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September 18, 2000 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-09-18

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12A -The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 18, 2000
Little Jimmy drove- ladies crazy at the Bird

Continued from Page 8
At seventy-five years old with wrinkled skin,
thin hair and loooong arms, which he waved
emphatically to suit the mood of his verse, he
evoked the image of Ellen Dow (the rapping
grandma in "The Wedding Singer"). And stand-
ing little more than five feet tall in dapper attire, I
thought Little Jimmy looked like Jimmy Cricket.
In a high-pitched wail, Scott soared through a

set of standards, his high-pitched reinterpreta-
tions of the American songbook sounding more
like the work of Billie Holiday than Frank Sina-
tra. Unlike most male singers grounded in the
post-Depression jazz-style performance of popu-
lar songs, Scott is not a crooner: he sings in a glo-
riously shrill, full-throated voice. Also like
Holiday, Little Jimmy pays no heed to the song's
original form: he sailed over barlines and through
rests, placing the notes and syllables only where
he wanted them to go, making each song belong

to no one but him.
Above all, a singer is an actor, conveying the
story of his or her lyrics. Fly departing from the
traditional map of a standard song, both singer
and listener are exhiliratingly liberated. This
freedom was particularly satisfying in the case of
Little Jimmy, who executed his reinventions with
an intricate precision.
On an ironic note, it was peculiar to see such a
bright and cheerful personality sing such sad, sad

Sam Hollenshead/DAILY
Those not at the Bird of Paradise crowded Gallup Park on Saturday afternoon.

Travis plays at their crowd-pleasing best

By Jon Schwartz
Daily Arts Writer

PONTIAC - Thursday night at
Clutch Cargo's, the Scottish rock
band Travis proved that first and fore-
most they exist for their fans.
Throughout the short one hour and
20 minute set, the group, led by lead
singer and songwriter Fran Healy,

Clutch Cargo's
September 14, 2000

entranced the
small venue,
often alluding to
the quick rags-
to-riches pro-
gression that
advanced the
band into popu-
larity across the
After opening
with a slightly
slower version
of "All I Want to
Do is Rock," the
band rocked into

cally-acclaimed second album, "The
Man Who," the group has already
acquired a loyal fan base.
Onstage, Healy spent the evening
playing to the crowd, often inviting
the fans into the performance,
whether it was by talking between
songs with the light on so that he
could see people or by asking for an
opinion of "Flowers in the Window,"
a new song, by requesting a gladiator
style thumbs-up or thumbs-down at
its conclusion.
But in the show's final number,
"Happy," the band unveiled yet anoth-
er surprise for the crowd.
When a girl in her late teens
jumped onto the stage and was quick-
ly followed by a security guard, gui-
tarist Andy Dunlop waved him off
and allowed the girl to remain. The
band proceeded to dance with her,
sing with her, and even walk back-
stage with her at the song's conclu-
Above all else, what made the show,
great was the emotion the band mem-
bers showed. Healy looked at times as
though he was about to cry while
going through his songs. At no time
could Travis have been accused of
simply going through the motions,
instead injecting into every song a
deep sense of feeling that makes,
artists great.
Musically, the highlight of the
show came towards the end, with

three songs, "Blue Flashing Light,"
"Twenty" and "Just the Faces
For three songs that could not be
more different, they combined to
show the variety that Travis is capable
"Blue Flashing Light" was accom-
panied onstage with police lights
spinning around. The band rocked the
song out, with Dougie Payne's bass
line reverberating even in the venue's
Then, after the encore break, Healy
came out alone and beautifully rang
out "Twenty," an intimate ballad
about teenage years. While a good
number of the fans seemed not to
know the song, Healy's emotion-filled
depiction of growing up seemed to
leave an impact on all who were
there. Even when Healy mistakenly
sang a verse at the wrong time, both
singer and audience simply laughed
and shrugged it off.
After that, Healy ran off stage and
was replaced by Payne doing his. own
solo number. "Just the Faces
Change." While the song has yet to be
released on an album, nearly the
entire crowd was moved by Payne's
often-unheard solo voice and his
enthusiasm at performing on stage.
The set was mixed up nicely with
four songs from "Good Feeling" eight
off "The P/an Who," and four new
tracks, including a well done cover of


two more songs off the widely unher-
aided first album.
"We're called Travis," Healy said
while introducing the song "Good
Feeling," the title track of the first
album. His straight face while mak-
ing the comment showed a man that
never could have imagined such an
introduction inviting raucous cheers.
But less than six months after the
American release of the band's criti-

UCotsy of Sony/Epic
The men of Travis are indeed madcap
Scottish lads.
The Band's ballad "The Weight."
In the end, Travis left the crowd
thirsting for more. The set was entire-
ly too short for a band that has
enough material to play at least three
or four more songs per show.
But perhaps it was the George
Costanza approach to showmanship
that overcame the band, the idea of
leaving on a high so that people want
They succeeded and though they
won't be back until after the new album
"Afterglow" is released next year, they
can be sure that the fans will be anx-
iousiy waiting.

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