Ahhh,sweet day off. Nora and I stayed in bed today until late. There was a German TV channel that she watched while I wrote and fiddled about on the puter.
In the evening we all met in Dougie's room. Cinjun, Gregory, Shelby, Caino, Cedric (the Remy Zero posse) Neil, Dougie, Johnny, Nora and I then left for the UCI cinema to see The Blair Witch Project. Andy wasn't feeling too well and opted for a quiet night.
The cinema was way out of town in a vast complex that Cedric said reminded him of Las Vegas gambling malls. After hotdogs and popcorn we rushed into the theatre. Our seats were in the front row.
This made viewing interesting, as TBWP is all shot on hand held video and is possibly the shakiest film ever. We missed the first 5 or so minutes of the movie and a few key elements of the plot as well. Remy had all seen it in the States on video AND without knowing it was fiction.
I reckon knowing that the people were acting took away from the fear impact slightly. Dougie was truly terrified. At the end of the film a hush fell upon the audience. Then slowly the chattering began. A provocative movie definitely. The scariest movie ever made...maybe not but remember we missed the first 5 or so minutes so I'll reserve my judgement until I see it again.
Afterwards we all went to the amusement arcade and played some shooting games.
The way you hold a gun in an arcade says alot about a man. Dougie, left thumb in pocket, gun straight, elbow bent and feet together. A very casual shooter, Dougie belongs to the 'Stand and Deliver'/ Dick Turpin school of gunmanship. Cinjun on the other hand had a definite gangsta' flavour to his style. Left hand at his side, legs apart, gun angled, arm straight, he belongs to the Benny Blanco correctional school of shootin'.
Back at the hotel drinks are had and Nora and I leave the rest of them to it. Nice night.
So the laptop swings round to me again and I am duty bound to tell you all about our showday in glorious Manchester. Shows in Manchester are always something to look forward to, we always have good times in Manchester and what with tonight being Saturday night, anticipation for the show (and the evening that will inevitably arise after it) is running high.
So on Saturday morning I wake up feeling like I've been dragged through the deepest depths of hell backwards, this is not unusual as for the last thirty hours I have not been able to hold one drop of food down owing to some stomach virus I seem to have contracted.
Luckily we had a day off yesterday so I managed to get through the worst of the bug in bed. As the morning wears on I am beginning to feel slightly more human and tentatively try my first morsel of food for a day and a half.
After a half-hour of sitting poised near the toilet (oh! How exceptionally glamorous my rock star existence is) without actually vomming I realise that I am probably through the worst of it now and should dry my eyes and get on with the day ahead and start looking forward to tonight.
On leaving the hotel I experience the weirdness that is the outside world after spending a day and a half in bed with the curtains closed. It always takes a while to adjust to being surrounded by people after being so heavily immersed in self pity for so long, however after an hours shopping I seem to be doing alright and decide to head over to the venue for interviews and soundcheck.
On arriving at the venue and after a bowl of soup (really pushing my luck on the old appetite versus illness lottery) we get called for our first interview of the day.
Now I am sorry if you are the person that was filming and interviewing us in Manchester but there are some things that bands like doing in interviews and I can tell you most definitely that tipping a watering can over a large red inflatable letter G while singing our song in unison isn't one of them. Please next time think of something less cheesy or never darken our eyelids again!
After soundcheck I am really beginning to feel alright and beginning to think about going out after the show (you can't keep a good man down long) after all it is going to be Saturday night in Manchester and I can't stay in for very long before I start getting itchy for an evening on the tiles and Manchester has some of the finest tiles in the world.
So, onto the show as usual the Zeros rocked the roof off and the crowd as usual welcomed them with the zeal they deserve. Crowd suitably warmed up we take to the stage and the reception is overwhelming and if you excuse my language Manchester you fucking rock!
The show goes great and I totally forget about any lingering illness and just get on with it. A fun night is had by all. Amps are scaled, strings are bent and heights are jumped which is usually a good sign that I am enjoying myself. In the aftershow dissection everyone agrees that it ranks up there with some of the best and we get on with larging it up in Manchester and none of you would be interested in that would you?
Needless to say we had a great night out with the Zero boys and many drinks were drunk and modesty prevents me from divulging any more details, sorry to spoil your fun. Anyway as usual I hope this reaches you all in fine spirits and thankyou all for making this tour what it is,
Love to you all,
We met you guys this rainy night in Manchester! We were chatting for a while outside getting autographs and pictures before you got on your bus! Then you invited us onto the bus for a bit! We sat with Andy and Dougie downstairs round a little table and Fran wasn't feeling well. Said that live gigs always scare him a bit and he had a touch of the you know whats! Bless him! Still he came down and had another chat with us and told us that Neil would be staying upstairs as he was watching Show Girls!!! We had a great time meeting you guys! Cheers! Oh and while on the tour bus my mate Tam was leaning on the door from the inside when it started to open and she went flying to Andy and Dougies amusement! Remember that? GIGGLES A PLENTY WERE HAD!
(An edited review, taken from The Hidden Meaning Travis fanzine)
Both Neil and Andy had told us a few nights before that they were looking forward to the Manchester gig more than any other date on the tour and you could tell the moment they bounded onto the stage to ear drum splitting applause that they were all up for something special. We were stood to the right of the stage on Andy's side, and even though we're used to him being the most animated member of the band, we were completely awe-struck by his performance that night! If he wasn't rolling around on the stage playing his guitar solos lying on his back, he was running around like a man possessed, performing spectacular guitar acrobatics, only stopping once in a while to do the splits in mid air! To add to this, we later found out he'd actually been feeling ill earlier that day, bless him! That's dedication for you!
There were two new additions to the set that night (was there a chance they didn't want this particular gig to end?!), the first being She's So Strange; dedicated to Remy Zero (from Birmingham, Alababma!). This meant that the set now contained every track from The Man Who (including the bonus track, Blue Flashing Light!)Phew! Secondly there was the surprise addition of U16 Girls, a song that sadly seemed to have been forgotten on this tour. They teased us by leaving it right 'til the end of the set and gave it no introduction what so ever. They just launched straight into it and the Academy errupted! Fran had told us a few nights earlier that they'd decided to leave it out as they'd wanted the set to be more mellow than usual. While each song from The Man Who was a magical experience; the entire audience joining in word perfect mass sing-a-longs, arms waving, couples reduced to steaming piles of passion, and even the odd girlie in tears, it was obvious this was what we'd all been waiting for and I almost feared for my life as I was practically squashed to a pulp and kicked half way across the venue! Superb though!!
As usual, the closiong song was Happy. This was the point where Andy, bless him, noticed us down below and came over to wish Wendy a happy birthday! Very apt! The academy errupted one more time as audience and band went ballistic for the final time, we were thanked as always, for buying the album and making 1999 Travis' year, and then they were gone.
On our way back to our hotel, tired, hoarse and extremely sore, we were glad we'd made the five hour trek up to Manchester. Thanks to Travis we'd had the most amazing night, and had witnessed what was without doubt the best gig of the tour.
All I Want To Do Is Rock
Writing to Reach You
As You Are
Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
The Last Laugh of the Laughter
Good Day To Die
She's So Strange
Why Does It Always Rain On Me
Blue Flashing Light