Everything Everything


Nobody’s list of priorities for a great gig is topped by seeing a band starting to tour a new album that won’t be out for a couple of months. When homeboys Everything Everything open with ‘Night of the Long Knives’, a song nobody present could possibly have heard yet, you could be forgiven for thinking that we might be in for a long night. But the rapturous reaction at said song’s climax is enough evidence that in fact tonight will be more special than that.

It’s all about the pacing. By my count there are seven tracks from A Fever Dream, an August release ahead of this June gig, but they are evenly dispersed and satisfyingly interrupted by a glittering gallery of the previous three albums’ standouts. The opener, for example, is swiftly followed by ‘Kemosabe’, an arms-in-the-air, hip-swinging celebration that does nothing to relieve the aftershock of what has been the hottest day of the year.

“You’ll know this one,” is singer Jonathan Higgs’ introduction to ‘Regret’, the Get To Heaven single that brings even the balcony to their feet (I’m not sure they sit down again all night). Similarly, debut album cut ‘Suffragette Suffragette’, which they dedicated to Marc Riley, is ecstatic, a hopscotch between various levels of falsetto that for some of us is the as yet unsurpassed peak of this band’s career.

The relatively rare album cut ‘Choice Mountain’ from Arc is still driven by a heartbreaking melody, and ‘Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread’ is as jump-tastic as ever. The latter presents one of the night’s rare opportunities for a genuine guitar solo, a wirey, compact, un-pretentious flurry from Alex Robertshaw that only makes the jumps fly higher.

The new tracks are strong, evenly split between two different progressions for the band: on the one hand, ‘Ivory Tower’ and ‘Big Game’ showcase the heaviest rock riffs and head nodding from the band so far; meanwhile, ‘Desire’ and title track ‘Fever Dream’ are more synth-driven, the latter evoking an 80s piano house number in the style of Frankie Knuckles. When the album lands, it may take a few by surprise.

They close the main set with ‘Distant Past’, the danciest track of their output so far. The five enormous spotlights behind the band go into overdrive, and here we are under them, losing our hydration. As they leave the stage and the mania of the crowd eventually drops, what emerges is an entirely unprompted rendition of “ohhh, Jeremy Corbyn”, to the familiar White Stripes theme. When, reader, was the last time a politician inspired such a thing without any cue?

Upon their return, they launch into new single ‘Can’t Do’, the first release from the new album and their happiest, house-iest song to date. It is not hard to foresee this becoming one of the songs of the summer of 2017. Finally, ‘No Reptiles’: it has been said that a great band is identified by the fact that their fans’ favourite song is not one of the commercial singles, but a mutually appreciated album track. In that case, I suppose Everything Everything must be a great band, because no song tonight is more loved than this. It is the biggest, most emotional reaction of the night. Manchester famously loves its own, and they may not have a better band right now than this.

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Max Pilley

I'm a refugee in Manchester, having successfully escaped Birmingham in 2007. I'm a soon-to-be journalism student, used to edit the music section of the Manchester Uni paper, and have done a little radio production to boot. I've been adding bits and pieces to Silent Radio since 2012, mostly gig reviews, but a few albums too. Also hoping now to get involved with the brilliant radio show. When doing none of that, you can usually find me at some gig venue somewhere around town.