HeadLine: Neil’s had a terrible accident, and we are all praying to God
that he is going to be alright
The Mirror, 10/07/2002, p5
by SHAUN MILNE
TRAVIS were last night holding a bedside vigil for bandmate Neil
Primrose after he was found unconscious in a French swimming pool.
The drummer, who cracked his head and fractured vertebrae after falling
into the pool, was rescued by crew and band members who discovered him.
He was given emergency first aid treatment and immediately rushed by
ambulance to the nearby hospital in Belfort in Eastern France.
Last night, shaken Travis spokesman John Yates revealed: “Neil has had
a terrible accident. We are all praying that he is going to be alright.
“We can only assume the break is in his neck because he hit his head
before falling into the pool.
“He was unconscious in the pool but we don’t know how long for. We
assume it wasn’t long because there is no indication that he drowned.
“But we haven’t been able to reach the band.
“The lads are by Neil’s bedside. We know the lads are very upset by
this and are just hoping he can make a full recovery.
“But we just don’t know how badly injured Neil is or what the outcome
will be. It seems he fell in the pool, cracked his head and ended up on
the pool floor.
“After realising his predicament, other band and crew members dragged
Neil from the pool and gave him assistance.
“He was taken by ambulance to the local to receive treatment and to
undergo tests and is still in hospital in France undergoing further
“The band are all there with him and won’t leave his side. Everybody is
shaken by the news.”
Travis had just concluded a week of European festivals. They performed
at the French Belfort festival on Sunday just hours before the
accident. The whole european tour has now been cancelled.
Early indications suggest that Neil has sustained a fracture on one of
his vertebrae during the accident which happened at the band’s hotel in
Travis – Neil, singer Fran Healy, guitarist Andy Dunlop and bassist
Dougie Payne – have become Britain’s best-loved bands with
million-selling albums The Man Who and The Invisible Band.
The group formed after meeting at Glasgow School of Art. They added
Dougie later and went on to earn a clutch of music awards.
After struggling to get recognition, Travis, who got their name from
Harry Dean Stanton’s character in the cult 1984 film Paris Texas, moved
to London to get noticed.
They were signed up within two weeks of heading down south in search of
Their big breakthrough came with the 1999 hit single Why Does It Always
Rain On Me.
Father-of-two Primrose, who is also a keen rally driver, escaped death
in a high speed crash just three months ago.
The 30-year old rocker’s Vauxhall Astra spun out of control and ended
up in a ditch after flipping over a forest track.
Neil had lost control at 60mph during the 38 mile rally at Minehead in
Somerset but miraculously escaped unhurt.
His wife Esther, with whom Neil has two daughters, was notified of the
accident and is also at his bedside.
The Mirror revealed in April how Primrose had a miracle escape from a
terrifying high-speed crash during his car rally debut.
The 30-year-old rock star – who became a father again two weeks before
– landed upside-down in a ditch after his red Vauxhall Astra flipped
over on a forest track.
Neil lost control when the two-litre car hit a bump on a gravel bend at
The crash happened in Knowle woods, near Minehead, Somerset, during a
38-mile national rally, which attracted 120 competitors.
Glasgow-born Neil was still pressing the class leaders in his battered
Astra when he was finally forced to retire on the last stage because of
oil leaking from the gearbox, which was damaged in the accident.
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