Music review: TRNSMT festival (Sunday)
TRNSMT festival (Sunday), Glasgow Green, Glasgow ****
It’s getting hard to walk in front of a stage in Scotland without hearing a headline show by the 1975. After their Hydro gig in January and BBC Radio 1’s Big weekend in Dundee in May, Matty Healy and his band rounded off 2023’s TRNSMT festival with a set which illustrated why they’re pushing their way into the future A-list of festival headliners.
“Ladies and gentlemen, you are so lucky to see one of the world's greatest bands,” hollered Healy, referring to his own group, a typically self-aggrandising touch as he strode the stage with wine bottle or hip-flask. His words nearly lived up to the festival’s closing moments, the anthemic Give Yourself a Try and the thrash-punk People. They had been joined backstage, he said, by “our good friend Lewis Capaldi”, whose place they will take at the Reading and Leeds festivals with anniversary performances of their self-titled debut album.
This group aren’t so much the sound of their times, as fragments of all its sonic styles. They do sad and reflective just as well as Capaldi, as on About You and It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You), blended with big-chorused anthems like Robbers and Sex, and the perfectly politically-charged Love It If We Made It. “There is no stopping the 1975 right now,” declared Healy, dishing out another exclusive. “We've written a new show, some of the dates will be here in Glasgow – it's going to get weird and it's going to get dark.”
The 1975 do pop as well as Becky Hill and rock better than Royal Blood, their immediate main stage predecessors. The latter group powered through one lurching, gristly rock riff after another, but it sounded pretty simplistic next to the King Tut’s Stage headliner, Essex’s Nothing But Thieves, a righteous blend of glam, emo and synth-punk energy. To see them follow the 1975 to the top of the bill would be no surprise.