All I Want To Do ls Rock' through the thrilling romp of ‘U16 Girls’ and forthcoming release ’Happy' to the heartbreaking ballads 'Falling Down‘ and ’Funny Thing’.
Although Healey claims to be more inspired by people than other records — ’generally speaking, I know fuck-all about music' - it is possible to play spot-the-influence with Good Feeling. Teenage Fanclub lend a pinch of Caledonian classicism, Radiohead mix in a little slo-mo angst, and there is a lingering flavour of Slade in the glammy guitars and husky-throated singing. However, the album isn't derivative; rather it accepts its place in the rock canon and opts to have a ball. Healey sums it up.
’I would say we’re like a halfway house between Oasis and Radiohead. We're like reading a good book over a pint and a joint.‘
Taking the twin behemoths of British rock as your peers is the mark of a band with ambition and the talent to realise it. Let‘s just hope they don't become too famous to go out for steak pie suppers.
‘Nah, we’ll never get that famous,’ drawls Healey. ’And if we do, I'll buy my own fucking chip shop.’ (Peter Ross) it Good Fee/reg is our on Mon 8 Sep on Independiente
move toward their second album, which, if current discussions work out, should be out next spring
'We’ve been doing these songs live recently, and we were getting a lot of requests to record "Sp'rit Of Us" in particular People kept saying we should do it as a single, but in the end we decided an EP was a better idea Basically, this represents the next step for us as a band, and I think it points the way toward what we'll be trying to do on the second album '
That direc tron Involves a further shift away from a core country sound toward a more rock-pop approach, a change signalled by the departure of guitarist and lap steel man Colin i‘vlacFaiIane, whose place has been
Glasgow: King Tut's, Thu 28 Aug.
Yoo wrll have to be one of those discerning souls who snaps up The List as soon as it hits the street if you are to catch The Felsons’ final Scottish gig of the summer, With solo support sets from Jill Jackson and ex-Lost SOuI Band frontman Gordon Graham Then again, if you are one of their
42 THE llST 29 Aug—ll Sep 1997
growrng band of admirers, thtl will have that date firmly :ll mind aireatiy If yOu can’t make rt along, though, the band also have a new record out this month Lasso The Moon is a six- track EP which features tine new songs and a live—in-the-stiidio re- working of 'I Ain’t Beer: Anywhere Yet' Dean Owens, the singer .ind main songwriter of the band, savs the record is out at this stage in response to demand, and sees rt as a definite
taken by Calais Brown
'Colzn was a fantastic musician, but I ‘elt that he gave the band a country that was a bit too one- dirriensional for the songs I was writing Calais has brought in a harder edge to the band's sound, and we can always bring in a pedal steel at some point if we think we need it' iKenny lviathieson) I Lasso The Moon is out now on FRC
CONTEMPORARY Black On White
Edinburgh: Royal Lyceum,
Fri 29/Sat 30.
For anyone who is anxrous, albeit with misplaced anXiety, about going to a performance of avante-garde music,
Herner Goebbels' B/ack On White might be Just the rob. Music-theatre '
which is influenced by Jazz, rock and world mUSlC, the piece —— really known as Sc hwarz Auf Weiss — was premiered last March by the highly acclaimed Ensemble Modern from Germany, who now bring it to Edinburgh.
’An unprepared audience is always
the best one,’ says Goebbels. 'l’m not asking for any pre-knowledge at all. l work With a different concept of understanding. If someone says they understand something, they usually reduce what they see to what they have seen and heard before. My evening is not something you can understand in this classical way. It's more of an experience'
The demands on the musiCians are exceptionally high. Apart from playing their Customary instruments, they sing, speak, act and perform on instruments they have never played before For instance, all eighteen have to play a brass instrument so that they can appear as a brass band. In another section, brass players take up Violins And it all has to be done from memory wrth no music stands getting in the way, Goebbels stresses that it is nothing to do with opera, but is music theatre in a very direct way, so that the production of the muSic becomes the drama.
As the title suggests, the work is darkly coloured 'There is a story by Edgar Allan Poe,’ says Goebbels, 'which goes through the whole night. Shadows appear to a group of surVivors in a closed hall after an unspecified catastrophe. I have read this stery as a metaphor for writing the piece'
So the title becomes a reference to dark shadows, shadows which mean that nothing is f0i sure 'lt is a dark piece,' says Goebbels, 'but it's done
i With a lot of humour It is not a boring evening’ (Carol Marni
Black On White: dark but humorous