TRAVIS – AMERICA

Fran Healy says US "feels like second home" as they unveil three tracks from the follow-up to their hit album 'The Man Who'...

Travis debuted three new songs during a one-off US headlining gig at the El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles last night (April 10), nme.com can reveal.

The songs – ‘Coming Around’ tipped to be the band’s next single, plus ‘Safe’ and ‘The Cage’ – are all set for inclusion on the follow-up to the band’s million-plus selling ‘The Man Who’ album and were an unexpected treat for the sell-out crowd of fans – part of a growing army Stateside.

In fact, the band’s current rise in popularity Stateside was given a nod by Fran Healy himself last night. “This kind of feels like a second home,” he said before drifting into ‘Slide Show’, the 13th of an 18-song set.

Indeed it was as if the boys from Scotland were playing to a hometown Glasgow crowd instead of 800 Californians.

Travis decided to play the gig on their one day off from their current job supporting Oasis on their US tour. The band also plan a further week of headlining dates in the US straight after the last Oasis US date on May 6 in Atlanta, Georgia, dates tbc.

An uproarious cheer went up at last night’s gig as Travis took to the stage at 10.15pm, prompting a befuddled looking Healy to step up to the microphone and ponder: “Are you sure you’re here to see the right band?”

They took off with Neil Primose still on drums, as his Mancunian stand-in Bo Walsh is only due to take over closer to the birth of Primrose’s child, as previously reported on nme.com.

They started with ‘All I Wanna Do Is Rock’, ‘Good Feeling’, ‘Writing to Reach You’, ‘As You Are’ and ‘Driftwood’.

And it was clear from the audible voices singing in unison to songs released only a week ago in America, that Travis are going to prove more than just a British phenomenon.

Obviously comfortable on stage, Healy not only introduced most songs, but made a confessional apology for not knowing Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Freebird’ at one point – though no one had requested it. This led to bass player Dougie to spontaneously break out in the refrain to Sisquo’s the ‘Thong Song’ before the “slightly less raunchy,” ‘Turn’.

As for the new material, ‘Safe’ bore the charm of a ‘Definitely Maybe’ era Oasis b-side, ‘Comin’ Around’ carried a La’s-style jangly merseybeat, and ‘The Cage’, which Healy dedicated to his girlfriend and a member of Remy Zero came off a wistful, broken-glass Travis melody.

During the encore, they played their corwd-pleasing cover of Britney Spears’ hit ‘Baby One More Time’ before saying goodnight with a rocking blow-out version of ‘Happy’, which Healy “dedicated to all the people in this whole room and this lovely city.”

By the end of Monday’s show Travis clearly identified themselves as the unrivaled standout among the current crop of British bands hoping to break into the American mainstream.

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