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Chronicle Live
Chronicle Live
Simon Duke

The 1975 storm Newcastle as captivating Matty Healy owns the night *with a little help from his dad

The 1975 are a band at the top of their game and Wednesday’s jam packed and emphatic gig in Newcastle was living proof of just that.

All too often a band dis written off by some music snobs, the lads keep evolving their sound and their shows, making them extremely hard to pigeon hole. Maybe that’s the reason why some critics just don’t ‘get’ them or even attempt to do so.

Their well over two hour show at the Utilita Arena was like a piece of theatre, soundtracked by an eclectic and ecstatic cacophony of music that held a captive audience in its grip.

This wasn’t a ‘yeah we’re going to sing you a few songs, have a bit of banter, maybe do an encore and leave’ kind of night. Those lucky to be in amongst the packed crowd were treated to a spectacle that had everything from the consumption of raw meat, to Lewis Capaldi rocking up out of the blue to sing a Taylor Swift.

READ MORE: Tim Healy steals show with star turn at The 1975's Newcastle gig

The fact that those two things happened, let alone feature in the same sentence is down to the magic and mind of one Matty Healy. While the charismatic and utterly compelling frontman hasn’t lived in Tyneside for years, he has an unmistakable swagger and charm that can only come from someone with Geordie heritage.

The son of Tim Healy and Denise Welch, Matty has come along way since singing at Sunday for Sammy all those years ago, and not just a proud dad in the audience, Tim sent the arena faithful into an early meltdown by stepping onto the stage to deliver a moving rendition of All I Need to Hear.


The first half of this epic The 1975 production was devoted to the group’s fine most recent album Being Funny in a Foreign Language, with standouts being Looking For (Somebody to Love), Happiness and the sweeping and subtly epic Oh Caroline.

There was THAT eating raw meat moment for fans to feast their eyes on too, before things moved into the realms of a greatest hits set, with a cameo from a certain Mr Lewis Capaldi, introduced on screen as Harry Styles. While a few songs from Harry would have been nice, Lewis’ being back on the same stage he headlined just four days earlier was as tasty a treat as the box of Greggs sausage rolls he was gifted backstage at the weekend and his fleeting but fantastic cameo was devoured ravenously by the full house that greeted him.

Early cuts from The 1975 back catalogue like the always delightful Chocolate showed how far the band have come since their debut, while also proving they’ve always had a real knack for the kind of pop song that hooks you in instantly but without you being fully aware of its lasting brilliance.

It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) is, for me, one of the best and most slept on pop songs of recent years, while I Only Wanna Die Sometimes is poignant and powerful in both its lyrics and delivery.

The 1975's Matty Healy on stage in Newcastle (JORDAN CURTIS HUGHES)

The Sound, with its boundless joie de vivre was the juggernaut that threatened to blast the evening into the stratosphere, as arms and phones were held aloft with care free delight.

Write The 1975 off at your peril as, on the basis of this gig, which also featured fine work from Geordie musicians Jamie Squire and Polly Money, they’ve got plenty more sophisticated pop left in the tank, as their sound and songs just keep getting better.

And Matty Healy is a frontman who it would actually feel rather condescending to compare to other music icons; because while his stage presence does give nods to stars who’ve gone before him, nobody does it quite like him.

A true class act and one his parents and the whole of Newcastle should be proud to call their own.

Matty said it himself - this was a homecoming gig and the atmosphere was one reserved for a Geordie icon.

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