Festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, can be read through here.

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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T in the Park 2016: Saturday Roundup

 
By on Wednesday, 27th July 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Following the festival’s disastrous relocation to Strathallan Castle last year, the organisers of T in the Park were keen to reassure fans that this year’s event on the castle grounds would be different. However, by Friday morning, news had surfaced of two deaths and the theft of a cash machine from the main arena, so I was feeling apprehensive before I even arrived. While I was not present in 2015 to comment on how much the layout or travel to and from the festival has been improved, I felt there was still issues. The unnecessary walk from where we arrived to the actual entrance was lengthy and needless, as I was not searched once on the way. However, I was excited to have finally arrived to see what Tin the Park was really all about.

I headed straight towards the BBC Introducing stage. I have always found that despite their boasting of a huge array of global stars, it is often the smaller tents that contain the hidden gems of festivals. I spent quite a lot of my day going in and out of this tent, discovering a few acts that I can imagine will be huge in the coming months.

Scottish native singer/songwriter and lead singer Charlotte Brimner of Be Charlotte, exhibited a captivating combination of raw hip-hop talent, combined with a beautiful and enthralling singing voice. Probably the heaviest band of the festival, Northern Ireland-based four-piece Making Monsters gave an exhilarating performance. Lead singer Emma Gallagher’s explosive vocal and presence onstage is something to be marvelled at, as she moves with ease from deep guttural growls to soaring melodies.

Winner of the illustrious Brits Critics’ Choice and BBC Sound of 2016 polls Jack Garratt has had an impressive year. Taking to the main stage at T in the Park, his mash-up version of Justin Timberlake and Craig David’s ‘Senorita / 7 Days’ was a highlight of his set, making both songs his own while also showing his endless flair for crafting songs. His performance was impeccable, a faultless act by a raw troubadour talent and an electronic magician. Moving around the stage with vigour, he moves with ease from each instrument including drums and guitar as he has evidently mastered more than one craft.

Rapper Tinie Tempah pulled what seemed to be the largest crowd daytime on Saturday, playing smash hits such as ‘Pass Out’ to a very excitable crowd. Having previously seen Tinie perform with a full band, I found it disappointing that the rapper was only backed by a DJ for his performance at T in the Park. While it was an extremely enjoyable performance, I felt something was lacking in the form of a band accompaniment which could have added to his performance. Despite this, the audience hung on the rapper’s every word, proving he’s the perfect midday act to set the tone for Day 2 at the festival.

It was about half way through the day that Biblical-style rain descended upon the festival, making this year’s T in the Park one of the muddiest festivals I have ever attended. The grounds became so bad that it was difficult to make my way across to other stages and at one point, I even wrapped my feet in plastic bags. After hiding from the rain for what seemed forever, underneath anything that would cover me, I made my way towards the other side of festival. Playing the Radio 1 stage ahead of the release of their sixth album were the Kaiser Chiefs, who proved that they are still able to pull a huge crowd. After the last few weeks of political unrest and in the wake of Brexit, the band’s song ‘Angry Mob’ gave fresh resonance to the lyrics, the crowd singing along ecstatically.

I decided to stay around the Radio 1 stage for the rest of the night, as the thought of wading through the now knee-deep mud to see someone press play on the decks was unappealing. The mesmerising set of Manchester alt-rockers The 1975 (pictured at top) made for a superior alternative headline set. Lead singer Matt Healy tells the crowd that this is the first time the group have ever been asked to headline a stage at a festival, so this is a special event.

Their hit ‘Love Me’, the song that launched their new record, erupts with its smooth and Prince-esque funk. You get a real sense of a band who have fully bloomed from pop obscurity into arguably the biggest band of the year, something which is magnified by the audience’s reaction of seeing it live. The hypnotic staging with its colourful light show, alongside Healy’s undeniable presence, makes for the perfect combination. Drawing their set to a close with an encore of ‘Chocolate’, ‘The Sound’ and ‘Girls’, the band finished their set – and Saturday at T in the Park – on a high.

