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This week reporter Katy Whitelaw talks to former Lenzie Academy pupil Andy Dunlop.

TRAVIS have gone back to their roots with their latest album although there will be no vacuum cleaner sound effects this time around says Lenzie guitarist Andy Dunlop.

The Glasgow band released their sixth album Ode To J.Smith recently and the Brit Award winners are already receiving rave reviews for their beefed-up electric guitar sound.

However, former Lenzie resident Andy has told the Herald about his first attempt at fame – complete with vacuum cleaner solo.

The former Lenzie Moss Primary and Lenzie Academy pupil said: "At school there were two rival bands and I was in one called Red, which eventually morphed into Travis.

"We took part in a battle of the bands competition at school, but we didn't win – we were pretty rubbish.

"Part of our act included a vacuum cleaner solo which we thought was great at the time."

He added: "I spent all my childhood in Lenzie and it was great fun.

"I enjoyed school although music wasn't really a strong subject for me – I was in the art department more.

"I love going back to Lenzie and it's nice my parents are still there as I have some great memories.

"And we always had the Kirkintilloch Herald in my house when I was growing up."

Andy's love of music developed at an early age with the support of his parents.

He professed a love for rock band AC/DC aged 12 and went on to run a mobile disco in the area playing at over-60s nights.

The current Travis line-up formed while the guys were attending Glasgow Art School and 10 million albums later the group have become an inspiration to many, including Bishopbriggs singer-songwriter Amy Macdonald.

The pop star claims the band as one of her main influences, which Andy described as an "honour".

He added: "Amy is doing really well and she is a great girl.

"We saw her playing around two weeks ago on the same bill at a festival we were doing and it is nice to think we have inspired someone to get into music."

The tour schedule on the lead-up to the album's release has been hectic and they have a string of dates lined up across Europe over the coming months.

Touring means Andy spending less time with his wife and son, but he is happy to be back playing live with the band's "natural" sound.

He said: "It's nice as we are all dads now so we can swap nappy tips when we are touring!

"The new album was recorded live and we really went back to basics.

"The album is how we sound naturally and it makes sense and translates well when we play it live.

"My favourite track is J. Smith, as it's the weirdest, most dramatic and greatest fun to play."

Andy is renowned for losing himself in a live performance with a few battle scars to prove it.

He said: "On tour I am usually the one injuring myself as I do get a bit carried away sometimes.

"I have broken my ankle and ended up in hospital a few times – my mum and wife get really concerned about me.

"Hopefully there won't be any injuries this time around!"

 
 
 

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