Travis enjoyed a fertile association with a certain Manchester back in 1997 and were one of their few support acts whose songwriting craft and live energy could square up to their mentors earning them the title of “the Scottish Oasis”.
Few bands at the time could also write songs with the melancholic ache of ‘I Love You Anyways’, ‘Falling Down’ or the exceptional ‘Funny Thing’ which pointed the way towards the band’s zenith during ‘The Man Who’.
This new pressing of the album cut at Metropolis Studios in London and reissued by Craft Recordings sounds considerable and bright on vinyl aside from the occasion pop and crackle but that all adds to the 70s vibe on the likes of ‘Good Feeling’. The Mike Garson flavoured piano break is spine-tingling even all these years later; 24 to be precise.
Equally, they’ve not scrimped with the original artwork and inner sleeve which was hard to appreciate on the original CD release and less so after a dreadful reissue back in 2000. ‘The Line Is Fine’ continues the 1970s influence with a lazy Mick Ronson solo and riff that could have fitted on any Bowie album between 1970-73.
This being the band’s first album the Glasgow four-piece wear their influences on their sleeve and Midsummer ‘Nights Dreamin’’ is an unadulterated slice of Nirvana, the thread of Bowie, Oasis and The Beatles runs right through the album.
All I Want To Do Is Rock is a reminder of their solid live opener at the time that had Noel Gallagher’s Les Paul and Marshall stack all over it. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, a hero for some U2 and Simple Minds fans but for Lee Mavers of The La’s he will forever be the villain who derailed their much-loved debut.
Don’t you just love pop culture mythology?
‘Tied To The 90’s’ is another evocative albeit catchy reminder of just how good Travis were, they genuinely sound like a band having the time of their lives on this and live favourite ‘Happy’. If you want to take a nostalgic trip back to 1997 and be surprised by just how good the songs were you could do a lot worse than ‘Good Feeling’.
Good Feeling is out now.