Film, Album, Single and Event Reviews

Live Review: The 1975 at Brixton Academy, London

  • By AndyVale
  • 12 Jan 2014
  • Event Date 11 Jan 2014
Supajam plods along to see The 1975 at Brixton.

If we said that "2013 was a good year for The 1975" we'd be telling the truth in the most understated manner possible. You've heard them all over the place, so we don't need to run down their accolades, but their appearence in our top 20 albums of 2013 was probably the highest point.

Tonight is the last in a run of six sold-out gigs in Manchester and London that have a celebratory feel about them. Opening the show is Wild Cub, coming over from Nashville for their first London gig. They deliver a set of raw uplifting Indie with some colourful synth lines and three members taking percussive duties in climatic parts. Their set rode on a Springsteen-esque thrust that managed to engage far more of the audience than most opening acts.

Following this was the crash and distortion of Wolf Alice, with a live sound that managed to grunt without necessarily chugging. In softer parts the guitar sounded psychadellic in its exploratory nature, but not to the point that we were busting out flower-print trousers and ingesting prodigious quantities of LSD. Ellie's vocals crooned over the garage-punk scuzz like she was queen of the junkyard.

Shrouded in darkness, The 1975 take the stage. The set design features five big rectangles that are featured prominently in the band's artwork. What is immediately evident is how much Matty relishes the role of frontman, slinking around the stage all in black and regularly swigging from a bottle of something that's probably not blackcurrant squash. He channels the combustable mix of hedonism and innocence that runs through the most pure and attention-grabbing moments of the band.


Early set highlights include 'She Way Out', which gets the first committed pogo of the night, and 'M.O.N.E.Y'. The latter is a pretty passable track on the album, but a squeeling guitar near the end gives it a little bit of pep that keeps the buzz up. There's probably some gaps that could be filled midway through the 90-minute set. It's never not enjoyable but it does seem to tread water slightly, you get the feeling that they'll be able to absolutely nail a set of this length in one or two albums time.

The encore started with a lone Matty performing 'Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You' on the keys. Despite a polite plea from the stage, a lot of audience chatter blunts what could've been a gorgeous moment. Seriously, how hard is it to be quiet for five minutes at a gig you have paid real life money to see? A ridiculously efficient three-punch combo of 'Robbers', 'Chocolate', and 'Sex' finishes the set and leaves people grinning. It's a jarring reminder that the boys are at their best when balling up all the danger, lust, joy, sadness, love, and fear of youth into a solid 3:30 aural microcosm.