Had the pleasure of going to see Travis at Birmingham Symphony Hall last night (on my own as nobody I know would have been seen dead there) and they were brilliant. It was The Man Who live tour, so they perform the entire album through and then do a bit of a best of for the encore. Hard to believe that album was 19 years ago - I was 11 and it was the first album I bought, it was on cassette naturally!
Sound was pretty good after the first song where the vocals weren't high enough to start with, although the bass drum was a bit loud at times - why are they always so thumping regardless of the band?
It was clearly a very well rehearsed set, the guitar changes for each song on the Man Who section were smooth as anything mainly due to Fran Healy running off to the side to swap as soon as he'd finished the song so hardly ever got to enjoy the applause. He's a bit of a hero of mine I must admit.
The guitarist was impressive as ever, I'm not sure it comes across that clearly on record but he is a solid player and really plays to the crowd.
Gear wise (the important stuff!) I noted the following:
Fran Healy - variety of acoustics including one lovely 12 string, but also a nice matt blue finished relic tele which sounded great. Oh and a strat. The electrics went through an ac30. The into to Writing to Reach You sounded brilliant.
Main guitarist (forget his name). Same les Paul the whole time apart from when he switched to a banjo for a couple of songs. The banjo was on a stand for him to play which I thought was brilliant. He plays through an Orange amp, I think od30? But sounded huge when it needed to, but also cleans up beautifully.
The bass player played a bass into a bass amp, that's all I've got.
Turin Brakes were support, they were OK though the vocalist was ropey. The guitarist was good, interestingly he was playing an acoustic through a "The Twin" amp a lot of the time. How he played some of the lead lines he did on an acoustic I do not know. Which is a shame as the acoustic sounded awful through the twin.
Great gig, I felt like I sang every word. Those guys are (unexpectedly for some) very rock and roll, but it's the introspective mood I like. The "why use a make chord if a minor chord will do it better" mentality
If I have one more person say "oh they're like coldplay/keane/snow patrol" I will slap them though...
Water, come drown me, I'm done