Fran and the boys are in fine form as they celebrate the releaseof new album '12 Memories'...

TRAVIS celebrated the launch of new album ‘12 MEMORIES’ with a buoyant tour-opener in BELFAST last night (October 13).

The gig, the opener for a brief UK and Irish tour, was peppered with new songs from fourth album ‘12 Memories’. The band even rounded off their set with anti-war anthem ‘Peace The Fuck Out’.

However, the 2,000 capacity crowd at the Ulster Hall inevitably saved their biggest cheers for Travis standards ‘Side’, ‘Turn’, ‘Sing’ and ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me’.

The entire band initially seemed a little ring rusty but looked increasingly relaxed as the gig went on, relieved to be on the road again. Aside from several one-off shows, this is the first tour the band have embarked on since drummer Neil Primrose was almost killed in a freak swimming pool accident last year.

“It’s so good to be back,” singer Fran Healy said. “In the last year we went out to the edge and almost finished, almost never came back. It’s great to survive and come back.”

Healy, shining in a white suit, added: “Most of my ancestors are from Belfast. It’s always special to be back where your blood is from. There’s Scots and the Irish… there’s nothing like the Celts.”

Travis head for a hometown show at Glasgow Academy tonight. They then move to Manchester Apollo (16) and London Brixton Academy (17).