Travis frontman Fran Healy is nothing if not a realist. He knows his band helped soften the face of rock music with their 1999 album The Man Who.
Healy has had a little help from his famous friends. Coldplay's Chris Martin is not only a musical colleague but he and Healy are also both rock dads. Martin's son, Moses, and Healy's son, Clay, were born about the same time and the two meet at each other's houses for rock creches.
"We've had some lovely afternoons," Healy says. "Not many people have been through what we've both been through, so there's a real common ground. I guess it's like how women talk about childbirth because they've done it. We talk shop like doctors or mechanics would."
It was during one of those shop talk moments that Martin put a spin on The Boy With No Name. Martin asked Healy to play him the album when it was almost finished. Healy did so, minus a song called Big Chair. Martin asked what other songs he had. Healy played him Big Chair.
"He said, 'That's f---ing brilliant, why isn't it on the album?'," Healy says. "He's so blunt! He'll say 'That's s---'. "So at the 11th hour, our old rivals Coldplay helped out, I guess. He even helped me put the songs in order. Damn, I owe him now. S---, I'm Coldplay's bitch!"
When Chris Martin played DJ for a day on colossal UK radio station Radio 1 early this year he slipped Big Chair into his set, long before Travis released it. Martin also introduced the song by saying "Travis invented Coldplay". It was the kind of quote publicists dream of.
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