Saturday, April 11th, 2009
CONTEST – Travis @ The Sound Academy – April 21, 2009
TravisI’ll not be so ungenerous as to say something like, “Travis? They’re still around?”. After all, I got a lot of enjoyment out of their 1999 breakthrough album The Man Who, although those good feelings may have just been dispelled by the realization that that record came out a full decade ago. And though they never quite reached that level of popular success again, I know the Scottish quartet have forged a very respectable career in the interim.
But still, they’d fallen off my radar more than a little and I was a bit surprised when their latest album Ode To J Smith showed up in my mailbox last year, it being the first physical evidence of their continued plugging along I’d been faced with in some time. And I was even more surprised to find that rather than get softer in their old age – they were hardly rock monsters even in their youth – Smith presented a louder and more aggressive Travis than I’d expected. Fran Healy’s yearning voice does still soften the edges of anything it’s laid overtop and the ballad end of things is well-represented, but the record has an energy level that they are to commended on. I don’t know that the songs themselves are that noteworthy – loud or no, they’re still a pop band and there’s nothing that’s as hooky or affecting as their best work (though the anthemic “Song To Self” comes pretty damn close) – but it’s pleasing to see they’re still kicking and with such vitality.
And they’re currently kicking their way across North America on tour for J Smith and that itinerary includes a date at the Sound Academy in Toronto on April 21. And, courtesy of Fontana North, I’ve got a pair of tickets for the show to give away. If you want to go and promise to cheer just as loudly for the new material as you will for “Why Does It Always Rain On Me?”, them email me at contests AT chromewaves.net with “I want to see Travis” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address in the body. These are physical tickets that will need to be delivered. And as such, this contest will close at midnight, April 14 so that the post office has time to do their thing.