Travis is an independent alternative band that grew out of the Brit-pop era in Glasgow, Scotland, and is comprised of lead singer and guitarist Fran Healy, Dougie Payne on bass guitar, Andy Dunlop on guitar and banjo, and Neil Primrose on drums and percussion. The band's debut album, “Good Feeling,” emerged in 1997 and peaked at #7 on the U.K. Albums chart. The album spent nine weeks inside the U.K.'s Top 100 chart and did not make a massive impression on British audiences. However, the band's second offering, “The Man Who” earned Travis attention both from the press and the public, who began to listen to what this band had to say after an impressive performance at 1999's Glastonbury Festival. The album produced the hit song, “Why Does It Always Rain On Me,” which dominated the airways after the festival performance. The album peaked at #1 on the U.K. Albums chart, spent 104 weeks inside the U.K.'s Top 100 chart, and garnered a BRIT Award for 'Best Album' in 2000.
Travis' beginnings can be traced back to the Martyn brothers, Chris and Geoff, who along with school friend Andy Dunlop and Neil Primrose formed the original line-up of Travis. The initial band fronted a female vocalist, Catherine Maxwell, and called themselves “Glass Onion.” When Maxwell parted ways with the band, Primrose introduced the band to art student, Fran Healy. Healy dropped out of art school, and the five-some self-released the EP, “The Glass Onion” in 1993. The band continued to gig in and around Scotland until they were noticed by engineer and record producer Niko Bolas, who took them aside and told them how to play their instruments and write 'real' music. The band went into the studio on Bolas' advice and recorded a five-track demo. After the sudden death of Healy's grandfather and an isolating mourning period, Healy decided that the band needed to move to the states.
The band re-located to New York City and was offered a deal with Sony Music Publishing based on their five-track demo, and the removal of the Martyn brothers. Dougie Payne, Fran's best friend who had never played bass a day in his life was now the new bass player for the band. The band moved to London and began rehearsing. The band's first show in London, nine months later, was at Dublin Castle in Camden. Steve Lillywhite who had previously worked with U2 produced Travis' first studio album, “Good Feeling.” After their debut was released, Travis toured extensively, building their fan base and exposing audiences to their music. The band landed supporting slots for Oasis, after Noel Gallagher became a very public and outspoken fan of Travis.
By the time the band's third effort appeared in 2001, “The Invisible Band,” they were a household name in the U.K. and across Europe. Little was known of Travis in the U.S., where they were achieving moderate success. The album debuted at #1 on the U.K. Albums chart, where it remained for four weeks, and spawned the massive international hit “Sing.” The album was also awarded 'Best British Band' at the BRIT Awards that year. However, tragedy struck a year later when Primrose almost died from jumping head first into a shallow swimming pool, breaking his neck and almost drowning before his band mates pulled him out. Travis felt they couldn't go on without Primrose and almost called it quits. Primrose made a full recovery and the band resurfaced in 2003 with “12 Memories,” which debuted at #3 on the U.K. Albums chart, but was not as commercially successful as its predecessor. The album marked a shift in the band's sound, with a darker, moody, and more political feel to it. When Healy spoke about the album he spoke about his clinical depression and how this album was deeply personal for him with regards to his struggles with depression.
2004 saw the band embark on a world tour, with a focus on breaking through to the America Market. “The Boy With No Name” emerged in 2007, debuting at #4 on the U.K. Albums chart; the band followed up a year later with “Ode To J. Smith” in 2008. 2010 saw Healy release his first solo album, “Wreckorder.”