REVIEW: The 1975 take centre stage at the BIC

JUST 24 hours after the great and the good of British music gathered for an annual celebration of success, one of the country’s current star groups put on quite the show in Bournemouth.

The 1975 scooped two honours at last year’s Brit Awards and while the band were absent from the 2020 nominations, there is no doubt they are still heading on an upward curve.

Wednesday February nights in Bournemouth are typically chilly and often a little damp. The arrival of the Manchester group failed to prevent this on the beach but inside the BIC the scene was rather different.

The band announced their arrival on stage with People from their forthcoming fourth album Notes on a Conditional Form, due to be released in April, following a recording of The 1975 from the start of one of their acclaimed albums. The band then ploughed into two of the biggest hits from their back catalogue with Sex and TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME.

Firmly establishing themselves on the British music scene over the past eight years, lead singer Matty Healy and the rest of the band have not hesitated to vary their sound.

Mixing tracks from their three UK number one albums to date – The 1975, I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it and A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships – and their upcoming release showed the talents and craft of the act on stage.

Blended in with favourites like Sincerity is Scary and Milk, songs like the yet to be released Guys and If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know) and new single The Birthday Party, which dropped online hours before the show, highlight how fans are ready for another dose of The 1975 on their playlists.

The choreography and visual arrangements weaved into the act made the evening something more than your normal gig. The sight of Healy rising from the stage on a platform behind drummer George Daniel and sliding into the centre of the backdrop that edged away from the crowd was particularly memorable.

After ushering the packed arena into a rare silence following a whirlwind set nudging towards 20 tracks, Healy encouraged the audience to take in an important message with a recorded speech from environmental activist Greta Thunberg. The sudden change in ambience was striking and showed the power of the band and its frontman.

His colleagues soon returned to their instruments and stormed into a four-song finale with Love It If We Made It, Chocolate, Give Yourself a Try and The Sound.

And with that more than 90 minutes of music from the band had flown by and the night was done.

The Brit Awards might have been lacking The 1975 on the prize list this year but I would be surprised to see that repeated in 12 months’ time.

Bournemouth Echo | What’s On