Review: Everything Everything

MARK RENSHAW ventures out to the other place in search of the up-and-coming Everything Everything.

Album anglia aru everything falsetto file lyric mark Music renshaw ruskin

5th October, 8pm, ARU, £9


Wink in eye, Jonathan Higgs trills the final lines of ‘Suffragette Suffragette’: “Who’s going to sit on your face when I’m gone?” Even through the haze of a misheard lyric we sing it back. Riding high after first album Man Alive peaked at number 17, tonight presented a final opportunity to see his band in tight confines before they ascend to pop stardom.

There are many reasons to take notice of Everything Everything – the killer tunes, the bassist as Alex James channelling the spirit of James Jameson – but the most obvious are Higgs’ vocals. Beginning with ‘Qwerty Finger’ then the ridiculously catchy ‘Schoolin’’, he instantly dances all over the register, chopping between falsetto highs and a lower voice, teasing with snatches of lyrics. And all this over some of the tightest and freshest indie rock produced this year: you should take notice of Everything Everything right now because they sound utterly unique.

Musical influences here are impossible to prise apart. While falsetto in pop music inevitably evokes the Bee Gees, there’s more than a little Radiohead in the washes of sound on ‘Tin’. Yet the vocal sweeps on ‘Final Form’ or ‘Come Alive Diana’ come from soul and funk traditions, as does the driving, flowing bass. Higgs recalls James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers; Man Alive, like The Holy Bible, stretches and squeezes syllables into the confines of a structured song. The resulting vocal tics and missteps are just as thrilling.

But the reality is that Everything Everything are of a file-sharing generation with the ability to listen to everything ever recorded for free. Gloriously, they sound and play exactly how such a band should. Climaxing with ‘MY KZ, YR BF’, ‘Weights’ and ‘Suffragette Suffragette’ the band are by now feeding off a grinning audience threatening to collectively dislocate their hips to the weird grooves.

‘Two For Nero’ misfires; the falsetto is too wearing and the singer is a lone child at the primary school carol concert from hell. Who cares? Tonight they turn a largely neutral crowd partisan. The sheer talent on display here means that the strength of any new material is assured. As they close with ‘Photoshop Handsome’, Higgs finishes with “gotta come back as something else”; they will, but not to a venue this size any time soon.