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Glaswegian rock quartet know where they stand

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LEAP FORWARD: Travis have settled into a comfortable space

LEAP FORWARD: Travis have settled into a comfortable space

LEAP FORWARD: Travis have settled into a comfortable space

IN many ways Travis are a classic example of the way a band can be championed and then simply shunned by the music press. The Glasgow quartet emerged in 1997 after a good five years on the sidelines with the debut album Good Feeling. At the time Britpop hadn't quite descended into coke-fuelled idiocy so songs like All I Want to Do is Rock, Happy, Tied to the 90s and U-16 Girls perfectly chimed with the times, being quite rocky but still underpinned by a Beatlesesque melodic knack.

Singer and chief songwriter Fran Healy and bassist Dougie Payne were clearly enjoying their first foray into the spotlight when they supported Oasis on tour that year but as the Britpop party turned into a messy hangover Healy & co were ready with their great leap forward.

Two years later, with Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich at the helm, they released The Man Who, a significantly more mellow album than the debut and the press absolutely slaughtered them. From darlings to dodos in the space of two years is a fate I wouldn't wish on any band (well ... .) particularly when it was clear that in taking things down a notch or three Healy and Travis had actually found their true voice.

But, while there was sniffiness among the London media the public were suddenly behind the band, such classy singles as Writing to Reach You, Driftwood, Turn, Coming Around and Why Does it Always Rain on Me? racking up serious airplay and pushing the album's sales past the million mark.

profile

Travis may have inadvertently opened the door for the likes of Coldplay, but the next album, The Invisible Band, maintained their profile, the singles Sing and Flowers in the Window being significant additions to their canon. A 2004 singles compilation topped the charts after which the band have released three more albums, including this year's Where You Stand. They seem to have settled into a comfortable space where they can continue to record and tour while having the self-awareness to know that moments like their Glastonbury set in 1999, are behind them.

Travis play the Olympia Theatre on Monday.

> George Byrne


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