Photo credit kayla-surico
Dedication clearly wins the race here as empty food packaging, beer cans and even a sleeping bag litter the streets leading up to the venue's doors. I daren't like to think about how long some people had been waiting in line. As a subtle ambiance billowed from the speakers, each small hint of a change in sound brought enormous applause and cheers as eager fans anticipated the band's arrival on stage. A clever trick or not, who'd have thought no playlist music to while away the time between acts would reap such an intensive atmosphere. There's no mistaking their emergence though as the place erupted with screams before camera phones rose as high and as far as their owners' hands would allow. As they readily broke in to their 80's powerhouse new single Love Me, the band were keen to divulge its Bowie-esque swagger meeting Prince style basslines head-on in what was to be the mood set for the evening ahead.
"We'll just have to make it about YOU&US" exclaims Matty taking to Twitter earlier in the day, sadly to announce the lack of visuals due to Rock City's intimacy. An intimacy I'm sure we won't be seeing for much longer as their popularity continues to rise with the announcement of the band's forthcoming arena date. It really has been an incredible journey for the Manchester formed group, one they can be incredibly proud of after year's of hard work. I'm not sure anyone could have predicted how things were about to pan out when they spring-boarded on to our radars in 2012, little as such themselves as they continue to get to grips with sell out shows across the globe, but it really has been nothing short of mesmeric.
They might have been away for a short while but that doesn't mean their fans admiration has faltered in the slightest. If anything, it's increased the eagerness in their stance as the crowd swayed to and fro, feet rooted to the spot in order to stay upright. "You got something to say? Why don't you speak it out loud, instead of living in your head?" fervently chant back the crowd after the fulminating guitars on Heart Out gave way to its mood shifting sax solo. The noise inside really was something, Healy on numerous occasions signalling to the sound desk for an increase in guitar - no doubt drowned out by the searing audience.
As they worked through a mix of album and EP track's it was interesting to see some of the more slower-paced songs make an appearance. Fallingforyou and Me both reaching out, connecting with an audience who were only willing to soak up the emotion as swirling synth-pad textures filled the room with a haunting ambiance. This band mean a lot to people. It's clear to see that from their reactions, whether it's on a social media level or in a live setting. From all of the late nights and high times with friends, right through to the shitty relationships and game playing I and I'm sure many others have been caught up in, The 1975 have soundtracked it all. A theme that doesn't look like it's letting up any time soon as they confidently unveiled their new material - all so resoundingly real and resonating.
"I don't want your body But I hate to think about you with somebody else".
With fans already singing back the words to songs that haven't even been released proves the point in just how popular they've become. It's not surprising to hear this reaction when She's American delivered on its 80's basslines and dreamy introspective sax line as whistles and cheers erupted throughout. The whole performance is a masterclass in perfection as the obsessive and demanding "we want more" chants echoed throughout before an electrifying 3 track encore featuring Medicine, Chocolate and Sex.
Still with the words in my head 2 days later, it's no bold assumption to say this band have perfected their art to the highest magnitude. Few can hold a connection with their debut album and yet still progressively evolve as thoroughly as The 1975 seem top be achieving here. With references throughout to their self-titled record it looks likely 'I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it' is about to lift their presence to an even higher ground than before. A roller coaster ride from beginning to end, I'm sure 2016 has many big things planned for the Manchester lads.
The 1975's second album 'I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it' will be released 26 February. They continue their tour at the following dates before taking the new album out on the road in March.
Nov 17 – Edinburgh – Corn Exchange
Nov 18 – Bridlington – Spa
Nov 19 – Cambridge – Corn Exchange
Nov 20 – Plymouth – Pavilion
Nov 21 – Southampton – Guildhall
Nov 23 – Southend – Cliff Pavilion
Nov 24 – London – Hammersmith Apollo
Nov 26 – Brighton – Centre
Nov 27 – Swindon – Oasis
Nov 28 – Manchester – Academy
Mar 7 – London – O2 Brixton Academy
Mar 8 – London – O2 Brixton Academy
Mar 9 – London – O2 Brixton Academy
Mar 13 – Manchester – O2 Apollo
Mar 14 – Manchester – O2 Apollo
Mar 15 – Manchester – O2 Apollo
Mar 18 – Glasgow – O2 Academy
Mar 19 – Glasgow – O2 Academy
Mar 22 – Birmingham – Barclaycard Arena