The 1975 @ LGOS: Mountford Hall
Mountford Hall at Liverpool Guild of Students is a relatively new venue in the realms of Liverpool’s deeply ingrained music scene. And I’m relatively new to the scene of the indie/pop/rock indulgence known as The 1975. So last night’s experience seemed an appropriate match.
I first stumbled across The 1975 a couple of years ago as a relatively little-known band that had a steadily growing online female fan base – a fan base that was out in full force in the Guild yesterday evening. It took only a quarter of an hour to realise I was stuck behind a looks-about-fifteen-years-old girl who seemed to have managed to get giddy off of what I suspect was a not-so-non-alcoholic bottle of Ribena. And stuck behind her I would stay.
Opening the night was Essex-originating Rat Boy – he rapped over a selection of live band accompaniments, stretching from indie to hardcore. I must admit, while not necessarily something I would go out of my way to listen to, Rat Boy definitely brought what you need in a good support act – energy and bouncy musicality.
I had a relatively decent view until a gang of slightly dazed-looking third year guys decided to plant their six-feet-something-selves in front of me. And so when The 1975 finally took to the stage, the best I could do for a good half an hour was see the top of frontman Matt Healy’s mop bouncing around.
Inability to see what was going on onstage did not detract from the music, however.
Having removed all their social media profile pictures, the band sparked break-up rumours earlier in the year, only to reappear days later to announce a string of gigs across the UK, and hence this tour was born. Liverpool was the opening night and you could tell from start to finish the Mancunian quartet were having a blast.
The 1975 kicked off their set with recent single, Love Me, and it started as the rest of the show meant to go on – loud, buoyant, and ever so slightly mad. Here I also need to point out the show’s magnificent use of lighting. Setting the place alight were hues of blue and pink, twinkling like some kind of hallucinatory world: an escape.
As their set progressed, The 1975 only got more into it. About half way through I was having the classic symptoms of ‘why haven’t I seen this band live before’, especially when they played my personal favourite, drum-heavy and attitude-driven The City. Ribena Girl seemed to be enjoying her experience too, waving her purple bottle in front of my face every few seconds. I have to admit though, that was a welcome change amongst the sea of iPhones that blocked many people’s view of the stage. But watching gigs through other people’s screens is a problem for another day.
Midway through the gig, Healy announced that they’d been working on their new album. Ahead of its release in February 2016, the band debuted a couple of new tracks from I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It including Change of Heart, and if this track is anything to go by, their next release will be a sweet piece of ear candy.
My only criticism of the night is the heat. Mountford Hall got HOT. I’ve been to a cluster of standing gigs in my time, but never have I sweated as much as I did last night. And it detracted from the experience slightly. As a fellow mane-bearer, I could appreciate frontman Matty’s struggle with the heat; although, sadly, unlike like him I couldn’t combat the heated situation by wearing nothing but an unbuttoned shirt. At least not without being charged for public indecency.
Aside from the heat, though, The 1975 were back with a bang. What sets them apart is the listener’s ability to both zone out while listening to their tracks, while simultaneously becoming emotionally invested in what’s going on in the lyrics. That and a distinctively chill yet upbeat sound. Undeniably smooth, but intense.
Healy said it part way through: ‘Let’s have a f***ing party’. And The 1975 brought it.