Radio 1 Presents: Annie Mac hosts The 1975, Jake Bugg and Lady Leshurr at the Forum
Aired live on BBC Radio 1, Annie Mac hosted a night of music featuring three artists presenting their own angles on what the British music scene has to offer today’s generation: rapper Lady Leshurr, indie-folk singer-songwriter Jake Bugg and Mancunian alt-rock four-piece The 1975. All three artists have recently featured as guests on Mac’s regular slot at Radio 1, and it was only fitting that they filled the stage for a vibrant show full of new material at Kentish Town’s The Forum.
Before the main course, Mac led a brief pre-concert warm up with the audience that included a practice cheer to launch the program’s start. Jake Bugg kicked off the night in compelling fashion. His troubadour spirit came to full light in tracks On My One and Me and You. On My One saw the singer chugging away simple harmonies on his mahogany-coloured guitar and crooning a folk melody at a beautifully mournful pace, while Me and You lilted through a shimmering yet upbeat country folk vibe. By contrast, Gimme the Love launched a rocket of sonic energy, not only charging the decibels on the amps and mixer but also the inner jangling guitar souls of the audience. Bugg saved the best till last with Lightning Bolt, sprinting away with a flash of country rock guitars and drums.
Birmingham rapper Lady Leshurr boasted a youthful and quirky swagger on stage, as the serpentine electronic colours of Queen’s Speech radiated an intense grime/hip-hop dynamism. Despite a large proportion of audience members looking forward to the latter half, her deft rapping, bold bravado and a random moment throwing toothbrushes to the crowd were received fairly well.
Despite their backward-looking name, The 1975’s eccentric rock personality is in every respect relevant to the musical wavelength of today’s pop rock enthusiasts. The four-piece from Manchester celebrated the release of their new album I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It few days ago, and treated the audience with featured tracks from their latest record. As the foursome appeared on stage, a huge roar loud enough to rattle the tectonic plates of Kentish Town greeted them.
A dazzling beam of pink filled the backdrop for set opener Love Me, bursting with funky guitar riffs and laser-coloured synths. Led by vocalist Matthew Healy, The 1975 proved that they are equally seductive with slow-brewing numbers: A Change of Heart and If I Believe You swayed through a dreamy ambience with nostalgic vocal melodies, soulful harmonies and backing vocals. Their keen interest for blending the colourful sounds of electro-pop with the buoyancy of rock came to fruition in standout anthemic number The Sound, where the heart-pounding four-on-the-floor drumbeat, fiery guitar solo and energetic chorus electrified the North London entourage in an enthusiastic sing-along, followed by old faithful Girls to close.
The audience left The Forum knowing that watching the likes of Lady Leshurr, Jake Bugg and The 1975 under one roof was a privilege.
Photo: Markus Hillgärtner
Hear the full Radio 1 Presents: The 1975, Jake Bugg and Lady Leshurr at The Forum concert here.