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Review: Travis, The Invisible Band

The invisible band, indeed. No sibling battles, no arrests, no controversy and thus hardly anybody on this side of the pond knows who Travis is. It’s a band, not a man, by the way.

If you’re a fan of Brit-pop but don’t like the snivelling banality of many bloated groups wearing that tag, you’re in for a treat. The Scottish band’s latest record is neo-folk rock at its finest, gentle in attitude, intelligent in theme, refreshing in its simplicity and honesty and unafraid to be as sentimental as Paul McCartney when the mood calls for it.

It’s amazing what can be done with little more than strumming acoustic guitars, an earnest voice and inventive production touches that enhance, but don’t overwhelm, the substance of the music.

In Flowers in the Window – a love song through and through – frontman Fran Healy sings lines like “it’s such a lovely day and I’m glad you feel the same” while seagulls caw and oceans splash.

It’s all very soothing – yet not boring in the slightest. That’s a hard trick to pull off.

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