The Toronto show actually started on the 30th of October for some fans, as the band was doing an autograph signing and small performance at an HMV on Queen St, and I was lucky enough to skip school and be a part of that group. It was great waiting in line outside the HMV, talking with all the other Travis fans. We all instantly got along and were having a great time, talking about our favourite Travis songs and when we first got into the music. These were are people I had never met before, and suddenly it was like having a bunch of brand new friends. We were all united by Travis and their music. It was great.
Soon enough, we all filed into the HMV and waited excitedly for the band to come out. They had set up a small stage at the front of the store to perform on, and we all gathered around it (or as close to it as we could physically get) in eager expectation.
It wasn?t long before they made their way out. They practically waded through the audience to the stage. It was amazing, Fran, Dougie, Andy and Neil all just a few feet away from me. Talk about an intimate venue! The mood was very laid back and relaxed, and everyone swayed to the music singing along happily. In between the songs, Fran would talk with the audience, and as we were all so close, people would start shouting out questions, which Fran seemed more than happy to answer.
I don?t remember the entire set list, but I do remember that they played ?Quicksand?, ?Side?, I believe ?Sing? and ?Love Will Come Through?, and unforgettably, ?Why Does It Always Rain On Me?? (I know they played more as well, but I can?t recall which ones. They were brilliant though!). After ?Why Does It Always Rain On Me?? a woman shouted out ?What did you lie about when you were seventeen?? and Fran said ?Well, I?d tell you, but then I?d have to kill you.? Outside the window, the sky remained beautiful and clear.
After the set, the band adjourned to the back of the HMV, and set up a table for the autograph signing. I?d designed a T-Shirt with ?I Am The Eggman? on it for them to sign, but the security guard said they would only be signing album sleeves. I said that was okay, just so long as I got to see Travis!
When I walked up to the table, I was so nervous... I mean, these are the guys that actually make the music that I?m always singing along with and playing my guitars to. These are the guys whose songs are always blissfully rattling around in my head. This was actually Travis! So I figured, nuts to the security guard, and asked them if they could sign my shirt. Fran took one look at it and his eyes lit up. He took it and said ?Oh, yeah man!? and happily signed it. He then passed it to Dougie, who laughed and said ?Wow, that?s so great!?
I of course was speechless. I was just so happy that I spelled my name for them, shook all of their hands (all the while wishing I had something to say) and just thought to myself ?I?m shaking hands with Dougie Payne... I?m shaking hands with Fran Healy... I?m shaking hands with Andy Dunlop... I?m shaking hands with Neil Primrose...?. And happier than ever, I walked from the store. The shirt now hangs proudly on my wall, and I've set about designing more for future shows. Thanks for the amazing experience and the inspiration, and just for being so great. Cheers!