Parklife Festival: The 1975, George Ezra and Two Door Cinema Club - review

Now in its eighth year, Saturday saw 80,000 people descend on Manchester’s Heaton Park for the annual Parklife festival.

The 1975
The 1975

Rooted in the electronic and dance communities, the two-day festival now boasts eight stages highlighting live rock acts to underground grime artists.

Here’s a few of our highlights from Saturday:

Chaka Khan

After winning ten Grammy Awards and selling over 70 million records worldwide, the Parklife stage was full by the time that the ‘Queen of Funk’ took to the stage.

Tracks such as ‘I’m A Woman (I’m A Backbone)’ and ‘You Got The Love’ had the audience dancing along to Chaka Khan’s brand of R&B before ‘Ain’t Nobody’ and ‘I’m Every Woman’ had everyone singing and dancing at the top of their lungs.

Backed by a fantastic band as well as three incredibly talented backing singers, Khan stunned the crowd who were mostly too young to have appreciated her back in the 70s.

George Ezra

Following a period of time away from the spotlight, George Ezra is back with new music and new live appearances.

Backed by a large band and giant jungle themed banner, Ezra broke into ‘Cassie O’ before treating the audience to cuts from both his first and upcoming albums.

Added brass brought a whole new lease of life to older track such as ‘Listen to the Man’ and ‘Blame It On Me’, whilst the newer tracks proved engaging enough to not lose the pace amongst the set.

Ending with the now perfect festival tune ‘Budapest’, it’s clear that Ezra has eclipsed his acoustic singer songwriter credentials to become a band leader and a show man.

Two Door Cinema Club

Two Door Cinema Club have always been a great live band and prove perfect for festivals with their upbeat and direct songs.

Drawing heavily on material from debut album ‘Tourist History’, tracks such as ‘What You Know’ and ‘Undercover Martyn’ were created for times especially like this, and with the sun finally making an appearance it would seem that everything had fallen into the band’s favour.

Bringing their own production in terms of video screens also helped elevate the band from previous sets earlier in the day, and could prove they could have easily have been headliners for the evening.

However that was the task of The 1975.

Before this took place however, the screens on stage were adorned with messages of ‘We Stand Together’ in a touching tribute to last month’s terror attacks in the city from celebrities such as Goldie and Bernard Sumner.

Festival directors Sacha Lord and John Drape then led out members of the emergency services to pay tribute to their great work, before being joined for a tribute from Manchester mayor Andy Burnham who spoke of ‘Always choose love over hate’. Matt Healy of The 1975 then joined to wish the crowd to participate in a minute of noise, rather than silence, before his band took to the stage to perform an incredible headline set.

The 1975

Having been touring their second record for what feels like forever, you would imagine that the band would seem jaded and uninterested in the material they were creating on stage.

However The 1975 last night, seemed as vital and passionate as ever in a truly poignant and celebratory headline slot. Opening with ‘Love Me’, front man Matt Healy proved as enigmatic and engaging as ever, treating the crowd to a variety of singles and deeper cuts including a fantastic rendition of ‘Robbers’ featuring a rare performance of the Shadow Child remix.

Older tracks still get the best reception however, with tracks such as ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Girls’ seeing the whole crowd singing and dancing. With a stylish set and backdrop, its efficiency and effectiveness grew as the sun set on Heaton Park.

Ending with a fantastic rendition of ‘The Sound’ accompanied by four backing singers, the crowd could not have asked for a better way to close the Saturday of the festival.

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