the 1975 live in Birmingham

STARS OF THE MOMENT: The 1975 on-stage in Brum in front of a packed crowd earlier this week. Photo (c) Tony Woolliscroft (via Facebook/The 1975)

Having taken the UK by storm after incredible storm, The 1975 arrive at the HMV Institute in Birmingham on their THIRD sold out tour of the year, this time armed with their self-titled, chart-topping debut album. 

After a hugely busy festival season for the band in which legends The Rolling Stones personally asked them to fill their support slot, their debut LP was ready to go. Following its release on September 2, their album-promoting tour kicked-off in Newcastle, giving fans just a few weeks to learn the words and grooves a-plenty that the album presented.

A single white-lit rectangle mirroring the The 1975’s album logo is the only stage décor in attendance, rippling a minimalistic and haunting feel through the 2000 strong crowd. The Manchester-grown four-piece open with ‘Anobrain’, a mystical, ‘underwater-esque’ track accompanied with dimmed lights and smoky pyrotechnics that cast the whole band as swaying shadows on stage. The lighting and stage design for the entire gig was primarily black and white, matching the artwork on the several EPs and the album released by the quartet.

‘The City’ follows in second spot, and the audience visibly perk up in recognition. The singing along and jumping starts here, set to finish an hour or so later. On inspection, The 1975 have seemingly captured a large and eclectic audience, with many young indie fans squashed into the Institute next to parents, couples and families.

Tour Poster - The 1975

FOREVER TOURING: The official tour poster for The 1975’s current and extensive UK tour. Photo (c) Facebook/The 1975


Matthew Healy (a.k.a. Denise Welch’s son and the vocalist in the band) is consistently note-perfect throughout the show, and sounds identical to his preened voice on the album  that showcases a true talent; a talent that is hard to find without a mass of editing in recent years. The other members, Adam Hann (guitar), George Daniel (drums) and Ross MacDonald (bass/synth) work cleverly together in creating ethereal, smooth synth pop on tracks such as ‘fallingforyou’, before channelling a funk, 80’s feel with ‘Girls’, ‘Heart Out’ and ‘So Far (It’s Alright).’ Needless to say, the upbeat tracks get the crowd hyperactive, grooving with other members of audience and singing as loud as possible. Healy consistently tempts audience members by standing on the front amp, pointing at people and throwing bottles of water, inducing young girls’ constant screams of “I LOVE YOU”. The crowd also remained fun and alive during the set, much to the excitement of the band.

‘Pressure’ and ‘Robbers’ bring the crowd back to a happy medium, giving them a chance to rest and instead gently bob along for a few songs. That is, however, until the band perform the hugely popular singles ‘Sex’ and ‘Chocolate’, tracks that wallop everyone in the face with their energy, sending everyone into fits of waving and cheering. The songs were a perfectly performed despite being an obvious finish to the evening; and with that, everyone left into the cold Birmingham night feeling seemingly euphoric, with £13 very well spent.

I had a great night and I am definitely keen to see The 1975 again. The band were flawless, with vocals and instrumentals performed without fault the whole gig through, evoking a happy, fun vibe in everyone. They are a definite go-see even if you only know a song or two; they’ll have you singing and dancing to it all by the end!  Unsurprisingly, a 2014 tour has already been announced, with added shows due to the London and Manchester dates having already sold out! Tickets are available now from all good vendors.

5 stars ★★★


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