Sydney Enmore Theatre

Tonight they officially become the nicest band in the world...

Try as they might, [a]Travis[/a] are not going to rid themselves of ‘the nicest band in Britain‘ tag in a hurry. Because tonight in Sydney they officially become the nicest band in the world.

Storming on stage with a rousing ‘U16 Girls’ takes the cosy crowd by surprise, a trusty few knocked rudely out of their bubbles of thought that ‘The Man Who’ was the band’s sole album and subtle soothing tunes was what the lads did best – ’97 debut ‘Good Feeling’ having just been released in Australia officially a mere fortnight ago.

One thing established early on then – this is not going to be a passive gig with candles and cosy firesides. This is going to be rock’n’roll, kids, and it is going to kick those chart-topping US teen queenies off their powder puff pillows. ‘Good Feeling’ and ‘All I Wanna Do Is Rock’ follow soon after, consuming the crowd like the traditional [a]Travis[/a] stormclouds gathering above Sydney town on this cold winter’s night.

A set that echoes the Glastonbury headline slot, bringing on ‘Safe’, ’20’, ‘Good Day To Die’, assorted ‘The Man Who’‘s and now staple cover of The Band‘s ‘The Weight’. It takes a while for the Aussies to catch on to ‘Baby One More Time’, but when they do the guffaws and cheering lift the rafters – and who’s to deny they know the lyrics to a Britney track by heart at a time like this?

Treated to Franny‘s 20 press-ups before ‘Turn’, Dougie taking centrestage for ‘Just The Faces Change’ and Andy‘s manic playing, tonight was a fitting introduction to what could prove to beScotland‘s greatest export since William Wallace – or should that be Billy Connolly. As they bid farewell with‘Happy’, one joyous reveller sees the light and takes to the stage – encouraged even more so by young Mr Healy kindly persuading security to let her bounce around in front of a bemused Neil‘s drumkit. As Andy gives her his plectrum to assist in the strumming of his guitar, and Dougie runs over for a boogie, they reaffirm the ‘nicest’ tag without even having to try. And when it is all over, the kids put on their jackets and prepare to face the torrential downpour outside. The rain’s still following [a]Travis[/a] wherever they go, but it’s all looking sunny on the inside.