Travis

Travis discover that FirstFoot is writing an article about them

In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was Music. And lo, Music begat Rock n Roll. Rock n Roll begat Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly, who in turn begat The Beatles. And the Beatles, for their sins, begat the bastard child that was Oasis.

The point is, every musical act in history has "borrowed" from what's gone before, and Travis are certainly no exception. Some say they sound like a cross between Oasis and Radiohead with a bit of Teenage Fanclub and Paul McCartney thrown in for good measure. Nothing wrong with that, if you like that kind of thing.

It would appear, however, that for some reason, of all contemporary Scottish bands, popular opinion of Fran Healey and his merry band of fellow former art students is more acutely polarised than most. People either love 'em or hate 'em. The Gallacher brothers, with whom the band have toured, have publicly professed themselves to be big fans and that, for many folk, is more than ample reason to regard them with utter disdain and write them off.

Their supporters (of whom, it must be said, there are many) will tell you that "Flowers in the Window", a truly McCartney-esque piece, and "Why does it always rain on me?" are musical masterpieces that rank amongst the finest pop songs ever written.
Fran shows that there are no hard feelings when he meets FirstFoot
Fran shows that there are no hard feelings when he meets FirstFoot

Their knockers, on the other hand, will argue that tracks like "Sing", which, pretty though it is, repeats the word "sing" about 14 million times, demonstrate a lyrical ineptitude only marginally less excruciating in its banality than such erstwhile classics as "Agadoo" or "Una Paloma Blanca".

These same cynics will tell you that the reason why it always rains on you, Frannie boy, is because at heart you're just a dirty hippy who could do with a good wash.

The truth, however, as ever, probably lies somewhere in-between the two extremes, and in fairness it is perhaps still too early to judge the real contribution of Travis to musical posterity.

The jury is still out on this one.

So for now, on the back of three largely not-bad, half-decent albums, we'll have to give the boys that peculiarly frustrating Scottish judicial verdict of "Not Proven".

TRAVIS TRIVIA FOOTNOTE

  1. Their first single "All I Wanna Do is Rock" was originally called "All I Wanna Do is Fuck", but not surprisingly the record company insisted on the change. This is perhaps less of a cop-out than it might at first appear, given that the original derivation of the word "Rock" was American negro slang for, you guessed it, "Fuck".
  2. The name "Travis" is taken from Harry Dean Stanton's character in the movie "Paris, Texas". So now you know.

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