The Austin Chronicle


November 21, 1997, Music

La Zona Rosa
Saturday, November 22

Get your pop heart down from the cupboard, blow off the dust, and mark "Travis" across it in big loopy letters. Cute enough for girls, tough enough for the boys, these four Glaswegians are young, Scottish, and adorable. More importantly, they're Noel Gallagher's favorite band, and while the lads are currently on tour with our pop darlings Ben Folds Five, Travis rejoins Oasis on tour after their current stateside jaunt.

Pressed about Oasis hijinks on the road, Travis' dimpled lead singer Fran Healey claims that Noel and Liam are "dead nice," adding, "The thing you must understand about Liam is that he's just a wee boy, and you must treat him as such.

"Liam had this bit where he'd walk up to the front of the stage -- it reminded me of professional wrestling when the wrestlers go, `Aarrggh!' and all the kids scream, `Yeah!' -- and he's going, `Get your fookin' hands off my fookin' stage. Have a bit of fookin' respect, you fookin' bastards!' And they luv it. It's the rock act. It's like theatre. You go on every night and you put on a show."

While Oasis' live shows demand that you get the rock joke, Travis asks nothing more than you have a good laugh. They certainly do. A band whose battle cry is, "Hey, all I wanna do is rock," and "I'm so happy 'cause you're so happy," laughs much and heartily onstage. Just like the title of Travis' debut attests, their Good Feeling is infectious.

Had they more time than the requisite opening slot allots, they'd surely perform more of the ballads from Good Feeling that add depth to an otherwise rollicking album. On this tour, though, there's no time for such emotional delving. For now, Travis is fresh-faced and mad for it, crowded to the lip of the stage, close enough to reach out and touch. And these wee boys wouldn't mind if you touched the hem of their trousers. In fact, that would be great -- or as Healey says about almost everything... "Fookin' grrreat." -- Mindy LaBernz

Travis opens for Ben Folds Five. Old Pike opens for Travis.

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