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Thursday, 21 February, 2002, 02:10 GMT
Travis: All-weather favourites
Travis have won a total of three Brit awards
Travis have won a total of three Brit awards
Travis have been named best British group at the Brits in both years that they have been up for the award - 2000 and 2002.

In those years, the Scots group held off competition from such big names as Radiohead, Blur, Stereophonics and Texas - no mean feat.

Fran Healy
The band met at art school in Glasgow
They reached such heights by becoming one of the country's most popular indie-rock bands, producing catchy, sensitive songs and cultivating a thoroughly likeable image.

Their hits include Why Does It Always Rain On Me and Sing - which reached number three in the UK chart in May 2001 - while two of their three albums have hit the UK chart's top spot.

Singer Fran Healy met bassist Dougie Payne in 1990 while studying art at Glasgow University. The two became friends after discovering they had a shared skill in Rolf Harris impersonations.

 Click here to watch Travis perform Sing on Top Of The Pops
Fellow art student Andy Dunlop joined them to be their guitarist, while barman Neil Primrose became drummer, and Healy dropped out to start writing songs.

'Free'

"I left art school because I had so many arguments there. It's very elitist and not very much for people that are coming from where I've come from," he said.

"That's maybe why I'm doing what I'm doing, because what music's got that fine art doesn't have is radio. Radio's free."

Travis' album The Man Who
The Man Who was their first number one album
Soon, they were rehearsing for up to 60 hours a week above a local pub, and began touring Scotland. Early names for the band included Glass Onion and Red Telephone Box until the foursome settled upon Travis.

Slowly, they built up a reputation, and by 1996 record companies were beginning to take an interest. Sony sent an executive to Edinburgh, who signed them for a publishing deal - despite the gig degenerating into a brawl.

The foursome moved to London, where events moved quickly.

They became the first signings to record label Independiente after releasing their debut single All I Want To Do Is Rock themselves, and the follow-up U16 Girls was their first top 40 hit.

Their debut album, Good Feeling, was recorded in four days, and received glowing reviews. The band were also chosen to support Oasis on a UK tour.

Critics

They disappeared from view in 1998 - taking six months, five studios and two producers to record Good Feeling's follow-up, The Man Who.

Travis
The band's success has defied the critics
The critics weren't keen on the new record's slower pace, but the public thought otherwise - although it took three months to climb to number one.

Their break-through to the big time came with the single Why Does It Always Rain On Me?, released in August 1999.

A sad, classic record, it reached number 10 in the UK but lingered on radio playlists all summer. It followed the band's appearance at the Glastonbury festival when, as they started to play the song - it rained.

It also helped them win the best British band Brit in 2000, while The Man Who was also named best British album.

They played 237 gigs to promote that album, including a support slot with Oasis on a US tour, then faded from view again to work on their third long player, The Invisible Band.

The band played at Glastonbury in 2000
The band played at Glastonbury in 2000
Despite a case of writer's block, it appeared in June 2001, by which time the band had such a large following that it went straight to number one and they walked into headline slots at the country's major festivals.

One of the secrets to Travis' success is that they have always produced simple, sing-along, uplifting songs that give a warm glow to their subjects - love and the trials of life.

Through it all, they still come across as happy, down-to-earth and friendly stars, with none of the rock heirs and graces that many bands develop.

"There's no ego here, man. If freaks me out sometimes," Dunlop has said.

See also:

27 Aug 01 | Reviews
Travis triumph on home turf
07 Jun 01 | Reviews
Travis: The hollow band
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