I saw them in Glastonbury last year, and watching them was like being part of their ‘rock n roll’ fairy-tale for a bit. Everyone in the crowd was looking at each other with a cloud of smugness in their eyes - like self- satisfied cataracts. “Yeah, we’re cool, they ‘aint even got a proper album out yet and we’re already fans.”
Matty Healy, the lead vocalist, was notably grateful for the support, saying “Thank You” to the audience probably about 26 times. But all in all it was an entertaining, slightly pretentious, but nevertheless, good experience. To be honest, I was looking forward to slipping back in to my skinny jeans and pleather jacket, to go and re-immerse myself in a similar vibe at the O2 Academy, Sheffield.
However, in the car driving to the venue, I found out that Matty Healy is the spawn of Denise Welch (Loose Women, Coronation Street, Dancing on Ice) and Tim Healy (Waterloo Road, Benidorm). My pleather jacket started to feel slightly tight and itchy. Suddenly I felt a little ashamed of it, like black, shiny sunburn; revealing my ignorance and speciousness on the music shoreline.
I don’t know why, but I felt like I had been somewhat misled, no Billy Elliot type story of triumph, and certainly no run-down garage rehearsal space. It was probably a garage with a brand- new fitted studio, and a door that you can open without even having to get out of your car, with one of those remote control things.
Healy traipsed on to the stage, looking much like a miniature Eminem in 8 Mile. Hood up, smoke machine on, he looked rather like an urban monk. He begrudgingly sung the first few songs, cowled and stationary. If it weren’t for the fact I still have Flappy Birds on my phone (don’t hate the player, hate the game), I think I would have been fairly bored.
The shedding of the hood thankfully eliminated any boredom that I’d previously felt.
Healy is undeniably a great singer and The 1975’s music, when not inducing the monk meditational ambience, is indie-pop genius. After a few upbeat, crowd-pleasers like Heart Out and M.O.N.E.Y, the audience were reverberating with animation. Next came Settle Down, which ironically seemed to cause quite the contrary with many of the female’s hormonal balance, resulting in lusty screams and girls feigning fainting at the front.
After Settle Down came a brief regression back to synth, smoke and monastic brotherhood. I don’t know if these slow intervals are purposely implemented to enhance the ‘high’ of the more up-beat songs to come, but that is definitely the response it generates.
Finishing the set with Sex and Chocolate was as indulgent as it sounds, without needing any further explanation.
With a careless flick of his hand, Healy threw his guitar-pick in to the crowd and sauntered off the stage. Inevitably back to filtering any traces of Loose Women or Benidorm from his alternative, indie fairy-tale.