- Travis – A Ghost
- Erasure – Hey Now (I Think I Got A Feeling)
- Blossoms and Liam Fray – Please Don’t
- December – Maggie
- Sweet – Blockbuster
It’s a special Christmas edition of Melody Maker this week. Not only a new year coming up, but a new decade and a new century. It can only be 1999.
In news, Travis are doing homecoming gigs in Glasgow, and hoping to avoid playing large arenas, despite the success of their album The Man Who.
Justine Frischmann is subject of a Q and A, being asked to give her opinions on Blur and Suede’s new albums.
Meanwhile, The Charlatans have denied that their new single My Beautiful Friend is about Rob Collins, the band’s former Keyboardist who died in 1996.
There is an unscientific test of the bets Hangover TV, with SM:TV Live, Live and Kicking, T4 and Soccer AM all in contention.
There is a guide to the best Christmas TV, with Kevin The Teenager doing a guide to being a teenager being advised as “Don’t miss”
Naturally, 1999 gets reviewed, with a month by month look, as well as some of the best quotes.
There’s even a world exclusive interview with Santa Claus, conducted by Rick Witter from Shed Seven.
Metallica are interviewed about their perfect Christmas, declaring there is nothing more Christmassy than hardcore porn.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a few drinks, and Melody Maker goes out to get drunk with the band A.
Meanwhile, Longpigs give a guide to the best Christmas food.
Cover stars Stereophonics are interviewed, declaring 1999 to be a brilliant year.
Roddy Woomble from Idlewild talks about his favourite films of 1999, including Fight Club and South Park, while Dermot O’Leary talks about TV in 1999 including Friends, Eastenders and Louis Theroux.
In a magazine full of lists, Head Music by Suede wins Best Album, while I Try by Macy Gray wins Best Single, ironically not becoming a massive hit until 2000.
In concert reviews, Melody Maker took a trip to Belfast to see Travis at the Waterfront Hall.
The magazine ends with a Q and A with Macy Gray where she reveals she laughs when people sing Happy Birthday to her, while Noddy Holder discusses the lyrics to Merry Xmas Everybody.
August 2018 was a busy month, and it began at Mourneview Park for the start of the 2018-2019 season as Linfield beat Glenavon 1-0.
The following weekend, I headed to Custom House Square to see George Ezra in concert. That was followed by a day trip to Bangor where I squeezed in some Street Art photos, including a mural of John Lydon.
It was then back to the football as I went to see Edinburgh City take on Albion Rovers in the Scottish Challenge Cup while on a short break in Edinburgh. I also managed to get some Street Art photos while in Edinburgh.
Upon my return to Belfast, was a trip to Seaview to see Linfield take on Crusaders.
The next few days were spent at Custom House Square, seeing Kasabian, Turin Brakes and Travis in concert.
The following Saturday was a trip to Solitude to see Linfield take on Cliftonville.
The Dum Dums are this week’s cover stars, declaring themselves as the voice of a generation. One of them has “4 Real?” painted on his body, as a tribute to Richey Edwards.
In news, Graham Coxon declares he has no problem with a Blur Greatest Hits album, while being non committal on new material by the band.
Limp Bizkit won at the MTV VMAs amidst chaos being created by Tim C from Rage Against The Machine.
Meanwhile, Stereophonics are discussing the details of their new album JEEP, due out in early 2001.
The Dum Dums get four pages of coverage, dismissing Green Day as old men.
It’s the Sexiest People In Rock Poll, with Hillary Woods from JJ72 and Kelly Jones from Stereophonics winning.
Dave Grohl didn’t get onto the Sexiest List, but he did get a three page interview.
In reviews, Melody Maker paid visits to see Limp Bizkit and Travis in concert.
In Singles Reviews, Maxim from The Prodigy gives his Single Of The Week Award to Smashing Pumpkins.
Shirley Manson is the subject of a Q and A, revealing that she was indecisive about getting on board an alien spaceship.
Waking up on Wednesday morning to the sound of rain, it looked ominous. Of course, with Travis coming to town, it was always going to piss down, possibly because Francis Healy lied when he was 17.
Thankfully, by the time the band took to the stage at Custom House Square, it was now dry, and stayed that way.
This concert was part of a tour where Travis play their 1999 album The Man Who in full. I’m not sure why. 19 years isn’t a milestone anniversary that is usually commemorated.
I’m not a fan of these playing albums in full tours. The only album that should be played in full on a tour is a Greatest Hits album.
I’d been to one of these types of concerts, when Ocean Colour Scene toured Moseley Shoals, so I knew what the deal was. They perform the album, and then do the hits.
Though, most of Travis big hits appear on The Man Who – Writing To Reach You, Driftwood, Turn and Why Does It Always Rain On Me?
Surprisingly, when they played Why Does It Always Rain On Me?, it didn’t rain, a song described by Fran Healy as about going on holiday to escape the rain in Scotland, only to find more rain in his new location.
Thankfully, it wasn’t windy either, due to Healy wearing a kilt, meaning that Angus Young isn’t the only Scottish musician who can confidently expose bare legs on stage, as Francis Healy is now morphing into Francis Rossi by having a manbun these days.
His partner in crime, Dougie Payne, brother of Max, was dressed in shirt and tie.
This was my first time seeing Travis, though it should have been my second. I won a ticket for T In The Park in 2002. Travis were due to perform, but had to pull out due to Neil Primrose suffering injury on holiday. While waiting for a band to appear on a stage, BBC Scotland arranged for the audience to record a get well soon message.
The Man Who was a soundtrack to my late teens, though really, for me, it was a stop-gap until the forth Oasis album. Travis were everywhere back then.
They continued to bring out brilliant tunes, but by 2003, people stopped buying their records.
