Glaswegian four-piece Travis celebrated their 20th year together with a massive pre-Christmas show at the Hydro. Despite a backdrop on stage of their latest album, they gave the fans what they wanted with a hit-filled set spanning their long career.
It’s easy to see how the band have been going for so long, and echoing frontman Fran Healy’s words, they are a band that need to be seen live. Balloons, confetti, a choreographed crowd dance, and a ‘jakey Santa’ choir, the night had all the makings of a spectacular winter gig.
Opening with ‘Everything at Once’, the title song from the album released earlier this year, the band followed up with plenty of classics, including ‘Sing’ and ‘Selfish Jean’. The crowd responded with a mass sing-a-long, with the festive mood never dipping in the 19-song set.
At one point, Healy decided he wanted to get in on the crowd’s perspective, jumping into the crowd and onto the shoulders of a large, bearded man named Richard. As he was carried around the crowd by Richard, Healy and the band flawlessly performed ‘Where You Stand’, impressively. Despite the massive arena, this was the case all night, showing they’re still a band capable of performing on the big stage.
The encore was opened with an acoustic version of ‘Flowers in the Window’, while Healy’s bandmates gathered round his microphone, helping with the vocals and even playing his guitar in some sections for him. This led into a wonderful cover of ‘Del Amitri’s Nothing Ever Happens’, which they have also released as a Christmas charity single in support of Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland. The set was closed with ‘Why Does it Always Rain on Me?’, which even after 19 songs was met with the biggest response from the crowd of the night, including a pogo dance led by Healy.
This was a fun-filled gig with a band who genuinely and clearly love what they do, and with a response like this from an audience of wildly varying ages, it’s clear they’re not even close to being done yet.