21st June 2003 will be remembered in Travis circles as "the first of many" - the first show for Adam Wakeman, the bands new keyboard player. The first airing of some of the new material. The first proper test of Fran's new "in-ear" monitor headphones.
But most importantly, the first time the band have played in public since Neil's accident almost a year ago.
True to form, as the band arrived at King George's Hall, it started to rain. Without wasting any time, the guys got to work, running through 5 or 6 songs in the soundcheck, to make sure everything sounded good.
Once done, they popped back outside to a now very rainy Blackburn, to meet the fans waiting at the venue. They spent about 30 minutes signing everything from train tickets to an electric scooter!
Then the wait begins - 3 hours until showtime. Everyone heads down to the catering area (where "Eton Fool" is the pudding of choice!), but most people are too nervous to eat anything. Dougie says that he's not felt this bad since playing the Glastonbury Festival.
As "The Crimea" play their set, Travis are getting ready for their first UK show in 15 months. Dougie and Andy iron their shirts, Fran tries to sort out his hair, an Neil sits quietly... waiting.
Time seems to go very slowly, until Pete (Travis' long-time tour manager) announces that there's 10 minutes to go. The excitement builds - a few people pop into the dressing room to wish the band a good gig, and then it's showtime!
Under the cover of (almost!) darkness, Travis take to the stage to huge applause from the Blackburn crowd. A new song, "The Beautiful Occupation" starts the show, and as the first beats ring out, the band are revealed for the first time.
Three songs in, and an already-sweating Fran says "hello" to the crowd, who welcome back Neil with deafening cheers and claps. New material is sprinkled through the set, mixed with old favourites such as Sing and Writing To Reach You.
Andy does his usual jumps during "Turn", and a couple of the new tracks see him playing blisteringly fast guitar parts, much to the delight of the Blackburn crowd.
All too quickly, the main set ends with Blue Flashing light, and as the band walk offstage, the applause swells the room. After a few minutes to towel down, the guys come back onstage to play a four song encore - starting with a blast from the past in the shape of "Good Day To Die", and climaxing with "Why Does It Always Rain On Me?" - very apt considering the Blackburn weather!
As the crowd make their way out of the building, the band are back in the dressing room, discussing how the show went, and how they'd forgotten how loud it is on stage!
Just time for a couple of drinks before climbing aboard the bus.. next stop Edinburgh!
The Beautiful Occupation
Writing To Reach You
As You Are
Love Will Come Through
Humpty Dumpty Love Song
How Many Hearts
Blue Flashing Light
Good Day To Die
Last Laugh Of The Laughter
Definition Of Wrong
Why Does It Always Rain On Me?