Friday, July 12, 2013

Travis "Flowers In The Window"

There was an awkward pause.  No one knew what to say.  Someone had to break the ice.

You think that meeting a rock star is awkward for you.  But really, it's awkward for them too.

We were backstage at Fleet Boston Pavillion in 2007, about to meet the band Travis.

I had not been a fan of Travis initially, turned off by what I had perceived as yet another whiny Brit band.

But when I'd met my wife, she immediately set about turning me around on the subject.

She was a huge Travis fan, had seen them multiple times, and in the time we'd been together had played me plenty of fun, light songs that brightened my view of the band.

For instance, "Flowers In The Window" is a sweet song by singer Fran Healy, who writes about being surprised at how much he loved his sibling's new baby.

As soon as I heard that Travis had a new album, and was coming to Boston, I made sure to pull a few favors and get a chance to take my wife to the show, AND meet the band beforehand.

We spent the whole ride up to Boston listening to the new album "The Boy With No Name."  And we were especially focused on the song "My Eyes" which was about the birth of Healy's new baby boy.  Our own baby was due in just 3 months, so we were very wrapped up in the joy and wonder of it all.

At the gate to the backstage area, we loitered with some super-fans, some contest winners and some record store owners, until the local record label rep to arrived to take us backstage.

We were led into a small, unoccupied dressing room, where we milled about quietly waiting for the band, and wondering if we were allowed to eat anything off the vegetable tray.

After a wait that was probably shorter than it felt (due to the excitement and anticipation), the label rep ushered the band into the room.

"Please welcome Fran, Dougie, Neil and Andy.  Travis!"

There was an awkward pause.

The band didn't really seem to know what to say.  And the fans didn't really know what to say.  We just kind of stood there.

Someone had to break the ice.

Fran Healy decided to do it.

"What's going on here?!" he said to my wife, pointing at her round belly.

There was an awkward pause.

She was a little too nervous to immediately response.

And you could see a flash of fear in his eyes that said, "Oh my God, I hope this woman is pregnant, and not just fat."

"We're due in November," I said, and all three of us smiled broadly.

We congratulated him on his new baby, and he immediately whipped out his new iPhone (in 2007, he was the first person I'd ever met who had an iPhone), and showed us pictures of his boy.

And when I asked him to sign our CD, he just handed to the phone over to my wife so she could continue to look at baby pictures while he used two hands to sign.

With the ice broken, the full crowd had now engaged the band, and they were signing CDs and snapping photos all around.

"I have Fran Healy's iPhone!" my wife whispered to me.

We briefly considered adding our own phone number into his contact list, but, being new to iPhones, we weren't sure how to do it.

Instead, we settled for this photo of the band, me, my wife and yes, a little bun in her oven.

So, if it's not clear in relation to yesterday's post . . . I should have known that it had been 5 years since Travis' last album, as my daughter was born just a few months before the last record "Ode To J Smith" which had come out just one year after "The Boy With No Name."  And I remember that "The Boy With No Name" came out while my wife was pregnant.  So I know how long it has been, because I know how old my daughter is.

Hear the song on Youtube.

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