This The 1975 article was written by Kelly Crichton, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.
On the approach to the venue you would be excused for thinking you were wading through the remnants of festival. Drunken, sodden, stragglers were surrounded by old quilts, broken umbrellas and camping chairs, hats, gloves, bottles and rubbish. Hard-line The 1975 fans would appear to have shed their accoutrement in haste having been in situ for some time. Chants of “Matty, Matty, Matty fucking Healy” abound.
The screaming is deafening as the band take to the stage amidst four pillars adorned with screens, a large backdrop screen plus a complementary lighting rig. They kick off with ‘Love Me’, the current single (which could easily be mistaken for an old Duran Duran track). Healy really does look as if he is asking each and every person in the crowd to ‘love me’.
Following up with ‘Heart Out’, the first appearance of the saxophone comes towards the end of the track, and it will be a prominent feature of the evening. The new visual stage show starts coming into its own with ‘Settle Down’, the pillars of light appearing to fade between 2D and 3D. Healy’s physical presence dominates the stage, his flowing mop of curls becomes like a fifth member of the band. Guitarist Adam Hann is the only other member of the band to get really physical, but not until later in the show.
Healy’s first utterances are a safety plea for everyone to take two steps back. The stage explodes into a world of static and glitter thanks to the screens for ‘So Far’. For ‘The City’ they almost look like a different band for this track, just rocking out more, less staid.
More tracks from their debut album ‘The 1975’ ensue. Healy tells the crowd they would love to play the new album in full but feels that would bore everyone. New track, ‘Change of Heart’ is the most minimal of songs with Healy salsa dancing around the stage, wine in hand, theatrical, arms outstretched. Healy finally seems to have enough of the expletive-laced chanting and tells the crowd to “shut up.” ‘She’s American,’ another new track, follows, with frenetic guitar and a continuing saxophone onslaught; it’s the bouncy 80s-vibe pop The 1975 do so well.
Healy issues a plea to “Put your fucking phones away. This song is about me.” ‘Me’, is a sombre affair with an introspective feel. Lyrics like “I was thinking about killing myself” put an ocean between it and their most popular tracks. Healy says Edinburgh has been his favourite gig so far, two weeks in to a 2-year-long world tour and that he’s not being sycophantic, no doubt his tongue is firmly lodged in his cheek.
The third new track ‘Somebody Else’, starts like many other The 1975 tracks, a slow burner that picks up and gets increasingly funky. The fourth ‘The Sound’ is an upbeat echo of their previous pop hits and a sure fire hit from the new album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It’, due out in February.
For the encore a topless Healy and the rest of the fully clothed band are set against the backdrop of a night time cityscape. They play the remainder of their ‘hits’ amidst a frenzied crowd. Healy leads the crowd in a chorus of “Here we, here we, here we fucking go,” perhaps by way of apology for his lack of appreciation of the early chants.
Many bands who have only released one album struggle to deliver a 45 minute show of robust content. The 1975 have been called the hardest working band in the UK in the past two years. This show helps proves it.
The new album is said to have around 20 tracks on it. At 26 years old Healy is establishing himself as a flamboyant front man. Amidst some well-publicised scrapes he seems to be keeping himself afloat in the world that often concurs so many young musicians. Continuing to write and the support of the band appear to be key to this. It will be interesting to see how things go for a band who, judging by tonight’s performance and reception, could be bound for international stardom. As for achieving the critical acclaim they seek, I’m not yet sure that will follow suit.