Travis at the Manchester Apollo

16th October 2003

Travis at Manchester Apollo

Left to Right Neil Primrose, Phil, Fran Healey, Peter Hillier

Message from Fran Healey, Travis

My name is Fran Healy. I am the lead singer and songwriter in the band Travis. Our success as a group has taken us around the world many times now.

We recently played in Manchester and a friend of mine dropped by after the show. He runs a venue in Liverpool called The Picket. He told me that men in suits were going to close it down.

I was totally shocked by this as, out of all the venues we were booked to play in our 13 year career, the Picket was the one that I have fondest memories of. Usually when you are in an unknown band, the venues you play, are simply a room, usually in bad repair, the folks that work there are 'just doing a job' and don't give a monkeys about looking after the bands that pass through.

The Picket is an exception in every department. It has a warmth about it that makes one feel at home from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. A lot of this is down to my friend Phil. But this warmth doesn't just extend to bands passing through, moreover it's a place where the teenagers can hang out in a decent environment, off the streets.

You can't put a price on this. The Picket isn't just another venue. The Picket is the embodiment of what the city of Liverpool has always stood for, the humour, the warmth, the passion, the hospitality, the hope, the simplicity and the depth.

By destroying The Picket you are losing a lot more than a building. It cannot be replaced. It's a sad day for the music business, a sad day for the local community and a sad day for Liverpool.

I'm in shock. Please look elsewhere. Leave this hub of the community where it is.

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