The 1975, one of the success stories of 2013 were in Belfast last Monday for a gig at the Ulster Hall. It wasn’t their first time in Northern Ireland, having played at One Big Weekend last summer.
Since then, they’ve had a Number 1 album, and appeared on Top Of The Pops (albeit, the New Year’s Eve edition rather than the Christmas Day edition) – a long way from their first gig in Belfast, attended by, as singer Matthew Healy reminisced between songs, approximately 15 people.
To give an idea of their popularity, the venue was bunged by the time I arrived at 7.30 pm. Usually, when you arrive at a gig at that time, you can get close to the stage. Not tonight.
Opening with ‘The City’, Healy strutted onto the stage to the microphone, changing between playing his guitar, or just singing without an instrument. Guitar or no guitar, he looked comfortable in either role.
Between songs, he mentioned that there would be no post gig partying for him, as they had to get an early morning flight back to London to do Radio 1 Live Lounge.
Saving the best for last, they played their two big singles ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Girls’ during the encore.
During the gig, singer Matthew Healy stated that they were hoping to return to Belfast in the future but that “We are running out of places to play ………. unless we start playing big venues”
I have a suspicion that wherever they play when they are next in Belfast, there will be more than 15 people in attendance.