And this is it: the return of The 1975. Forget billboards, posters and hype; tonight is where Music For Cars finally becomes real. It’s their first show back in over a year – they were last seen headlining Latitude to close an album cycle that saw them grow comfortably arena-sized – and for some reason, it’s in an old cinema that’s now a nightclub, Pryzm, in Zone 6 of London. Leave your expectations at the door though; this band will always do things their own unique way.
From the moment Matty, George, Adam and Ross walk onto the stage, it feels spectacular. The cheers go on and on, instantly transforming the place into something magic and as the whirring jangle of ‘Give Yourself A Try’ blares out, The 1975 are unleashed once more.Most bands want their comeback to feel safe. They want the familiar, the belief that it’s like they’ve never been away but tonight, it’s obvious The 1975 have changed. They bellow it from the rooftops; this is something new, and it suits them.
The band quickly dive into a clutch of tracks from the very-soon-to-released ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships’, and the pace is astonishing. ‘Give Yourself A Try’ crackles with hopeful, resilient energy. ‘TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’ sees the band pop and whizz, as autotuned vocals float above rainbow excellence before the crystal clear gaze of ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’ bursts with light. “I remember this,” beams Matty, before admitting: “It might not be a slick set. We haven’t done this in a while, and we’re a bit fucking scared,” but that nervous energy gives ‘Sincerity Is Scary’ a kaleidoscopic beauty.
The 1975 are wild, unpredictable and untamed. They never mention they’ve got a new album out in a few hours, instead using brief pauses for intimate conversations or to help return lost shoes. They bounce between stadium-sized ambition with songs like ‘It’s Not Living’ born for shared voices and kindred spirits, and rag-tag bedroom abandon. ‘Love It If We Made It’ is loud, messy and glorious. It cares so much but is utterly fearless; a stance The 1975 take again and again.“This is a greatest hits set, I suppose,” reasons Matty, but the band still do what they want. Ignoring the expected, they enjoy the adventure as it unfurls. ‘You’ and ‘fallingforyou’ twinkle and stutter, making their space count against the undeniable roar of the big hits. The back to back run of ‘Girls’, ‘Chocolate’, ‘The Sound’ and ‘Sex’ sees the band unstoppable and ever-changing before they bring the curtain down with the heartfelt, all-or-nothing promise of ‘Robbers’. Fireworks, feelings and frantic, electric brilliance, tonight is a hint of what’s to come and a reminder that The 1975 can make the gigantic, intimate, the intimate, choral, and the everyday, magic. There are big and bigger things on the horizon and The 1975, unafraid, bold and brilliant, are charging full steam ahead. It’s their first show back, and The 1975 are untouchable. And this is how it starts.
Words: Ali Shutler