Gig on the Green Special
never knew a
One of them trained as a jeweller. One of them loves Minis. One of them used to sell shoes. The world of TRAVIS is more colourful than you ever thought. Words: Mark Robertson.
1 The four members of Travis lived (along with a couple of their guitar techies) in a ten‘aced house in Haringey where they hung out like The Young Ones. watching The .S'impsons all day.
2 Fran Healy used to work in H. Samuel‘s jewellers at the Forge shopping centre and for a while at the Tunnel nightclub. He did so illegally. working in the club as a seventeen—year-old.
3 He had previously been in bands called the Sun Gods and Medicine Hat.
4 One of his first ever live performances was at Holyrood High School with the Sun Gods.
5 He is a very talented painter.
6 His favourite post-pub meal is a steak pie supper from the Kings Cafejust off Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow.
7 His first gig at the Barrowland was to see Hue And Cry.
8 Neil Primrose‘s was Big Country.
9 Dougie Payne’s was Love And Money and Texas 10 And Andy Dunlop‘s was Erasure.
1 1 They still rate the Ballroom as their favourite venue to play.
12 Blue by Joni Mitchell numbers among Healy‘s favourite albums.
13 His auntie and mum are great stage divers and did so to great acclaim at last year‘s T in the Park. His auntie once emerged from the crowd with a huge footprint on her blouse.
14 He is the former owner ofa green Mini which he eventually got rid of only to get an orange one as a replacement. It had a broken door and a faulty tape deck which only played the Mamas & Papas. When he became famous. the ﬁrst thing he bought with his eamings was a smart, red sporty Mini.
15 Pet of choice for Fran Healy: a hamster.
1 6 He keeps a diary. He wrote about it in The Invisible Band LP track ‘Dear Diary‘.
1 7 Andy Dunlop trained as a jeweller at Glasgow School of Art.
18 His favourite tipple from days gone by was the ‘exotic’ fortified wine. Thunderbird.
1 9 A bit of a shark on the old fruit machines. Dunlop. in his student days. was known as the
‘Puggy King of the Vic Bar’. (Glasgow School of
An Student Union) closely followed by bandmate Dougie Payne.
2O Noted as the quiet one ofthe four. Dunlop is alleged also to be the funniest (ha ha. not peculiar).
21 He is the proud owner of an eclectic record collection.
22 Dougie Payne used to sell shoes in Tiso on Buchanan Street in his younger days.
a nu; LIST 16—23 Aug 2001
23 He graduated with first-class honours in sculpture from Glasgow School of Art.
24 He is a huge David Bowie fan.
25 The B—side of the new single ‘Side‘ is a cover of David Bowie‘s ‘All The Young Dudes‘. It is Payne's lead vocal debut.
26 If he ever has a son. he wants to call him Lenny . . . Lenny Payne - Penny Lane. Geddit‘.’ 27 Drummer Neil Primrose enjoyed gainful employment as a security guard in Waterstone's and a barman in the Horseshoe Bar in Glasgow. 28 Which. fact fans. has the longest bar of any pub in liurope.
29 And it‘s a bar that has a long and tangled connection to the band. Thanks to Primrose's job there. the band used to rehearse in the room above the bar in their early days.
30 ()utside the pub. there now stands a plaque that the manager erected to celebrate the success of The Man ll’hn.
31 Appropriater enough fora sticksman. Primrose has a nervous habit of constantly drumming on any available surface.
32 He has a voice so deep only dogs hear it. 33 Another band member in the family way. he has got a beautiful wee baby girl.
34 His favouritejourney is from London to the Mull of Kintyre. where he takes his holidays. 35 Their debut single for lndependiente ‘U-lo Girls’ came out on April Fools Day 1997.
36 Their first ever release as Travis was actually 'All I Wanna Do Is Rock‘ which originally came out on Red Telephone Box records: which happens to be another moniker that the band Used before changing it to Travis.
37 As was Glass Union.
38 Named after a Beatles song.
39 Glass ()nion embarked on a promotional campaign which littered the larnposts and toilet walls of Glasgow with little green onion shaped stickers. They were very horrible indeed. This campaign got them banned from King Tut's. 40 This was to promote their only ever release. an eponymously—titled (‘D liP in 1993.
41 The band originally had two brothers (mysteriously known only as “the Martyn brothers”) playing keyboards and bass. They left and Dougie Payne took over on the four-string. 42 Glass ()nion early on played at a club called Stones on lidinburgh’s l’redrick Street. The venue is now an over-30s discotheque.
43 When back in Glasgow. they still enjoy a jaunt round town on the number 44 bus. which runs from Jordanhill through Queen‘s Park and onto llealy‘s one—time home of (‘athcart
44 The bus route was mentioned in the song ‘I Love You Always‘ from Good Feeling
45 Primrose is a huge Led Zeppelin fan.
46 Randy Travis is not — as many commonly think — a description of the band on heat. but a popular country rock star from America.
47 Photographer Stefan Ruiz did the cover shots for both The Man Who and The Invisible Band. 48 Stefan‘s mum is an art teacher at San Quentin Prison.
49 Some of the microphones used in the recording of The Invisible Band were once used by Frank Sinatra.
50 On their last tour of America. the band were involved in a fracas when they were confronted by a knife-wielding loon. The band were signing autographs outside their show at New York’s lrving Plaza and a man cried out. demanding that Fran Healy ‘autograph his dick‘. When Healy dismissed the character. he produced a knife and threatened to slit the throat of one of an autograph hunter. Thankfully the NYPD swiftly intervened and no one was hurt.
51 Right keen on classic cover versions are Travis. They have covered songs by the Ronnettes. Bob Dylan. the Band and Queen.
52 They. most famously have brought their plaintive genius and longing to the lusty squelch of Britney Spears‘ ‘Hit Me Baby. One More Time’. ()ne of their finest renditions of which was during the encore at Glastonbury.
53 Healy‘s choice of cover versions was not always so discerning. His alleged finest ever karaoke perfomiance was an interstellar rendition of ‘Footloose‘ by Kenny Loggins at Glasgow School ofArt I991.
54 During the course of their promo videos Healy has been hog tied in the boot of a car. done press-ups in pouring rain. been pelted with stones. shot with arrows and been caught in the midst of a food fight.
55 A food light which the band happily re- enacted for their appearance on Top Of The Pops while performing ‘Sing‘.
56 ()ne of Healy's favourite movies is It 's A Wonderfrtl Life.
Which it is. if you take heed of the inherent optimism in much of Healy‘s lyrics. And you should. at Glasgow Green. and remind yourself what good. old-fashioned. quality pop music sounds like.
'l'i‘avis headline the Main Stage on Sun 26 Aug. A new single ‘Side’ is out on 17 Sep.