The 1975: Bob Geldof for the woke generation

Frontman Matty Healy loves Greta Thunberg, the Guardian, and gender-balanced festivals.



Matty Healy, frontman of pop-rock band the 1975, has pledged to stop playing music festivals that do not have gender-balanced line-ups.

Guardian journalist Laura Snapes urged Healy to commit to playing only festivals that commit to quotas of ‘women and non-binary performers’. Healy said yes, ‘Take that as me signing a contract’.

‘Times up we need to act and not chat’, he said in a follow-up tweet. ‘Point is that Reading and Leeds with more women would be honestly the best festival in the world that place is vibeyyy (sic)… I can feel the change’, he added.

This is not the first time Healy, who describes the 1975 as ‘a left-leaning band’, has demonstrated his woke credentials.

There have been some raucous moments at the BRIT Awards over the years – think Jarvis Cocker waving his bum at Michael Jackson or Chumbawumba drenching John Prescott. But the 1975 have redefined what it means to be rock’n’roll.

At last year’s BRITS, while accepting the award for Best British Group, Healy delivered a lecture on misogyny and even read out part of a Guardian column. (Incidentally, the piece was penned by the same Laura Snapes behind the gender pledge.)

Even the 1975’s music has become infused with right-on activism. The opening track on their upcoming album, Notes on a Conditional Form, is a spoken-word essay on the effects of climate change.

The track, called ‘The 1975’, features vocals from none other than climate activist Greta Thunberg, and all proceeds from it will go to Extinction Rebellion.

Healy told Pedestrian.TV that meeting the teenage prophetess of doom left him ‘starstruck’. ‘Greta is the most punk person I’ve ever met in my life’, he said.

The middle-class colonisation of pop culture is complete.

Picture by: Getty.

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Andy Pandy

19th February 2020 at 12:38 pm

Sounds like the reason why rock music has been to all intents and purposes dead for about 15 years.
You’ve almost got to feel sorry for Healey to be of a member of (newish) guitar band these days must be akin to having been a member of a new trad jazz band in about 1965. That is aside from a tiny and ever-shrinking residue no one else even knows your band exists. And at least the trad jazz band’s music actually has a purpose.


17th February 2020 at 5:34 pm

Aaaaargh… Can this platform PLEASE for the love of Vishnu publish an article WITHOUT using the word ‘woke’….

Graham Southern

19th February 2020 at 3:50 pm

That would be like an article on dairy farming not mentioning the word milk.
I love the way that the left adopt a word then drop it like a hot coal when it becomes associated with their authoritarianism.

madef madef

14th February 2020 at 5:25 pm

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Graham Southern

19th February 2020 at 3:53 pm

Why not invest some of that cash in reasonable translation software?

Christopher Hunt

13th February 2020 at 10:02 pm

I read an article about them on Pitchfork, which made them sound exciting and innovative (though everything on Pitchfork sounds exciting and innovative), so I checked them out. They sounded like a boy band to me.
Later I saw an interview with Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey in which the reporter asked them if there were any bands today that they thought compared to The Who. Not surprisingly — given that no band today comes even close to being comparable — they were at first stumped. Finally, Townshend said “The 1975?”
Hmm, I thought, maybe I should give them another shot. So I went back and listened to them again. They still sounded like a boy band. A really pretentious boy band, but a boy band nonetheless. I don’t know what Pete Townshend was thinking. He probably said the first thing that came into his head.

T Zazoo

14th February 2020 at 2:27 am

Isn’t Pete Townsend partially deaf now? It could be that.

H McLean

13th February 2020 at 8:56 pm

At some point they will begin to question the steady drip of weakening sales and plummeting demand for their live shows. No-one asked for neoMarxist pop cuckery. If enabling Guardian journalists is the extent of your political aspirations then you might as well vote Lib Dem or stand for the Labour leadership, because both are just as futile.

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