The current darlings of the NME, The 1975, brought their UK & Ireland tour to The Brighton Centre on 16/01 in support of their most recent album A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. Hailing from Manchester the band have become one of the biggest in the world right now due to their cult-like following and indie/pop rock tunes.
The band’s name evokes the question of ‘who inspired it?’ and ‘what does it mean?’ you’ll be pleased to know that it was all down to a beat poetry book that was published by a man by the name of Jack Kerouac. Random but true, after many incarnations in their formative years! The band hit the scene back in 2013 when they released the self-titled debut album and were championed by DJs, Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens. UK and American Tours followed the same year with support slots for Muse and the legendary Rolling Stones. This propelled them from strength to strength with their infectious pop rock with underlying tones of love, sex and themes that endear themselves to the youth of today. The follow up ‘difficult’ second album ‘I Like It When you Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It’ received positive reviews and was a great commercial success, cementing The 1975’s status.
Tonight’s gig in Brighton was busy from the off with fans queuing outside well before the doors opened at 6.30pm, to ensure their space at the front of the stage for the rest of the evening. Such was the age range of this gig, it was very easy to get served at the non-existent queues at the bar, something which leads me to believe I’m getting very old; I’ll let you decide. Tonight’s support came courtesy of ‘No Rome’ (with who The 1975 have collaborated with on the track ‘Narcissist’) and the NME Under the Rader Award winners, ‘Pale Waves’. I’d heard a lot of noise about Pale Waves and was keen to catch their set which turned out to be ok. For me their tunes sound a lot better on record as opposed to live but I’m not sure if the short set of 20 mins didn’t do them any justice, I felt like they needed more time in order to be able to get a real feel for their sound and what they were trying to convey.
The excitement and atmosphere was building for The 1975, the lights dimmed and a robotic voice and words/lyrics appeared via the backdrop before the band took to the stage. It was clear to see from the outset that the fanbase idolise lead singer Matt Healy, son of Denise Welch and Tim Healy, and the synergy between them is intense. It seems like many of the female-heavy crowd are hanging on his every word, movement and gesture in amongst the sold out 4,500 capacity of the Brighton Centre.
After a brief intro, the band threw themselves straight into the first two tracks from their most recent album, ‘Give Yourself a Try’ and ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’. One of the things that stood out instantly was the production for this tour, superb use of the lighting, the stage design with its movement of screens and depth it provided. This was exemplified with the track ‘Sincerity is Scary’ which proceeded to recreate the music video with Matt dressed in the same attire walking through a NY borough, this was cleverly aided by a treadmill across the length of the stage to bring it all to life. I was glad to be seated opposite the stage so that I was able to take in the full experience of the production head on.
‘No Rome’ made a cameo appearance to perform the song ‘Narcissist’ and then the middle of the set slowed down somewhat and I’d have to admit this is the part that I enjoyed the most. It was experimental and went against the grain of the conventional The 1975 ‘sound’ that I had in my mind. This is the one thing about the band that confuses me is I feel they don’t really know what their sound is? I understand that bands progress and try different routes but for me I felt it jumped about too much in places.
The tail end of the set saw the tour debut of the track ‘Me’ followed by ‘Somebody Else’ which was well received by the crowd and has been streamed on Spotify over 212 million times! The band then headed off stage for a short while for the traditional encore routine, returning to the stage to play through a further five tracks including ‘Love It If We Made It’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Sex’. The venue lights were then raised to signify the end of the evening with a robotic voice repeating the word Goodbye!