b/w “Just The Faces Change”/”The Connection”/”Rock N’ (Salad) Roll”/”The Weight” (The Band cover)
I used to really love Travis; from 2000 til around 2003, I would say they were one of my favorite bands. I was won over by their second album (the massive U.K. smash The Man Who) and subsequently picked up their debut, Good Feeling. By the time The Invisible Band was released in the summer of 2001, my Traviphile tendencies were at a fever pitch. My friend Ryan and I even went to a Dido concert just because Travis were opening. In the middle of this period of devotion came “Coming Around”, a non-album single released to help ease the wait between records.
Now, the first thing you might notice when you hear “Coming Around” is that it sounds like The Byrds. Not just kind of like The Byrds. Just like The Byrds. My knowledge of guitars is nil, but I’d bet dollars to donuts that’s the 12-string Ricky on the track, the kind Roger McGuinn made famous. But I’ve never let blatant borrowing ruin my appreciation of a good song (Oasis is one of my favorite bands, after all), and almost a decade later, I still really like “Coming Around”. It’s got a good Fran Healy-supplied melody, and I’ve always been a fan of jangly guitars/ Now, it’s sounds like more of a transitional song to me than it did then; the melancholy of The Man Who being replaced by the (perhaps overly) sunny tones of The Invisible Band.
Unfortunately, that change also marked the beginning of the end for my time as an ardent Travis fan. I enjoy Band still (though it’s been years since I listened to it), but I think my affection may be borne more out of nostalgia than enthusiasm. I actually liked 2003’s 12 Memories, though after that my interest in keeping track of Travis faded. I bought The Boy With No Name, but it was out of habit more than anything and I seriously doubt I’ve ever listened to it all the way through. I didn’t even bother to get Ode To J. Smith. Some bands stay with you, and some bands are destined to fall by the wayside. But I still love The Man Who and I still love “Coming Around”…like I said, it was a transition, but I think it still has enough of a sweet spot for me, enough residual TMW qualities to make the cut-off of my Travis love. I also remember listening to it on a plane ride to Japan in the summer of 2000, and anytime a song can take you back to some of the best days of your life, it’s bound to have a positive effect on you.
Here’s the video…there’s a giant egg in it: