There will be some, possibly the vast majority of you, looking at the sleeve of single #113 in this series and thinking that I’m having a laugh or taking the piss.
Not at all.
I saw Travis a few times in Glasgow as they made their way up the ladder of the music world. They were an enjoyable indie-rock band who all seemed to be decent guys and nobody would begrudge them having some success. They were best-known for a long time as a band who rehearsed in the daytime in the upstairs part of a famous Glasgow city centre pub that has been a favourite of mine ever since I could legally drink.
They got two big breaks. Firstly, they were taken on as support act to Oasis for an arena tour where their performances were tight, quick and consistent in contrast to what the Mancunians were doing as they showed the first signs of what would be a gradual decline in quality from their first two albums.
Secondly, they got themselves onto the Festival circuit during one of the most miserable summers in living memory and their new song Why Does It Always Rain On Me? became the sing-a-long anthem for the masses and took Travis to a whole new level.
I happen to think that Writing To Reach You is a lovely little song. Yes, it owes an awful lot to Wonderwall by the aforementioned Oasis which in itself is a classic pop song. And I know that in many people’s eyes the rise of Travis led to the later emergence of the likes of Coldplay and Keane but that’s more to do with the music industry than the band itself.
mp3 : Travis – Writing To Reach You
mp3 : Travis – Green Behind The Ears
mp3 : Travis – Only Molly Knows
The single, which reached #14 in the UK charts, was released in March 1999, a couple of months prior to the LP The Man Who which would go on to win the BRIT Award for best album.