I Left My Heart in Scotland: Travis – The Invisible Band

When one clings too tightly to the glories of their past, it is time to find some new glories.

I often refer to my time in Edinburgh during the 1987 Fringe Festival as one of the best experiences of my life.  It was.  We were treated like Rock stars… I was performing every night and making friends with some of the most incredible people from around the world.  Sadly, I have lost touch with many of them, including Wes, known to the music world as John Wesley Harding.  But it was more than that.  I think it was the first time (outside of New York) that I truly fell in love with a city.  Scotland is a magnificent country and Edinburgh is this amazing jewel, and during the summer festival, when the city is filled with artists from around the globe, it becomes even more magical.  I cannot believe I have not been back.  How is that possible???

I also have a hard time comprehending the fact that I have no Scottish blood.  I desperately searched for my family tartan, but Goldsmith seemed to come up empty in most books and shops.  There are so many things Scottish that I adore… Scotch… Trashcan Sinatras… Bagpipe music… a woman named Louise… green countryside… the movie Local Hero… hearing “Darling Moneypenny, you know I never even look at another woman…” in a thick Scottish brogue and Travis.

Mr. Rich, my Reggae connection gets full props for introducing me to this band.

Travis – The Invisible Band

Much of the music and many of the bands I like are often compared to Travis, so why not go back to the source.  For me, this is kind of where that whole love of alternative, British Pop started.

Travis, The Pearlfishers, Trashcan Sinatras, Teenage Fanclub, Thirteen Senses… what a delightful list.

Wikipedia calls Travis a “post-Britpop” band, which they define as a “sub-genre of British Alternative rock.”

Hard to believe that this album is ten years old, as I loved it when it first came out… Man, time is flying.

Equally crazy is how on the heels of the massive success of this record, the band almost lost it all when drummer Neil Primrose nearly died.  He broke his neck when he jumped head-first into a shallow swimming pool, but luckily made a full recovery.

According to Wikipedia and the band:  “Little cracks had started appearing in 2001, around the time of The Invisible Band. We hadn’t anticipated The Man Who doing so well. It was an emotional rollercoaster for us.  Being Scottish, we’re very reticent about being famous pop stars; it’s encoded into our DNA that we can’t be brassy or show off. But suddenly, we weren’t this little band in Glasgow any more. We desperately needed to take a step back and re-evaluate. After Neil’s accident it came close to the end of Travis—this band would no longer exist without one of the four members—but we were given another chance.”

Powerful stuff… and a testament to the true power of a cohesive, classy and dignified band… No individual is above the group… and above even the group is the music.  Thus, the Invisible Band.

“Sing” is one of my favorite songs of all time… a definite desert island keeper.  Same with the brilliant “Follow the Light.”

My other highlights are “Flowers in the Window, “Safe” and “Afterglow.”

Enjoy the perfect weekend album and for the love of haggis and plaid, please get me back to Scotland.


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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