JACK MICHAEL JOHNSON is delighted with everything that Everything Everything brought to The Junction.
On Monday night, Everything Everything cemented their reputation as one of the hottest live bands around with an exemplary performance at The Junction.
Preceding the highly anticipated main act, Liverpool five-piece band Outfit supported well, delivering a promising set and finishing strongly with the song ‘Two Islands’. It gradually swelled to a climax characterized by a driving disco beat and guitar solo heavily laden with triplets that regaled the already packed venue.
At 9pm, the main act exploded onto the stage. Currently touring their highly acclaimed second album ‘Arc’, Everything Everything broke immediately into ‘Kemosabe’, their second single from the album. Its pulsating synth line and syncopated beat instantly grabbed the attention of the crowd, along with the frequent shouts of ‘Hey!’ that naturally invited audience participation. An ideal opening to their set.
From there, they launched into the rolling drumbeat of ‘Qwerty Finger’, before transitioning seamlessly into ‘Torso Of The Week’, also from the new album. Front man Jonathan Higgs exhibited his impressive vocal range with his ethereal falsetto radiating powerfully as he belted out the song’s hook: ‘Girl you’ve been hitting that treadmill/ Like a freak’.
My personal favourite track from ‘Arc’ followed, as the band introduced the dazzling ‘Duet’. Its chorus soared over the simple strings accompaniment and highlighted one of the band’s many attributes that despite Higgs’ extremely strong vocals, they don’t solely rely on him and are in fact all talented singers. Here, their vocal harmonies gave the repeated line ‘If it’s gonna happen let it happen now’ a spine-tingling quality and as the song blossomed and grew towards its epic ending, it became evident that ‘Duet’ needs to be seen live in order to be appreciated in all its glory.
It also prompted the most amiable bit of heckling I’ve ever heard, as the guy standing behind me shouted at the top of his voice “Duet is a fantastic tune!” You couldn’t help but agree with him.
The band rarely spoke to the audience between songs, yet it was obvious that this wasn’t because they didn’t want to, but rather due to the fact that they enjoyed playing their songs, were eager to show them off and wanted everyone to hear as many as possible. Naturally, the keen crowd were happy to oblige, and although the barrage of old and new tracks continued unerringly, Higgs did pause to introduce an old favourite, ‘Photoshop Handsome’, exclaiming somewhat cheekily “It’s time for a classic tune”.
The hits kept coming: ‘Suffragette Suffragette’ was a ball of energy and the half-time chorus of ‘Cough Cough’ had everyone dancing at the front (or nodding their head further back) of the crowd, making an ideal closing; the audience were energised and yearning for more.
As the four-piece re-emerged for their encore, it dawned on me how quickly the night had gone. There hadn’t been a dull moment in the set and even in the slower songs the extraordinary vocal abilities of Higgs had possessed the power to keep everyone transfixed. ‘MY KZ, UR BF’ was as fun and danceable as ever, and closing track ‘Don’t Try’, also the concluding track on the new album, brought a thoroughly entertaining evening to an end, with everyone in the room crying out ‘Don’t try to hide it’ whilst wearing undeniably gleeful and satisfied expressions.
Everything Everything stayed true to their name, offering a bit of everything: relentless drumbeats, catchy hooks, complex riffs, enchanting harmonies, angular vocal lines and memorable choruses. This aspect is also implied by the band’s eclectic mix of influences, ranging from Nirvana and Radiohead to Destiny’s Child and R.Kelly.
Overall, a superb performance and indeed one that only enhances Cambridge’s reputation for attracting the best bands.