franny.jpg

Fran Healy

Wednesday, August 18

Triple Door

"Songs are like babies," Fran Healy told his audience at the Triple Door last night. "And I'm telling

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Fran Healy Delivers a Charming, Intimate Performance + Storytelling Session at the Triple Door Last Night

franny.jpg

Fran Healy

Wednesday, August 18

Triple Door

"Songs are like babies," Fran Healy told his audience at the Triple Door last night. "And I'm telling you about the night they were all conceived." Healy's show was indeed in large part about the endlessly entertaining stories he told in between songs. With some artists this chatty tactic can be annoying, but Healy is blessed with an extremely winning personality, and his anecdotes were actually worth listening to. Behold:

  • "Writing To Reach You" (off 1999's The Man Who) - Healy copped to "nicking" the chords from "Wonderwall" (the song contains the smarmy lyrics, "what's a wonderwall anyway?"); a couple years later Oasis took Travis on tour; Healy said the first thing Noel Gallagher ever said to him was, "Nice fucking chords, man."
  • "Side" (off 2001's The Invisible Band) - started off as a gangster-style rap Healy composed after watching MTV.
  • "Sing" (The Invisible Band) - Healy originally wrote a chorus that went, "If you swing, swing, swing," with a child's playground in mind. He changed the lyrics after his bandmate told him, "You know you're writing a song about dropping your keys in a bowl?"
  • "Buttercups" (off Healy's new solo album, Wreckorder) - when Healy was an impecunious art student, he picked flowers in the park for a girl he had a crush on. She wasn't impressed.
  • "Flowers in the Window" (The Invisible Band) - Healy wrote this song while in a chateau in France, after hearing his drunken bandmate, Dougie, choking on his own vomit and then saw him puking out the window.

With just his acoustic guitar and his sole vocals, Healy played songs from Travis' catalog as well as a number of tracks from his forthcoming first solo album -- "Anything" features his falsetto crooning, "I would do anything, anything for you;" when he played this song he asked for the star lighting to be turned on behind him. It's musical romance at its best. (Girls, it's one of those songs you wish a man wrote with you in mind. You know what I mean). Healy played "Sing Me To Sleep," which appears on the record as a duet with Neko Case (he called her part "the most beautiful duet ever... she sings like a bird"), and later took to the Steinway piano just once for the hypnotic "In The Morning."

After stepping off stage for a literal split second, Healy returned for a no-nonsense encore of three songs -- "Re-Offender," (off 2003's 12 Memories) an audience request and also one of the most ultimate songs about betrayal ever written; "Blue Flashing Light," the frighteningly emotional hidden track on The Man Who; the declarative "Turn;" and finally, the popular favorite "Flowers in the Window." It was a intimate and lovable performance the likes of which are all too rare among the rock star personalities of our day.

Personal Bias: I've been a huge Travis fan since The Man Who came out; Wreckorder thoroughly enchanted me; and Healy is one of the most good-humored, charming people I've ever interviewed.

The Crowd: I was pretty much the youngest person there by a few years, or decades -- after Healy described Neko Case as resembling "Pippi Longstocking grown up," a woman behind me impatiently asked her companion, "who's Neko Case? who's that?" Still, a good percentage of Travis fans were in the audience -- when Healy asked for requests during the encore, there was an eruption of shouts and callouts.

Overheard in the Crowd: "Is he here?" Someone called that one out after Healy talked about Paul McCartney recording the bass part of "As It Comes." He wasn't, but Healy told a totally genuine story of how giddy he got when he received a confirmation email from McCartney's camp and how he wondered whether McCartney thought he was "mental" when Healy told him he was becoming a vegetarian for him.

Random Notebook Dump: Healy may have aged some since he rocked a faux-hawk in the 90s, but he still looked way hip in his skinny jeans.

 
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