Robert Stevenson (vocals, piano and guitar) and Spencer Walker (drums) formed the alternative English band A Silent Film (above, doing “Something to Believe In” for Jam in the Van) 10 years ago in Oxford with three other musicians who have since moved on to other projects. But their arena-ready sound—which has earned them comparisons to the likes of Coldplay and Travis—remains. Stevenson and Walker have been busy this year, first putting out the EP New Year (stream it below) in April and returning with their third full-length, a self-titled affair (stream it below), two weeks ago, which AXS calls “a bright glimmer of power, a brilliantly crafted, edgy, in-your-face gold mine of pop.” Out on the road in support of their new music, A Silent Film play The Bowery Ballroom on Sunday and Rough Trade NYC next Friday. Charlotte, N.C., duo Flagship open both shows.
Tag Archives: Travis
School friends Fran Healy (vocals and guitar), Andy Dunlop (guitar and vocals), Dougie Payne (bass and vocals) and Neil Primrose (drums) formed the rock band Travis in early-’90s Glasgow before relocating to London in 1996. Their Steve Lillywhite–produced debut album, Good Feeling, was released the following year. The straightforward rocker put Travis (above, performing “Closer” on Later … with Jools Holland) on the Britpop map. The band went on to tour the world several times while putting out five more albums over the next 11 years. But with a half-decade layoff since the release of Ode to J. Smith in 2008—to raise families and work on new material—the quartet recently returned with their seventh album, Where You Stand (stream it below), just a month ago. American Songwriter calls it “a welcome, beautifully crafted and timeless return.” And their ensuing North American tour in support of the new LP brings Travis to Webster Hall on Monday night.
Tags: Andy Dunlop, Dougie Payne, Fran Healy, Good Feeling, Neil Primrose, Ode to J. Smith, Preview, Steve Lillywhite, Travis, Video, Webster Hall, Where You Stand
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Webster Hall might as well have been a time machine Saturday night. Early in the set, “Writing to Reach You” sailed out over a sold-out crowd and it felt just like 1999. In less than four minutes, 10 years melted like a Prospect Park ice cream cone on the first hot day of spring. It felt real. It felt like the last of the Clinton years. But things have changed. The economy sucks, Travis never became as big as Coldplay and 2009 can have a sobering character.
Travis didn’t play like a band that missed the yellow brick road. There wasn’t anything approaching regret on the first hot evening of April. They were gracious, at one point noting, “We’re all here because we’ve got one thing in common: We like to go out and hear live music.” There is a sense that this was not about them at all. As if emphasizing the populism of their music, they ask their fans to take a minute to meet the strangers standing next to them. “Shake their hands,” said lead singer Fran Healy. The audience buzzed as people turned to one another and made acquaintance. In other settings, it would have seemed like a piece of awkward theater. In this room—with this band—it felt right. Travis launched into “Driftwood” and everyone sang along.
In the most electric moment of the evening, Healy launched himself off the drum kit. It punctuated the last two choruses of “Side,” arguably the band’s best song, and many in the crowd pumped their fists. Healy and the rest of Travis don’t look like they missed getting five-star famous by a nose. They are famous to the people at their shows. And that is a concept that transcends time. —Geoff Nelson
Before bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol made it big in the U.S., there was Travis, straight out of Glasgow. Perhaps you know them because of their strong live shows or even because of their cover of Britney Spears’ “…One More Time” back in the day. Truthfully, it doesn’t really matter. All that does is that these guys, on the strength of their sixth album, Ode to J. Smith, released last September, are back. Their show at Webster Hall on Saturday, 4/25, sold out quickly, but you’ve still got a chance to see Travis because The House List is giving away two tickets. Just fill out the form below, listing your name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Travis, 4/25) and a brief message telling us why you deserve to Grow a Pair of free tickets. Eddie Bruiser—who else?—will e-mail the lucky winner by noon on Friday, April 24th. Good luck.