TRAVIS, GLASGOW ROYAL CONCERT HALL, 22nd MAY 2022
Its 21 years since Travis released their third album The Invisible Band and this tour celebrates the anniversary of the record, with a run through of the album and the addition of a few select cuts to bulk up the show. Supported by Glasgow’s Fatherson, the tour promised an evening of fabulous music.
The Invisible Band was released in June 2001 and saw Travis possibly at the height of their success. They had won Brit Award for band of the year, the single Sing from the album had the most airplay over UK radio that year, they headlined festivals T in the Park and Glastonbury and with a 237-date world tour selling out all over, the band could do no wrong.
Taking to the stage to a rapturous applause, singer Fran Healy resplendent in a bright pink suit and baseball cap enquired ‘how can this album be 20 years old when I’m only 32?’. Opening with Sing, the atmosphere was electric, the crowd on their toes from the get go. ‘For the love you bring won’t mean a thing, unless you sing…’ A terrific opener. And from a full house accompanying on vocals to Dear Diary, where you could honestly hear a pin drop.
Side, the 2001 follow up single to Sing was next. ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’ says Healy, who is in fine voice tonight and thankfully fully recovered from a recent hand injury. His anecdotes between tracks are amusing and brings the audience closer to the band, none more so than his tale of being caught short at a party in Alanis Morrisette’s back garden and being caught mid-stream by none other than Moby. Name dropping at its best.
Another top 20 single Flowers in the Window was the last of the big hits from the album but more top tunes followed. Safe, Follow the Light, Afterglow and closing with The Humpty Dumpty Love Song, the band were greeted by a huge roar of approval. 21 years later and the album still sounds magnificent.
A seven-track encore came next, including more hits Driftwood, Closer and Turn before the evening ended on the only tune possible, the 1999 smash Why Does It Always Rain on Me, with the crowd jumping around threatening to cause a mark on the Richter Scale, Healy again orchestrating a mass bouncy and more requesting more backing vocals at the song’s finale, and being Glasgow the crowd duly obliged.
The Invisible Band is a great album. It’s 21st birthday has arrived in a flash, but even now it still sounds great, with some timeless tunes on it. Travis themselves are sounding as great as they ever have and mixed with a Glasgow audience and a great sounding venue this couldn’t fail to be anything but a fabulous gig. With this evening’s exploits being recorded for posterity, you may be able to relive it all again soon on some channels or DVD. Top marks from the Glasgow songsters.
Review and Photographs by Stephen Wilson