Sunday, 13 March 2016

The 1975: O2 Academy Brixton

A flippant decision last Friday afternoon to book tickets to see The 1975 turned out to be an excellent one. I'd loved their first album, but not really listened to their second, released only a couple of weeks ago, when I said "yeah, sure" to Simon, as he asked if I'd like to go. It slipped my mind until the morning of the gig that I should probably actually listen to some of these songs beforehand, because I hate going to gigs and not being able to sing along...even if I only know the chorus. 

The set list was great - an awesome mix of songs, old and new - kicking off with Love Me before mellowing in the middle, and ending with their most popular, well-known songs. They brought back some tunes from their first album, like Sex, Chocolate and finished off the gig with Girls. They're songs I thought I'd forgotten, but instantly remembered the words - and was taken back to my first year of uni, and the train journeys and evenings spent getting ready in my room listening to them. Blast from the past...kind of. The new album is killer - every single song is good, there's no filler, and the performances were awesome. There were some clear audience favourites, with everyone singing and dancing along to The Sound, Somebody Else and She's American. It was a pretty long set at almost 2 hours long, but my god was it good. They sung everything you possibly could have wanted them to, and kept up such good momentum that each song eased into the next and you were carried along with them, wanting more. 

Lead singer, Matthew Healy, is known for his distinctive voice and ability to reach those high notes most of us can only dream about - and I was slightly worried about how it would sound live. But there was absolutely nothing to be concerned about: he sounded just as great as when recorded, if not better aided by the enthusiasm and poptastic atmosphere created by having them right in front of you. The sax solos, featuring intermittently throughout the evening, were a really cool addition, furthering the sense of the band as a really genuinely talented group of musicians as well as performers. 

So you've got this amazing group of performers, singing incredible songs with great lyrics and they're really talented musicians. The only thing left was the performance itself, which felt like it flowed very naturally, with climaxes and chill in exactly the right places, all brought together by this totally mind blowing light show. I love a good light show - especially when you're standing as far back as we were and the band are tiny men that you can only see as long as they don't go too near the front of the stage. We went from cityscapes to neon to tv static to reflections...and a lot of strobe, those guys love a bit of strobe. It all just looked so clean and sharp and fitted perfectly with the sound and the songs and the performers. 

The only moan I have, which has nothing to do with the band, is what is the deal with people coming to gigs and talking the entire way through it? There are plenty of pubs in Brixton where you can chat to your mates, where the beer's cheaper and where you don't have to pay £30 to get in - so go there, and stop mugging everyone else off. 

I think it was the best gig I've ever been to, and I've spent every day since listening to their album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It (bit of a mouthful), and looking at where else I could possibly justify travelling to so I can see them again. If you get a chance, definitely go and see them. If you're not that fussed about them, still go and see them, because I promise it'll change your mind. If nothing else, give their new album a listen and tell me you don't find yourself singing The Sound in the shower. 


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