Soundtrack Of My Life: Travis’ Fran Healy

Scottish singer-songwriter and frontman of the Glasgow rockers

The first song I fell in love with

John Lennon – ‘Imagine’

“When John Lennon was shot and killed [in 1980], it was all over the news and they re-released this song. I didn’t really feel the gravity of it because I was too young to really know what was going on. I knew that it was sad, but I didn’t really know the Beatles because I was only six or seven years old. But it catches your ear as a young person. I remember loving the melody of it, and still do. There’s never been a moment where I’ve heard ‘Imagine’ and thought, ‘I’m done with this song.’ It will never go away.”

The song I wish I’d written

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Joni Mitchell – ‘The Case of You’

“I often wonder what it would have felt like to be on the receiving end of one of Joni Mitchell’s love songs. They’re incredible, classic, forever songs. To be the guy who’s on the receiving end of this powerful, intelligent, smart, melodic, brilliant love song… I wonder how that must have felt.”

The first album I owned

Annie (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

“I loved that film so much when I was a little boy. I remember meeting a friend at the cinema and he was like: ‘You’re going to see Rocky?’ and I said, ‘No! I’m going to see Annie for the second time!’ It’s an amazing film. Fucking John Huston. Being a little only child, no dad, that feeling of a hard search for a dad really appealed to me. I didn’t realise it at the time but when you become a dad yourself you realise: ‘Holy shit man, having a dad is quite a big thing huh?'”

The song that reminds me of home

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Simple Minds – ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’

“It reminds me of the summer of 1985. Simple Minds went to my school, which I didn’t know until I went there. My aunt and uncle took me to Blackpool and when we came back there was Live Aid, and there was Simple Minds. They were just a Glasgow band but they were huge. That song was mega and The Breakfast Club was just out as well. When I hear that song I think, not just of Glasgow and home, but of the best summer I ever had.”

The first gig I went to

Owen Paul, Glasgow, 1986

“My friend won tickets in a school raffle. We were the only boys in the audience, right in the middle of all these screaming girls. The singer comes on stage, I can’t even remember the music so much, but I remember feeling: ‘Holy shit this is fucking cool.’ It was like a Beatles concert. It’s probably still the most intense gig I’ve ever been to.”

The song I do at karaoke

Neil Diamond – ‘Sweet Caroline’

“I had a big watershed moment when I was 19 at art school, and everyone went to this pub in Glasgow which had a karaoke bar called Candleriggs. It was absolutely packed. Everyone from school was there, all the movers and shakers, and everyone was being that funny way with karaoke which is between being completely honest and also ironic at the same time. I didn’t notice but my friends put my name down to sing. I was in bands but no one really knew I was a singer or did anything, but they put me down for ‘Sweet Caroline’ and my name got called and they all turned and looked at me, and I really don’t like the pressure of karaoke. I’ve done it so many times and the key has been wrong or it’s just been the worst experience ever. But I thought, ‘Fuck it I’m going to do it,’ and did it and it went really well and it was like a movie moment. I’m quite quiet usually, but I just totally became Fran Healy, whoever that guy is when you get on stage, whoever you turn into.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Jacques Brel – ‘Le Tango Funèbre (Funeral Tango)’

“I love this song a lot. It’s funny, and it reminds me of a funeral I went to for a journalist called Leo Finlay, who worked for Music Week. He passed away tragically one summer and his funeral was a really somber Irish affair, everyone from the music business was there. It was a cremation, so at the end the coffin goes into the hole, and as soon as it started moving you had the opening bassline to ‘These Boots Were Made For Walking’ [by Nancy Sinatra]. The family were like, ‘What the fuck is this?’ It turns out, one of his mates had managed to get in there and get Leo’s request on because they knew what he’d want. But [for my own funeral], I’d go for the Jacques Brel’s version of ‘Funeral Tango’ rather than Scott Walker’s just because no one would understand what was going on, only someone who was French or Belgian would know what was happening.”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Pomme – ‘anxiété’

“I randomly heard it on YouTube and I thought, ‘What is going on with that melody?’ The whole album is great, her melodies are a bit twisted. I had to recalibrate the way I try and remember melodies in order to remember hers. Her voice is fucking amazing.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Graham Nash – ‘Another Sleep Song’

“I’m on a break from it, but it’s not that I won’t ever listen to it again. It was literally the only song I listened to for about a year. I was having a bit of a moment and this song spoke to me. I would play it to anyone who came into the house. It helped me, like it was actually medicine, it would actually physically make me feel better when I heard it.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

“It’s not so much dancing, maybe moshing. I went to London with the art school in 1991 and we went to Camden Palace [now KOKO] on this big night out. It was the first time I heard ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, [just after] it was out. It was an indie disco, and I’ve never seen a place change temperature so quickly. I don’t know what they were dancing to before, but people just went crazy.”

Travis’ new album ’10 Songs’ is out October 9 on BMG

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