 

The 1975 / December 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 11th July 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Mancunian indie pop sensations The 1975 have just announced a year-ending tour of the UK, in support of their long-titled long player ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful, yet so unaware of it’. The latest single from the album is the angst-ridden track ‘Somebody Else’, and its likewise lengthy new video can be viewed just below the tour date listing.

The 1975’s December tour will include two nights at the O2 Arena in London, the second of which was previously announced and has already sold out. Tickets for the remaining shows listed below will be available for fan presale on Wednesday the 13th of July, but only if you sign up for the band’s mailing list. General sale will begin on Friday, the 15th of July, at 9 AM.

TGTF’s previous coverage of The 1975 can be found here.

Tuesday 13th December 2016 – Manchester Arena
Thursday 15th December 2016 – London O2
Friday 16th December 2016 – London O2 (sold out)
Saturday 17th December 2016 – Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Monday 19th December 2016 – Glasgow SSE Hydro
Wednesday 21st December 2016 – Bournemouth BIC
Thursday 22nd December 2016 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena

 

Video of the Moment #2069: The 1975

 
By on Monday, 25th April 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

In all the post-Prince fallout, we managed to miss posting the newest video from Manchester pop rockers The 1975. Let’s rectify that right now.

‘A Change of Heart’ is taken from the North West group’s second album ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’, out now on Dirty Hit Records. (Read my review of the LP here.) In the promo for the new single, frontman Matt Healy takes on a very un-pop role – as a sad circus clown with some pretty smooth moves ala Chaplin – and the band get my respect for going in an unexpected direction in this. Watch it below.

For more on the 1975 on TGTF, check out or extensive archive on the band through here.

 

Video of the Moment #2029: The 1975

 
By on Tuesday, 1st March 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Last week, Manchester band The 1975 released their second album ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’, the follow-up to their self-titled debut from 2013. You can read my review of the new release here.

One of the weaker songs from the LP, ‘The Sound’, has its own promo video now, and it’s interesting what they’ve done to express it visually. Like curiosities in the zoo, the band have been imprisoned in a glass box, with sociologists watching their every mood. The comments that come across, including “unconvincing emo lyrics” and “terrible high-pitched lyrics over soulless robo beats”, are exactly the kind of barbs The 1975 have had to stomach on their way to the top, and as the saying goes, “laugh, and the world laughs with you”. Watch the video for ‘The Sound’ below. ‘I like it when you sleep…’ is out now on Dirty Hit Records / Polydor.

 

Album Review: The 1975 – I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it

 
By on Thursday, 25th February 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The 1975 - I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it album coverSince their dramatic exit from Facebook last year, however temporary – that turned out to be a rather effective publicity stunt, didn’t it? – The 1975 return this week with their second full-length album. It’s rather apropos that ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ itself is a mouthful, as this sophomore effort from the Manchester indie darlings contains a whopping 17 tracks, making the LP longer than most released these days. Then again, their self-titled debut in 2013 had 16 tracks. You can view this one of two ways: either the group has a lot of say and want to use the album platform to say it, or in its full 75 minutes of glory, their trouble with self-editing is evident in this exercise in self-indulgence.

Just like ‘The 1975’ before it, ‘I like it when you sleep…’ has a lot of great single moments, providing a great snapshot of what pop looks like in 2016: loads of electronic warblings, bubbly synth lines, handclaps and tacked-on backing vocals. On the singles front, the already revealed super funky ‘Love Me’ (reviewed and discussed in depth in my previous post here) and ‘UGH!’ are fantastic examples of 21st century pop. As catchy earworms with bouncy guitars, they’re the perfect antidote to this dreary winter weather, conjuring up girls in miniskirts (likely) and guys in shorts (somewhat less likely?) bopping to these melodies, come summer festival time.

