Leeds 2016: Matt Healy Reckons The 1975 Are ‘Future Headliners’ – Is He Right?

As behoves a frontman who once informed the NME that “the world needs” The 1975’s second album titled (deep breath) ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, Matt Healy doesn’t lack self-belief. Before the Manchester band climax with a irresistible version of ‘The Sound’, he informs an NME/Radio 1 tent packed with a crowd that sprawls into the night sky: “I promise you when we come back to Leeds, we’re going to headline this festival.” He could be right, and here’s why…

The new stuff is better than the old

Opening with the two pronged attack of the Instagram-baiting strut of ‘Love Me’ (David Bowie’s ‘Fame’ meets Kick-era INXS) and cocaine confessional UGH!, the material from the Mercury-nominated ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ is received as rapturously as the well-worn likes of ‘Chocolate’, ‘Sex’ and ‘Robbers’ . The swoonsome ‘Change Of Heart’ comes on like Jimmy Eat World covering Madonna’s ‘Crazy For You’ and elicits swaying hands while, close your eyes during the bombastic saxaphone solo-assisted ’80s guilt-pop of ‘She’s American’ and you could be at a cocktail party on Simon Le Bon’s yaught – not in muddy Bramham Park.

Matt Healy is a bonafide pop star

Healy recently admitted on Twitter that he only attained two GCSEs. But he might earn an A* in stage presence. Sporting a satin jacket and geek-chic glasses, he peacocks around the stage as if performing in front of a full-length mirror only he can see. With the confidence of two Number One albums behind him, he feels like a proper pop star. In his mind, you feel he’s already playing the main stage.

It already feels like a main stage production

Essentially the Leeds set is a scaled-down version of their regular show, with video screens and lights bathing the band in pink, white or blue hues. With added backing singers, it isn’t exactly “plug in and play”.

They boast sky-scraping ambition

More than once, Healy reiterates that The 1975 are “future headliners”. We’re convinced he’s right.