A small collection of intimate shows were announced in April, that would see the Manchester art-pop collective Everything Everything squeeze their five person live set-up into some of the country’s most exciting venues – the hometown show to take place in the marvelled Albert Hall. Arriving on the hottest day of the year, a few thousand people found themselves closer than comfort would allow in a kind of humid prism of light and heat. The uncomfortable conditions didn’t dampen the spirits though, or the good times had, nor did they halt any less shows of unanimity.
As to their positively ambitious nature, the group launch with an airing of new cut ‘Night of the Long Knives’, this is a brave choice that pays good. Receiving a friendly uproar as the climatic opener culminates, familiarity then ensues with well known staple ‘Kemosabe’, gifting a unanimous singalong from the crowd. Performing in what has now become custom for the band, all wear synchronised stage uniforms (bright blue jackets underlayed with orange t-shirts), presented is a somewhat more relaxed get-up compared to previous ensembles we’ve seen from Everything Everything, a far cry from last album cycle’s outwardly-garish neon robes. Perhaps also a reflection of the band’s evolution: In 2017, Everything Everything have founded a place in music that is their own; they have connected with the zeitgeist and carved out a sound that is fast becoming highly desired, through mixing mainstream and alternative mindsets, their trajectory seems to be heading in only one direction – up.
Take the odd-funk of ‘Get to Heaven’ for example, here Higgs conducts the crowd in mutual benefaction to a rousing finish. This is just one of the instances where band and audience sync on a level with each other, to provide pause for thought – there are multitudes of similar moments occurring throughout the night. “Ok, you’ll know this one,” singer Jonathan Higgs jests, introducing the pop-tastic ‘Regret’, which reveals yet another belting show of companionship between all in the room. Followed swiftly by early single ‘Suffragette Suffragette’, this Higgs dedicates to Marc Riley, also gaining instant recognition and showing no sign of slowing down. So when the time comes for Higgs to break the cycle of uptempo tunes, this is acted in the most breathtaking of mood changes with the first play of ‘A Fever Dream’, the title track off the band’s upcoming fourth album – it’s a simple distillation focusing attention on synth and keyboards. ‘Cough Cough’ provides a fight for poll position in the lead vocals between audience and band, both come out on top.
Sending off the main part of the set is Get to Heaven single, ‘Distant Past’ – a squirming, feverish breakout of samples and live instruments that spirals into the most relished of climaxes all night. In a surprise turn of events, to the tune of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ materialises an ‘Oh, Jeremy Corbyn’ chant, catching as spontaneously as it started. A show of enthusiasm like this, can’t go unmissed. Welcomed back to the stage by a stream of warmth from their adoring fans, the group honour their beloved city by revealing a quick shirt change, with the words: ‘I Love MCR’ decorating each chest, before setting into new single ‘Can’t Do’.
Completing the set is ‘No Reptiles’ – one of the tracks, still to this day, that is always guaranteed a united response. The speed and precision of Higg’s falsetto verses remain unbeaten, just one of the many appeals of this band. Feeling like a personal hymn of anger turned motivation turned hope, for everyone in the crowd. Particularly considering the current social and political climate, where dysfunction and tensions seem to be winning the two lane race, ‘No Reptiles’, in a way, encapsulates a catharsis which no other medium can provide. In what certainly remains the highest point of the set, the emotional recognition that this band can muster by no means least, is one of the reasons why Everything Everything are made for much greater platforms.
The new album ‘Fever Dream’ is set for release on 18th August 2017, via RCA Records. Pre-order various formats here.
For updates on Everything Everything, head to the Website.