Words by Tom Frodsham
Not many bands that commercially peaked 15 years ago could sell out a spot like Albert Hall. But that’s just what Travis did, and then some. Saturday night saw a heaving-to-capacity Albert Hall full of Travis devotees. Me being one of them.
The show was a tasteful mix of old and new tracks. Their new album, Everything At Once, was released two weeks ago and charted at a respectable #5. Tracks like ‘3 Miles High’ and ‘Idlewild’ are standouts from the new material, the latter a duet with Manchester singer Josephine Oniyama, who couldn’t be there as she’s gigging around Germany. Frontman Fran Healey loved the venue, questioning why they’ve never played there before: “…it’s my favourite Manchester venue we’ve ever played at”.
Despite resembling a 21st century Gandalf, Healey still has a clear passion for performing and at one point literally jumped into the crowd, getting an audience member to carry him on his shoulders while he sang. Of course, the golden oldies were the best received. Belters like ‘Turn’ and ‘Side’ made the night’s show memorable for all the right reasons. The audience itself couldn’t have given the band a warmer welcome, Healey even suggesting that this was the best crowd they’d ever played to.
The encore naturally saved the best till last, with upbeat gem ‘Flowers In The Window’ and new single ‘Magnificent Time’, which is accompanied by its own dance routine – “the new Macarena”. Even if it’s a bit depressing, no track other than their breakout hit, ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’, could be considered to finish the night on a high. It was a great to see a song that’s so famous for its misery bringing so many fans happily together under one roof.
The gig took place at Albert Hall on Saturday 7 May, 2016.