Francis Healy is the frontman and main songwriter of Travis, one of the most successful Britpop groups of the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Born in England in 1973, he moved to Glasgow as a child and remained in Scotland for the entirety of his youth, eventually relocating to London as a 23 year-old alongside bandmates Andy Dunlop, Neil Primrose, and Dougie Payne. The four had already honed Travis’ sound while living in Glasgow, and they wasted little time establishing a buzz in their new home. Featuring production from U2 architect Steve Lillywhite, Travis’ debut album, Good Feeling, was released in 1997. Although it didn’t sell well, it did earn the band a European tour alongside Oasis, and Travis began establishing its reputation as a solid live act.
Travis hit their stride around the turn of the millennium, when both The Man Who and The Invisible Band sold several million copies apiece. Healy handled almost all of the songwriting duties himself, and his gentle, melodic music became a hallmark of the latter-day Britpop sound, with younger groups like Coldplay and Keane citing Travis’ albums as a major influence. The momentum halted in 2002, though, when Primrose broke his neck jumping into a shallow swimming pool. The band took a break while he recovered, eventually returning in 2003 with 12 Memories. Travis continued releasing albums as the decade drew to a close. Meanwhile, Healy began writing material for a solo album, Wreckorder, which he released in 2010. ~ Andrew Leahey