After missing the first band due to the perverse demeanour of the ticket office lady, second support band Circa Waves took to the stage at 8.30. Bringing their indie pop to the Manchester Apollo in a glare of green lights with a funky Spanish sounding intro, they blew away any lingering thoughts of the aforementioned experience with cantankerous behaviour. The band played some new music, into which they injected more energy than the rest of the set- perhaps suggesting good things for the future judging by the extrovert show of confidence and enthusiasm.
Speaking of confidence… the headliners hit the ground running, filing onto the stage in front of intense white back-lighting that projected huge 1975 sized shadows over everything. Drinking wine straight from the bottle, vocalist Matt Healy launched himself onto the front speaker, arms flung out and head down, as the crowd applauded him while he stood like a worshipped puppet. This is a band who have come a long way since last year; this tour (which is off the back of their debut album) is completely sold out, including FOUR dates at this, the Manchester 02 Apollo.
The first two songs, The City and Milk are their trademark dance-y alternative rock that establishes their swing. Third song M.O.N.E.Y is mellower and trance-like; expecting the chorus to drop before the same verse beat hits again (much more noticeable live than on record) and Healy is popping his shoulders along with the crowd who are in a laid back groove.The 1975 have a knack for writing a riff; they have jilting guitars that are metallic and repetitive, but they know it works and they are damn well sticking to it. Talk! provides a syncopated guitar part that is almost like a samba rhythm, adding diversity to the show and exploring the musical elements they have in their arsenal. The energy in the room is maintained throughout the show, even when the band perform some slower songs mid-set the audience is only further captivated, proving right all of the people who helped sell out these shows- the 1975 can do no wrong.
A favoured and oft-mentioned part in Heart Out- the saxophone solo- is beautifully done live; an actual saxophone makes an appearance and this is a definite crowd favourite. However, the biggest moment of the show was a yell of “Don’t watch this through your screens, I wanna see some faces!” from Matt Healy, and his audience loved it, hitting another level of wild before the quartet launched into the last few songs of their set.The 1975 are a band who were playing 400 capacity club venues not eighteen months ago, and here they are completing a whole sold out tour of venues that can hold crowds of 3500-4000. Before you’ve had time to blink, this band will be festival headliners, capable of taking on arenas around the world.
Photography by Erin Moore at Forte Photography UK