Healy told the crowd about a concert in Belfast while touring The Man Who first time around, saying it took place in “A classical building”.
Half the crowd shouted “Ulster Hall” while the other half shouted “Waterfront Hall”. Research on the internet suggests they played Waterfront Hall on Sunday 12th December 1999.
At that gig, somebody threw a pair of knickers at him, which he threw to the side of the stage, hitting and distracting their sound mixer.
Of those songs that people (idiots) no longer buy, was My Eyes, released in 2007 but written in 2006 on the day he found out he was going to be a dad, adding that his son is now addicted to Fortnite, whatever that means.
Apparantly, it’s a video game. The last video game I played was on the Sega Mega Drive.
Fans were treated to hits such as Love Will Come Though, Side (their best song, should have been the lead single from The Invisible Band), Closer, Flowers In The Window and Sing.
Fittingly, for the encore of a concert celebrating an album released in 1999, they signed off with the biggest song of 1999. It wasn’t one of theirs, it was a cover of Baby One More Time by Britney Spears, as Healy declared “See you soon”, teasing at a quick return to Belfast.
1. Kyle Falconer – Family Tree
2. Blossoms – How Long Will It Last?
3. The Kooks – Chicken Bone
4. Travis – Side
5. Kasabian – Eez-Eh
Not a large magazine this week, as we look back at a free sampler edition of Melody Maker, which was free for one week only as it changed to an A4 sized publication.
This edition saw Cerys Matthews as the cover star.
As you open the magazine, there is an editorial explaining the new look, as well as a look at some classic Melody Maker covers.
There is an article called Maker Breakers, detailing the breakthrough acts interviewed by Melody Maker in 1999 such as Groove Armada, Gay Dad and Muse.
Dexter Holland of The Offspring is subject of a Q and A, revealing he would watch an execution if it was broadcast on TV.
In reviews, Melody Maker went to see Travis in Aberdeen, gave four and a half stars to The Charlatans new album, while Ian Brown, Cerys Matthews and Ash were celebrity Singles Reviewers.
It’s late May and almost the summer, so Melody Maker suitably gets in a festival mood with this edition.
Travis are in a chart battle with Fat Les, who are doing England’s Euro 2000 song, hoping to get Number 1 as revenge for England putting Scotland out of Euro 2000.
Also hoping for a Number 1 is Toploader, who are going to release a one-off single after the success of Achilles Heel.
Elsewhere, Graham Coxon of Blur has gone solo, his sound being described as heavier than Blur.
Paul Daniels is subject of a Q and A, denying that he’s a right wing bigot.
Mark Gatiss of The League Of Gentlemen is interviewed as they prepare for a tour, a book and a Christmas special.
There is a four page feature listing the Top Ten Greatest Festivals of all-time. Unsurprisingly, the winner was Woodstock 1969.
One festival not on the list MTV’s Five Night Stand, headlined by Embrace, Muse and Primal Scream. It did get three pages of coverage in this edition of Melody Maker though.
Toploader were reviewing singles, giving their Single Of The Week to Crashland.
After a five year absence, Elastica are back with a new album, and take their place on the cover of Melody Maker.
In news, it’s all about Oasis, as Melody Maker canvasses fans on their US tour, supported by Travis. Oasis Spokesperson has denied that the band are splitting up, while Limp Bizkit claimed Oasis had them demoted on the Reading and Leeds bill.
Noel Gallagher hit back by wondering if Korn or Limp Bizkit will still be around in 2004.
Alex James of Blur gets interviewed as he launches his side project Fat Les, while revealing that he supports both Bournemouth and Arsenal.
In competitions, you could win a Manic Street Preachers video, Kevin and Perry merchandise, and a monkey suit as worn by Bloodhound Gang.
Elastica get a four page feature, as Melody Maker joins them on tour in Manchester and Leeds.
My Vitriol get a full page feature as they are described as one of Britain’s most exciting new bands, as does Elliott Smith as he prepares to release his new album, Figure Eight.
Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit gets interviewed, where he describes being a Rock Star as “fucking awesome”.
Live Reviews focus on Gomez in Manchester, with the general consensus being positive.
Also reviewed are Korn, Puff Daddy, Black Box Recorder and L7.
Chris Moyles and Comedy Dave from Radio 1 are doing singles reviews, with single of the week being Idiot Radar with Lowfinger.
There is a full page feature on Embrace, as they go through the process of recording their album Drawn From Memory.
The magazine ends with a short Q and A with Jimmy Pop from Bloodhound Gang.
Fran Healy of Travis is the cover star of this week’s edition of Melody Maker, as the band look to make it big in America.
As you open the magazine, Nina Persson poses for a photoshoot with Vic and Bob, after she recorded the theme tune to Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) that they are starring in.
Oasis are on a media blitz to promote their new album, with Liam Gallagher appearing as a guest in The Big Breakfast.
The Brit Award nominations are announced, with Ian Brown, Travis and Stereophonics speaking to Melody Maker about their nominations.
Matt Bellamy gets asked about the Brit Awards, describing them as “so much bullshit”.
Mansun get asked to choose their favourite music videos of all time, choosing ones by David Bowie, Nirvana and Blondie.
Travis attempts to crack America get four pages of coverage.
On the other side of the world, Melody Maker covers Big Day Out in Australia, where Foo Fighters, Primal Scream and Blink 182 were among the performers.
Concert Reviews went on the road this week, with Muse in Munich getting five stars, compared with Stereophonics getting two and a half stars for their Toronto gig.
Tim Burgess is the subject of a Q and A, where he reveals he looks into a mirror a lot of times a day.
In lyrics, the lyrics to Oasis new single Go Let It Out get dissected.