By now most people who can get away with it have given up stuff like what day it is and what city we are in. But this must be Glasgow, because today it's back to school for Travis, with a surprise accoustic set to be played at Fran's old school, Holyrood High.
I catch up with Pete (tour manager) and Andy, who's been brought along for extra security, in the lobby of the hotel.
It's been a late one for many the night before as Glasgow always seems to bring out the party in people, and Pete has ordered some strong coffee to be brought up while fending off the attacks of a particularly menacing flower arrangement that is eventually moved from the table to the floor!
We jump into two people carriers and head through town and across the Clyde to Cathcart. The stage where the band are performing was originally graced by Fran in his 5th year with a rendition of an original composition - "The Mr Mullen Blues" inspired by one of his old teachers there, so it's a return show of sorts, which has been kept a very close secret.
We arrive at the school around 20 minutes later and are discreetly led into the gym that lies behind the stage. Jonny ( who is also an ex pupil), Adey and Giles are already there and have set up the mic and instruments for the accoustic set. Fran meets up with the principals of the school and we gratefully accept another coffee from the staff who have thoughtfully laid out some refreshments.
When everything is set the band take their positions at the bottom of the stairs to the the stage as the Headmaster Mr Moignahan walks on and starts what seems like any normal 5th and 6th year assembly. After a skillful lead up he finishes his intro with "boys and girls I give you Travis" and the band walk onto the tiny stage.
The initial reactions vary from shock, stunned recognition and for many a strong state of disbelief. But cheers start up as the band launch into a four song set starting with Sing.
The band run through the set which includes Why Does It Always Rain On Me, Side and Flowers In The Window to an increasingly appreciative 5th and 6th year. Before the last song Fran talks about his day yesterday with the pupils from Our Lady and St Patrick's and urges anyone interested in starting a songwriting club to do so.
After rapturous applause we are back in the gym where Fran is given one of his old report cards plus accompanying photo - which raises a few laughs!
On our departure we open the doors to find a sizeable crowd has gathered, plus reporters, photographers and even Police! Travis are swallowed up in a crowd of schoolchildren and more autographs are signed in the scrum of getting to the cars.
First show of today already over, we head towards the SECC for the soundcheck and the final Glasgow show of the tour.
Hi Travis, web team, fans!
Yeah, I suppose this will turn out to be another crazy-fan letter!!
Im Dave Black, and my father was infact Fran?s old drama teacher at Holyrood many years ago (ALAN BLACK), and I don?t know if Fran is aware, but he has just retired at the end of last year, and is loving every minute of it!
At that particular gig at the school, I was actually lucky enough to get back stage to meet the whole band n stuff as my dad was invited by Fran and he knew their stage manager etc, but it was amazing. I just couldn?t speak ? what can I say? Its not everyday you get to meet your heroes, and I just froze?.regretting it later of course! Ah well!
But for quite some time now we have both been trying to get back in touch with Fran, and hopefully, he?ll get this plea.
Cos ive been a life long Travis fan and have travelled all over the world just to see them play. Im also friends of Neil?s friends and have met the guys wondering the streets of Glasgow on random occasions, which is really rare since they all live in different parts of the UK (London, lake-district etc!) and what can I say
Now, I myself am a pro drummer now, and I take Neil to be one of my biggest heroes, although he doesn?t play very much particularly fancy while playing live with Travis, this boy is a drumming genius and you should all see exactly what he can play ?this boy has phenomenal timing and im sure jimmy chamberlain is turning in his?bed! ? No, he?s not dead yet!
I suppose the stupidest thing I actually did was went out and bought the exact same kit as Neil and the same cymbals too ? when I suppose he gets them for free! ? cost me a bleedin fortune!!! . . . but eh, hopefully one day my own band will get to play or even support Travis on some kind of event in the near future ? you listening, Fran?
Cheers guys and please come back and play again sometime soon!
Thanks, dave black
Why Does It Always Rain On Me?
Flowers In The Window