More than a year since their debut album went to number one, and more like two since they first boarded their tour bus, The 1975 are still at it. “Thank you for being the biggest I’ve ever had,” said wine-waving singer Matt Healy to a cavernous Alexandra Palace. It’s the penultimate stop up the snakes and ladders board of London venues that will surely peak with an O2 Arena visit soon enough.
Healy promised a new album but for now he stuck with the songs that have won such a big fanbase. Save for the rampant climax Sex, rock guitars were thin on the ground. Girls and Settle Down were frothy pop-funk, catchy and light on their feet. Now they’re embracing the cheese fully, with a full-time sax player pouring smooth Eighties sounds all over the place. When Healy brought on a female fan to sing to during Robbers, we could have been watching Usher.
Visually they are minimal, dressed in black and white and employing monochrome lighting throughout. A brief burst of red at the end felt disproportionately spectacular.
Healy is a star, boldly steering his bandmates away from current trends. When the touring finally ends he needs to buck another trend and turn band-of-the-moment status into something more permanent.