It's ten to nine and I've arrived late, mainly because I wanted to miss the support group and mainly because I missed the early bus. It's pretty packed in with smug marrieds and templates for thermal clothing catalogues and I begin to wonder if I've stumbled into the wrong gig. My worries are well and truly quashed as cheers come from the balcony as they see shadowed figures take their place on the shadowed stage. Before the lights come up, a face silhouetted under a blue light is projected on stage and recites the powerful monologue from cult film "Network". "But first get up out of your chairs, open your window, stick your head out and yell, "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!" The lights go up and they open immediately with "Chinese Blues" for their new album "Ode to Mr.J". The album wasn't out until the next day but this track was an impressive taster of what to expect. They stop only for a second to absorb some applause and continue with "Mr. J" and the atmosphere starts to perk. The crowd suddenly have all the proof they need that Travis are well and truly back, bigger and better than before. People down their pints so they can throw their arms up in the air and you find yourself being tossed about as people jostle around on the bounciest dance floor in the world. I begin to wonder if half these people are indeed dancing, or being thrown up in the air like rag dolls as a result of other rowdy neighbouring Travis fans. They finally introduce themselves and wish us well with some jovial pleasantries, and introduce yet another new track from their album. Fran exclaims "I know some of you won't be able to afford to buy two albums a day, but I want you to listen to this next song. So I don't care how you get it - whether you buy it or burn it off your friend's computer, just listen. Usually I'd be scared of saying that because of the record company but - we are the record company." This is followed by an uproar and they play their final samples of their new album in the form of "Something, Anything" and "Last Words". They're powerful and juicy, something you almost wouldn't expect to come out of a band so timid and romantic. I struggle to keep my camera still to take a decent picture as people throw themselves left, right and centre and the crowd roar again as the band introduce "All I wanna do is Rock". Fran introduces a temporary member of the band in the form of Klaus, from Sweden (not his full name) and the crowd are encouraged to chant his name to embarrass him as he does his piano solo. Fran and the band are obviously having as much fun as we are tonight, and the added cosiness of the small venue meant that it was almost impossible not to feel a little loved-up. They clock onto all the couples in the crowd and play Writing to Reach You, which is actually my personal favourite. Even a person as single as me can't help but feel a little warmed at the effect the band were having on these people. Love Will Come Through (another personal favourite) follows and I know all the words so I totally go for it. I catch the eye of Fran (as I am the only person not in another person's arms and simultaneously not wearing a fleece) and he gives me a little wave. Its hard to express just how special the night felt, and even though you probably couldn't cut the atmosphere with a knife, you'd definitely want to decorate your Christmas tree with it. They exit after Flowers in the Window - but we are not fooled. We stand our ground and wait for the final instalment of our Travis fill. A few minutes pass - maybe Fran is buffing his head, and Fran, accompanied only by lead guitarist Andy Dunlop re-appears and dives into a cover of I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry. The crowd go mental, singing along and laughing at Fran dancing seductively like one of his female counterparts and the crowd scream louder than ever - probably out of surprise. Without uttering a word of reason they shift into the next song as the rest of the band join them onstage. They play Driftwood and straight after, Fran picks up his guitar and places it upright on the floor like a cello - and clued-up fans know what's coming next. And sure enough, he kneels down and pretends to play it with an invisible bow as the opening chords of Why Does it Always Rain on Me? Bellow out of the speakers. Everyone sings along as Fran's beautiful floaty Gaelic-reminiscent voice fills the hall. It's hard to ignore the touch of magic Travis bring to the stage at moments like this, and for that reason alone it soars to the top of my list of favourite gigs. The crowd are encouraged to jump up and down at the chorus and do so - perhaps a little more reluctantly as the band loop the chorus for the third time. The band say their goodbyes and the crowd for once look a little disappointed - but if they were thinking anything like I was then that's just because they'd have liked it to continue til the early hours of next Wednesday. I leave along with the rest of the Ritz and can't help but overhear all the positive feedback that's exchanged between my fellow fans. I pull out my crumpled ticket and put it somewhere safe when I get home, as a little memento of what may well have been one of the best nights of my life.