The 1975 @ Arena Birmingham, 25th February 2020.

There’s often a conversation about where the future female headliners are or even female acts on festival line-ups. Well a big welcome to Beabadoobee.

After being nominated for many a rising star award, the Dirty Hit signee, supported The 1975 at Arena Birmingham on Tuesday evening. In the live environment, backed by a three-piece band, her sound was expanded to perfectly suit the monstrous size of the venue in contrast to her more acoustic sounding recordings. Clearly overwhelmed at the scale of the whole event, it’s the strength of the songs that is the most striking aspect of Bea’s live show. Sounding urgent and contemporary whilst also hailing straight from the 90’s, it’s already obvious the broad appeal that she’ll have as an artist.

The 1975 are touring in support of their soon to be released fourth album ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’, the tour should have acted in promotion following the release. However due to delays in the recording process, it acted almost as a precursor to its release.

Having only played the arena almost a year ago, it was slightly disappointing to be greeted with the same stage set as the previous show. That being said however, the visuals were considerably different, with only some of the key moments throughout the show such as the walking travellator on ‘Sincerity Is Scary’ remaining.

This was in part due to the large number of songs from the upcoming album being performed, including the abrasive opener ‘People’, ‘Me and You Together Song’, ‘Frail State Of Mind’, ‘The Birthday Party’ as well as currently unreleased ‘Guys’ and ‘If You’re Too Shy (Let Me Know)’. In terms of reception, it was most certainly the latter that garnered the biggest applause and reaction, following live versions of the song doing the rounds of social media once being played on the tour.

It’s worth nothing as well how tired and lacklustre the whole band look, following a few years of touring as well as the recording of both the latest records. That’s not to say that it impacted on the performance by any means, the songs are still fantastic and performed with a great lust for excitement, however it’s more between songs you notice the glint perhaps starting to fade and conversation not perhaps as forthcoming or engaging as once was.

But aside from that this was the bloody 1975. One of the biggest and most barrier pushing groups of our generation. There’s speeches from Greta Thunberg, saxophone and backing dancers. And it’s all done with a sense of independent thought, class and style. And when the band are blasting out hits such as ‘The Sound’, ‘Sex’ and ‘It’s Not Living’ there’s really no one that can touch them at the moment.

Reviewer:  Dan Earl

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