Gig Review... The 1975 @ The Nick Rayns LCR, Norwich 15th February 2014

I had been looking forward to seeing The 1975 for what seemed an age, after receiving the tickets towards the mid-end of 2013 and missing their Waterfront show in the Autumn this definitely felt long overdue. You know that feeling you get when you build something up in your head and start to envisage what it is going to be like, replaying it over and over? That's exactly what I had been doing for precisely 6 months, 15 days, 12 Hours, 2 minutes, and 24 seconds (well more or less), the catalyst for this being the continued whir of the hype machine that seems to pursue the Manchester based Nu-gaze rockers wherever they go. I just prayed that I wouldn't be left with a sense of disappointment when they returned to the fine city on February 15th.

As I entered the LCR entrance you could instantly tell that this was a sell out from the constant hum of people discussing their favorite songs, grouped in clusters all over the venue waiting in anticipation for what the night would bring. After watching two fantastic sets from The Neighbourhood and Wolf Alice I started to think to myself that the 1975 would definitely have to live up to the machine that they have helped built since their formation in 2002...I wasn't disappointed.

No sooner had the last member of the road crew left the stage clouds of dense white smoke began to fill the venue which in turn seemed to bring the noise of the crowd down to a murmur. Ten minutes had past and you could feel the unrest of the crowd in the pit below, which by this point was being smothered by a white blanket of fog. Darkness suddenly fell on the LCR bringing with it screams and cheers that reverberated off every flat surface with a back drop of flying plastic cups dispensing dregs of beer and liquor all over the now vibrant Norwich crowd.

The 1975 entered the stage like ghostly silhouettes all in black, masked by the fog to a soundtrack of distortion and effects where they then continued to take their standing positions greeting the now exhilarated crowd. The kick drum was soon introduced as the band seamlessly flowed into the first song of the night 'The City'. Thirty minutes passed within a blink of an eye as the band effortlessly glided through the first third of their set captivating the audience with their intense stage presence, interacting at every available moment. The band then went on to introduce a hooded John Waugh to the stage also dressed in black clasping his polished sax, the 1975 went on to play the next two songs in the set 'Heart Out' and 'Pressure' which happen to be two of my favourites both of which included the velvety tones of Waughs Sax.

By this point the gig was into full flow as they rocketed through the next 6 songs before exiting the stage in preparation for their big finale. As soon as they had disappeared from the sight of the 1500 strong crowd the chant "We want sex!, We want sex!" started to ring around the LCR building the tension further. Eventually the quartet re-appeared topped up with refreshments ready to give Norwich one of the best encores I have witnessed in a long long time, they started the proceedings by rattling through 'Robbers' and then 'Chocolate' finishing the 19 track set by giving the crowd exactly was they wanted 'Sex'.

Based on that performance and their quick rise as one of the hotly tipped bands of 2013, I don't think the people of Norwich will be seeing these guys in their home town soon...Wembley arena is calling.

James Hunter

[Set List]

1. The City
2. Milk
3. M.O.N.E.Y
4. So Far (It's Alright)
5. Talk!
6. She Way Out
7. Head. Cars. Bending
8. Settle Down
9. Heart Out
10. Pressure
11. Me
12. Fallingforyou
13. You
15. Menswear
16. Girls
17. Robbers
18. Chocolate
19. Sex

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