The 1975 have just delivered a flawless set on the Pyramid Stage, comprising mainly of their second album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’. In January, before the album’s release they told NME that the world ‘needed’ it. It turns out what the world needs are the Manchester guys themselves.
In a month where some musicians refused to align themselves with either side of the referendum debate but cancelled concert appearances they later realised had been organised by Leave.EU, it’s utterly refreshing to have a popstar be so vocal, and here Healy makes the most of his platform. Here are five ways his band shone tonight.
1. Matty Healy’s IDGAF post-Brexit speech
No one at Glastonbury has kicked up as much of a fuss about the EU Referendum result than Matty Healy does tonight. There have been a few comments here and there, but most people seem to be worried about bringing the vibe down too much, or getting ‘too political’. Not Healy. The frontman gives an impassioned speech about the injustice of Brexit on young people, the vast majority of whom have voted to remain in the EU, and the response in the crowd is palpably in line with Healy.
Introducing ‘Loving Someone’, the star said, “This song is about compassion, and loving people, and I feel like as a young person I’ve got a responsibility to say something. What do I know – I don’t fucking know anything, I’m a popstar in a suit – but what I feel, and I know what a lot of people my age feel is that there’s this sentiment of anti-compassion that’s spread across an older generation and voted in a future that we don’t fucking want.
“And like I said, I know – I’m a popstar, what do I know – but it is appropriate for me to say that because I’m here, because we’re at Glastonbury, and Glastonbury stands for fucking everything that our generation fucking wants. Compassion, social responsibility, unity, community, everything like that. Fucking loving people. And I think that when you stand on a stage like this, in front of so many obviously beautiful, intelligent people, it’s difficult to say nothing. I love you, Glastonbury, thank you so much for coming to our set.”
Throughout, the crowd is cheering, and Glastonbury seemed to approve too:
2. The extended sax solos
The 1975’s music recalls a lot of uncompromisingly upbeat music of the 80s: the sax solos from their latest album get extended live, particularly on ‘She’s American’, and the crowd loves it. Elsewhere in the set, arms are really flailing on ‘The Sound’, and closer ‘Sex’.
3. The cigarettes
You don’t see many people smoking onstage, especially when the BBC’s broadcasting a performance, so seeing Healy doing it raises a few questions. Does he genuinely just want a fag? Is he further building up his public persona of brash cheekiness? Or does he maybe just think it looks cool? It doesn’t really matter: the fact is, he’s daring to do it, when his PR team are probably on the floor crying to themselves thinking of all the brand partnerships it rules them out of.
4. The banter
Here are three funny things Matty Healy said tonight:
A. “I’m going to put on sunglasses now, for practical reasons – and also the rockstar thing.”
B. “This song [‘If I Believe You’] is about Jesus Christ. That’s why I’m dressed like this.” Healy was wearing a white jacket with flared white trousers. It was a lot, and in it his funky dancing looked especially amazing.
C. As they finished their set, he introduced ‘The Sound’ with “This is the start of your… Saturday. Would’ve sounded more convincing if I knew what day it was.’
5. When they promised they’d be back in a few years
Healy loves to tease, and this could be a hint – or equally a plan on the band’s own part to stay away for a while – but this could mean bigger and better things for the band at Glastonbury. This has got fans excited about the possibility of seeing them headline in the future, and judging by tonight’s performance that would be no bad thing. The way they bring the crowd together is top class – on ‘The Sound’, Healy commands us to jump up and down whether we’re old or young, “covered in shit” or not, and everyone does.