Travis At The Palace


Reviewed by: Steve Slater

This is the film footage of Travis' December 2003 concert at the Alexandra Palace, an interesting venue that makes up for the tedium of the music. Lest this aside colour the entire review, let me start by describing the strengths of this DVD.

The production is excellent. The film quality is very good, with very clear and sharp images, and there is excellent sound production. The lighting is well done, the gig itself was well lit and the film captures this without any loss of effect. The filming technique is pretty standard for a concert film, which is no criticism - there are lots of different angle shots, interesting use of light and shade, lots of zooming, fading, blurring and fast motion shots. Lets face it, when you are filming a band playing a concert on a standard sized stage and a non-existent set, then there's not a lot of scope.

Right, that's the good bits.

The film goes downhill when you start looking at the subject matter, Travis. Well, it's probably not fair to say that it goes downhill, since such a description implies an element of motion and movement.

Let me start by saying that I don't dislike Travis, neither am I fan. I just find their music very anodyne, its very "consistent", it lacks variation and is very safe - and that's the problem for the film.

This is pleasant music, made by middle-class Glasgow boys - let's hear it for Lenzie Academy! - and enjoyed by angst-ridden adolescents. The DVD box notes describe the concert as "capturing Travis at their dynamic best". I guess this is true if you consider a wooden plank dynamic.

It seems to me that Travis is best enjoyed on CD, rather than seeing them live. The gig lacked any kind of dynamic, any power, any variation - yes, it was totally, bloody boring!

Let's face it, if you want to listen to the CD, you'd stay in and put it on the CD player, you wouldn't go to Ally Pally. Live music should be different, less perfect, raw. And this isn't.

This is a band playing it safe in front of 3,000 adoring, non critical fans - at one point, I expected the cigarette lighters to appear.

If you like Travis, you've probably already bought the DVD. However, if you're a lover of live music and you want to see how it should be done, then spend your hard earned cash on The Who - Live At The Isle Of Wight, 1970, live music in all its power, warts and all - and its also available in this Warner Music Collection.

Still, it's good to finish on a positive note - I noticed that the Warner Collection also includes Chicago and Fleetwood Mac. Suddenly, Travis have become attractive.

Reviewed on: 25 Jun 2004
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Travis At The Palace packshot
Filmed concert at Alexandra Palace, London, with Travis in 2003.
Amazon link

Starring: Travis

Year: 2003

Runtime: 116 minutes

Country: UK


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