Obituary of Paul Travis

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Paul Travis, my partner, who died of cancer at the age of 73, was a singer and songwriter who in the 1970s was part of the British progressive rock scene, first with his own band Travis, then with Liar.

Paul was born in Oldham and was Alan’s eldest brother, an ICI exhibition and design manager, and Alice (née Worthington), who worked in a canteen at the school. He attended Chadderton Grammar School for Boys in Oldham and became a member of different bands on the Manchester folk scene from the age of 16 as an accomplished guitarist. He graduated from Coventry College of Art with a degree in graphic design in 1969 and moved to Canada for a brief time to join a nightclub band in Montreal. He returned home when this project ended, and formed the band Travis in 1971 with a group of friends in Barnsley. In 1973, they recorded the album Shine on Me. He was instrumental in forming the rock group Liar in 1975, after the breakup of Travis, which toured the UK with Slade and UFO, with Paul on guitar and vocals, and also toured communist Eastern Europe, unusually for the time. In 1976, Paul released a solo album, Return of the Native, and also recorded two albums with Liar, Straight from the Hip (1977) and Set the World on Fire (1978), of which the second was very successful in the United States. They recorded a third set of songs at Crystal Sounds Studio in Los Angeles when the band was in California to support that release, but they broke up in 1979 and the album did not see the light of day. Paul moved to Germany in 1987 and formed a successful duo such as Travis and Davis with Sandy Davis, a former member of the progressive rock group Gracious. He and Sandy later joined the Nightbirds, a German band, and appeared at concerts and festivals.

Paul worked as an interior designer and decorator and for an engineering company after moving to the UK in 1991, although he still kept on playing.

When he came to the bookstore where I worked, I met him in 2004. Paul and his Liar bandmates decided to release the third album in 2019, which was left on the shelf in 1979.

It was released as Sunset Plaza Drive in 2020, and working on the album with his old friends in the last months of his life was a source of great joy for Paul. He leaves behind me, his children Ben and Georgina from his first marriage to Josephine Pearce, which ended in divorce, his stepchildren Alex and Jenny from his second marriage to Jean Jones, which ended in 2002, and Maxine, his sister.

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