02 ABC – 17/9/2013

The 1975 are quickly playing their way into the hearts and minds of the musically plugged-in masses, seemingly an overnight success even though they’ve been playing together for over 10 years. But with each single came more success, a huge buzz building up around them in festival season, their eponymous number one album and now a headline tour.

Support comes in two forms from bands MMX and Night Engine, with MMX’s ‘Only’ showing exactly why they’re there. You see them feel the music as they play, and the slightly dark tone that tinges their music appeals straight to the hearts of the mostly teenage crowd. Night Engine aren’t quite so easy to explain. Their music is loud with heavy guitars, drums and synths and yet they seem to jar with the crowd, not quite managing to make the connections in-between songs that keeps a crowd invested.

And then, The 1975 finally come out to uproarious cheers as they open with ‘The City’. The years of friendship and of growing up together (repeat)- the years from which they forged this album- are apparent. They are four men in love with playing live music and playing together. There is a childish euphoria on frontman Matt Healy’s face as his songs are sang back at him and he can’t quite stop expressing his gratitude in between numbers, even asking one boy to lower his sign so the people behind can see, then apologising and dedicating a love song to him.

Everything is perfectly orchestrated, from the stark white lights on the otherwise black stage giving everything a monochrome tinge to the way they dip in and out of the slower, more romantic songs like ‘Heart Out’ to the momentum building upbeat tracks like ‘Girls’ and ‘Settle Down’. They close as they opened on a hit- ‘Chocolate’- until of course they come back for ‘Sex’. Without any clear differences between the singles and the album tracks every song feels like it could be a hit. There is a synchronicity that connects each song to the next and probably means they’ll be around topping our charts for a long time to come.

[Emma Ainley-Walker]

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