The 1975, gig review

3.00

Manchester Academy

At this very moment young lives are being lived out to the shiny soundtrack of The 1975. That is the way it should be with good, infectious pop music. But for those for whom that gritty eponymous year conjures thoughts of Harold Wilson and West Ham United winning the FA Cup, seeing them at first hand is strangely disconcerting rather like watching the filming of a 1980s TV commercial featuring a young band.

Perhaps this curious cinematic quality stems from singer Matthew Healy’s oft-stated admiration for the films of John Hughes – Breakfast Club, "Pretty in Pink etc. Bouncy and bold their sound is a unique evocation of styles. Springy guitars and moaning synths combine well with singer Matthew Healy’s hair-tossing stage presence and glossy vocal.  Look close enough and you can probably see whatever influences you want in there – the Blow Monkeys, Maroon 5, Peter Gabriel, Duran Duran even.

The set lost a little pace with technical fiddling between songs and  the slower numbers worked with varying effect although fallingforyou has the hallmarks of an enduring classic alongside more obvious contenders for posterity such as "Chocolate", "The City and Sex".

It is just a short bus ride from the band’s well-heeled home town of Wilmslow to Manchester’s Academy - a place Healy pointed out, where he and the lads had spent much time in attendance whilst trying their luck in teenage bands. Emerging amid the geometric lights and swirling dry ice on that stage on the first stop on a European and American tour, a number one debut album already under their belt, must have felt like a triumph.

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