Gig review: The 1975

The 1975 at T in the Park 2013. Picture: Neil Doig
The 1975 at T in the Park 2013. Picture: Neil Doig
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THEIR arrival preceded several minutes of dry-ice being pumped into the Barrowlands to the sound of a dramatic synth drone, you half expected an animatronic dinosaur to wander onstage in place of four wiry guys from Manchester, singer Matthew Healy draped in a fur coat and slurping a bottle of red wine.

The 1975

Barrowland, Glasgow


The 1975’s steep ascent to chart-toppers with their self-titled debut album proves that being a hit band can be as much about acting like one as anything else. With their dreamified take on 80s pop-rock and lyrics full of sex, drugs and angst, comes bags of attitude, most of it from the artfully dishevelled Healy, his shirt unbuttoned after a few songs to reveal tattoos in odd places.

You could imagine your teenage self being awfully impressed by it all, especially if you happened to be a girl, and girls were in the majority here – when drummer George Daniel eventually went, in the local parlance, “taps aff”, the scream was boy band worthy.

But if you’re old enough to recall the decade The 1975 fetishise, you may have been left wondering just what brought clipped, funky drive-time radio-friendly guitars and popping bass lines back with such a bang. Or saxophonists emerging out of the smoke to rock an epic solo, as one did during Heart Out – though in fairness, you probably don’t see enough of that these days.

You could have easily fast-forwarded to the encore to get to the properly good stuff – the lithe, danceable Chocolate, then the charging Sex. The sight of rows of cars with anxious-looking parents behind the wheels parked up outside afterwards in many ways explained The 1975’s success, and probably why they matter too.

Seen on 25.09.14