Probably a fond recollection of a short-lived fling of Matthew Healy’s mixed together with a veiled commentary of America, ‘She’s American’ is as remarkable in its lyrical content as ‘Love Me’. It sports the hilarious Austin Powers-esque line in the chorus, “if she says I gotta fix my teeth, then she’s so American”. Mentions of the girl’s anorexia and perceived superiority aren’t usual pop song fodder, and the words “and I think she’s got a gun divinely decreed and custom made” speaks to this nation’s gun problem and the power of the religious right in one fell swoop.

‘The Ballad of Me and My Brain’ is not a ballad of the usual variety either: it’s an opportunity for Healy to be introspective on the price of success. He muses out loud that his brain has been last seen in a Sainsbury’s where he was flirting with his fans, while bemoaning the sharp disconnect between what his public persona has done to his way of thinking and acting (recoiling from it) and what his mind really thinks about the whole ridiculous situation. If you read the comments from a lot of The 1975’s detractors, you’ll see that they’re often called pretentious twats. These kind of lyrics prove they’re anything but.

Also like the previous release, one wonders if trimming some of the fat for a leaner, meaner product would have made much more sense. A disappointment to the fans, I’m sure, but ‘Please Be Naked’ is an instrumental, as is ‘Lostmyhead’ and most of the title track, which has a jarring, dubby bridge near its end. ‘I like it when you sleep…’ also suffers from pacing that does it no favours. Slower, lounge-y numbers – ‘If I Believe You’ with its autotuned vocals, plus regret in the form of ‘80s groove ‘Somebody Else’ paired with its complement ‘Loving Someone’ – break up the momentum of the poppier moments. Near the end, a beloved grandmother is eulogized in ‘Nana’: good effort, but an odd choice in the midst of this album. The better of the more languid tracks, ‘A Change of Heart’ (1-minute preview below) has a mildly childish synth wigging and warbling away and a very basic yet mellow rhythm, while Healy expresses his 180 in feelings for a former love.

In an interview this month with NME, Healy was asked about what he perceives is his and The 1975’s role in the music scene. “If you don’t want your art to reach people, that negates you as an artist,” says Matt. “I hate that indie band bullsh*t of acting like you don’t care so you don’t get judged about being sh*t. That’s what indie is now. That fey sense of ‘we don’t care’. Well, don’t do it then. F**k off and do something else.” While The 1975 have certainly elicited either a strong feeling of love or hate from the public, Healy knows intellectually where his band’s place in popular music is. And he’s still going write songs like he wants to and broadcast them from the pedestal they’re on. This album is proof of that. Its title seems to suggest that there is so much more below the surface of a man or a woman, but because we can’t get past the surface, we never see it. Much like how The 1975 are perceived and what they’re doing with their art.

7/10

‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’, The 1975’s second album, will be out this Friday on Dirty Hit Records. The artwork from their forthcoming album will be exhibited at two pop-up shops – one in New York City’s Lower East Side on Friday and another in London’s Leicester Square (unclear when) – and the band will also be appearing at these events.
The band will also be touring next month in the UK in support of the new album. For all things on The 1975 on TGTF, go here.

 

Video of the Moment #1980: The 1975

 
By on Monday, 21st December 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Following the premiere of ‘Love Me’ 2 months ago (read my extensive essay and thoughts about the song here), Manchester’s The 1975 have revealed another cut from their hotly-anticipated second album and follow-up to their 2013 self-titled debut. Like the promo for ‘Love Me’ before it, the video for ‘UGH!’ is another colourful assault on the eyes. Is it about giving up drugs? Sex addiction? Going broke on either vice? Huh?

Guess we’re going to have to hang tight to find out after ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’ lands in record shops on the 26th of February 2016 on Dirty Hit Records and we can our paws on it. In case you missed it, they have a string of live dates scheduled for March 2016 in the UK. Our extensive past coverage on The 1975 on TGTF is here.

 
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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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