Pop: He's miserable and it's heaven
THERE WAS a time when Travis's Fran Healy was content. Indeed, sometimes he was so overcome with joy that, according to "Good Feeling", you would occasionally have to scrape him off the ceiling. But Healy has found a dark side. Far from the "I'm so happy 'cos you're so happy" sentiments of their debut LP, he is now more concerned with why it always rains on him and where his childhood naivety has disappeared to. Fittingly, Travis's second album, The Man Who..., is named after a psychological study of schizophrenia.
To look at, Healy is an unlikely candidate to pick up the miserablist baton. His youthful good looks, gleaming teeth and rosy cheeks afford him more the appearance of a recalcitrant schoolboy than of a grizzled old cynic, while the rest of the band are Identikit Britpoppers with their basin hairdos. But it was Healy's dual personality that won us over at Cambridge.
During the soaring, weepy "Writing to Reach You" and "Fear" his vocals reached such heights of dolefulness that you wanted to call for a therapist. In contrast, during "U16 Girls" and "The Line is Fine" he was the consummate rock musician, roughening his voice into a Waits-like growl and imbuing each line with a filthy swagger.
Granted, Travis's dispirited moments are sometimes too close to Radiohead for comfort and Healy's change of heart may have seemed abrupt in the eyes of his detractors, but it has shed glorious new light on both his vocal potential and his songwriting skills. New songs came across as intelligent and touching, if a little earnest, and the old ones seemed less irritating than I remember.
The only disappointment was the monitors lined up across the stage - de rigueur for gigs these days - displaying moving eyeballs, graphic equalisers and other irrelevant nonsense. If Travis insist on such superfluities, they would have been better showing The Man with Two Brains.
film Sex scene trailer sees a shirtless Jamie Dornan turn up the heat
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 2 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
Game of Thrones really doesn't want Danny Dyer - EastEnders star rejected three times
Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
The secret joke hidden in Silence of the Lambs' most famous line
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures