NME Festival blog: Listen to Denise Welch call The 1975 her ‘pension’ and discuss the meaning behind their song ‘Nana’

by Rhian Daly
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The actor and TV presenter is the mother of frontman Matty Healy

Denish Welch has spoken about The 1975 in a new interview, calling them her “pension”.

The actor and TV presenter, who has appeared in the likes of Coronation Street, The Bill, Waterloo Road, and more, is the mother of the band’s frontman, Matty Healy.

Welch is taking part in the Tracks Of My Years segment on Ken Bruce’s BBC Radio 2 show all this week. On today’s (October 10) episode, she chose a song by her son’s band as one of her selections.

After Bruce noted there was a connection between her and the group, she replied: “There is a little connection. I’m very proud of both my children, Matty and Louis. But Matty is the founder, creator, and singer of the very successful band, The 1975. Obviously, he came out of me so it’s not surprising. They are enjoying great success and they are the hardest-working guys that I know.”

She went on to recall the band’s early days and the importance they have to their fans now. “When they were 14, they were all at Wilmslow High School and they all got together in the garage at our old house,” she said. “This is where they started. So from me shouting, ‘If you play that bleeping song one more time’ to ‘That’s my pension, sing out Louise’, that’s how it spanned the time.


Nana, a song by The 1975 on Spotify

“Matty writes from the heart – him and George Daniel write all of the songs themselves. There’s a whole generation of young people who live and breathe every word Matthew says, so he takes it very, very seriously.”

She chose to play ‘Nana’ on the show, which featured on the band’s second album, ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It‘. Of the meaning behind the track, she explained: “My mum died six years ago – my mum, Annie – and Matty was the first grandchild and had an incredibly close bond with her, as all the grandkids do, but he was the first born.

“He was devastated when she died. He has a tattoo – I don’t like tattoos, but I’ll allow that one – on his chest that says ‘Annie’. He wrote this song called ‘Nana’ about losing her.” Listen to the interview here, around the 2:14:47 mark.

Meanwhile, The 1975 are preparing to release their third album, ‘A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships‘, next month (November 30). The record will feature the singles ‘Give Yourself A Try’, ‘Love It If We Made It’,’ TOOTIMETOOTIMETOOTIME’, and more.

Speaking to NME last month, Healy discussed how a horse helped him kick his heroin habit ahead of making the album. “One of my therapists [at a rehab centre in Barbados] asked did I want to do equine therapy,” he said. “And I thought, because I’m a very cynical English person who doesn’t believe in energy and vibes and is a sceptic at heart, I thought, fucking hell, what am I going to do? Stand next to a horse for two weeks?”

He continued to describe the processes of equine therapy and how he was taught to get the horse to trust him. “And when it happened, and the horse came up to me and put his thing next to me, and he was just with me for the whole day, feeling safer with me than not, it was the most profound experience I’ve ever had, because I just got it,” he said. “In that time, and probably if I went back now, I cared a million times more in a human way about the approval of that horse than I did anybody else.”


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