Music review: The 1975, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow

The 1975 mix postmodern stylings with political statements at Bellahouston Park. Picture: Contributed
The 1975 mix postmodern stylings with political statements at Bellahouston Park. Picture: Contributed
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A self-styled “post-genre” band for the smartphone generation, the Mancunian four-piece opened this final Glasgow Summer Sessions outdoor extravaganza of 2019 on an unseasonably hot late August night with a snarling new hardcore punk song called People.

The 1975, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow * * * *

Supplemented by a senses-overloading lighting and video production, from there they went on to survey a little of everything from vocoder-ized electro-R&B (TOOTIME) to glittering synth-pop (Somebody Else) and Oasis-y anthemry (I Always Wanna Die Sometimes). Dressed in a Kangol bucket hat, flared jeans and an oversized Napalm Death T-shirt, frontman Matt Healy looked like a 1992 Reading Festival goer come unstuck in time.

Annoying as all the lashings of post-modern irony can be, The 1975 use their platform to champion important causes without seeming cloying and preachy – think Achtung Baby U2, as opposed to Joshua Tree. A four-minute pre-recorded speech about looming environmental catastrophe by teenage activist Greta Thunberg will have been a buzzkill for some. But paired with explosive sign of the times banger Love It If We Made It, it made for a bold and compelling statement.

Chocolate and Sex – songs dating back to The 1975’s first album in 2013, and a time when they were a simpler sex, drugs and rock’n’roll proposition – brought a requisite adrenaline kick to the set’s final furlong. Yet they felt like already ancient artefacts in the history of a never-predictable band who are evolving at a breathless rate. -

Malcolm Jack