BBC MUSIC llVE
One of Scotland's best live bands, TRAVIS are a fitting choice to kick off our coverage of BBC MUSIC LIVE, a six day festival of concerts in Glasgow by an awesome array of local, national and international acts. Over the next eight pages, you can read interviews with the most exciting performers and plan your enjoyment of the whole event with the help
Of OUT comprehensive listings guide. Words: Nicky Agate. Photographs: Anna lsola Crolla
'IF YOU DON'T LIKE TRAVIS,’ LAUGHS THE BAND'S frontman Fran Healy. 'you haven't got ears.‘ He‘s quoting Radio 1's Simon Mayo. a man so enamoured with the Glaswegian fourpiece that he made their new single. ‘Driftwood‘. single of the week. Twice.
Today is election D-day in Scotland. and Travis
have come home. They‘re back from the Big Smoke to see friends and family. to get pissed in Nice 'n' Sleazy and stumble into the Garage. to eat curry in Ashoka and drain their hotel mini-bar. But not to vote. ‘We're political.‘ claims Fran. ‘but I deal with the politics of the heart. Politics that affect the people on the street. like letters to the problem pages of Cosmo — politics you learn at the age of eight.‘
The beauty of Travis lies in their morality. their determination never to forget what it‘s like on the other side. They endured an eight-year slog. broken relationships. expulsions from Glasgow School of Art and a string of mundane jobs to get here. and they haven't forgotten a moment of it.
‘We played the Unison minimum wage gig because we believed in it.‘ says drummer Neil Primrose. erstwhile shoe shop employee. ‘lf it hadn't been for the band. the minimum wage
would be affecting each of us now. It all comes down to what you believe in honestly.‘
Honesty is vital to the band. Their new album The Man Who was recorded live in the studio. Fran dismisses 90% of his songs as ‘bollocks‘ and then bins them unheard. only to
be forgiven these control freak tendencies because the others believe he exercises ‘top quality control'. The band made a decision never to drink before playing a gig because guitarist Andy Dunlop remembers ‘going to see the Pogues and it becoming going to see Shane McGowan drink a bottle of whiskey". They simply respect their fans too much to play an imperfect gig.
Travis don't even pretend to say anything important with their songs. but just want to provide a 33",“ (H): backdrop to people‘s lives. ‘We want to say 3539:2253: absolutely nothing. and that's the thing I love about Han "ealy and it.’ claims Fran. 'Music isn't about the songs Andy Dunlop