Everything Everything


What an opportunity: the chance to see one of Britain’s most highly regarded bands playing in a tiny venue like Band on the Wall when they’re usually selling out multiple nights at somewhere like the Apollo. It’s almost too good to believe. Maybe there’s another band called Everything Everything who are just starting out, and that’s who’ll turn up tonight? Maybe it’s an elaborate hoax by the support act False Advertising, (who are great by the way, think Garbage but with more snarl and bite – definitely check them out when they’re around town next) to pack in a crowd? But no; courtesy of NME and Cine Jam, hometown heroes EE are genuinely playing a 350 capacity gig. It’s a Christmas miracle.

Cine Jam is a joint venture between the BFI and NME, and put on films and gigs at the Rooftop Film Club in Peckham all year. Their first venture out of London is here, to put on a showing of 24 Hour Party People and then have False Advertising and Everything Everything put on a gig afterwards. It’s a pretty sure fire way to have a great night out: cool film followed by great bands, so that should be applauded. Unfortunately, due to work commitments I miss the film, but you know the score – Steve Coogan is Tony Wilson in a riotous film about the makings of Factory records. Now the film review is done, on to the wonderful EE.

I still can’t believe I’m stood at the end of the balcony that juts out above the stage at BOTW, basically sighing in touching distance of the band, about to watch EE play this venue. Maybe it will be one of those gigs where just the singer and the guitarist show up and run through 4 or 5 songs and be done done with it? Not a chance. The whole band, tens of pieces of equipment and all, are crammed onto the stage, each dressed in their uniform of jeans, an orange t-shirt, a zip up blue jacket and pristine white Converse, ready to give the assembled throngs an experience they won’t forget in a hurry.

Launching straight into the exhilarating first track ‘Night of the Long Knives’ from their brilliant new album A Fever Dream, lead singer Jonathan Higgs’ stunning falsetto in full swing, the band find their groove from the off. It’s quickly followed by another new track ‘Desire’, both songs bristling with menace and intent, as a showcase for just how far this band have come in the last few years. A criticism that used to be levelled at the band after their debut album Man Alive was that they just threw the kitchen sink at songs, and at times it could be a bit try hard, overwhelming and messy. Not any more; the band are tight, the electronics perfectly complimenting the guitars and keys, the vocal histrionics used to perfect effect, and, oh my, the songwriting is on another level completely. We’re given a reminder of those early days with with the still-great ‘MY KZ UR BF’, but the majority of the gig is made up of their exceptional last two albums, Get To Heaven and A Fever Dream.

The title track to their last LP is unbelievably good here. There isn’t much to it other than Higgs repeating “Lord I see a fever dream before me now” over and over as the band build from a gentile piano track to a full band locked on groove, each member lost in creating the most incredible soundscape I’ve heard in a while, the persistent bass groove mesmerising as synths and keys bubble around it, the drums hammering out a motorik rhythm that pulls you in and makes you involuntarily sway and bop. You forget just how damn danceable EE are, with the disco funk of ‘Can’t Do’ and ‘Distant Past’ both getting the crowd moving, the former perfectly encapsulating the night with “I’m loving the bass, I’m loving the drums; I can’t see how they’d be wrong” – that’s basically a mantra for living live right there.

The band finish with fan favourite ‘No Reptiles’, the quiet, bouncing, pulsating synths and drum pads, Higgs’ rapid fire delivery giving way to the immortal lines, “it’s alright to feel like a fat child in a push chair, old enough to run, old enough to fire a gun”, as the band build and build around him before completely exploding into ecstasy, the perfect way to end. I genuinely believe that over the past few years EE have grown to be the best band operating at this level in this country. Each of their albums has built on the last, their craft becoming tighter and better, culminating so far in the brilliant A Fever Dream which has been criminally overlooked in end of year lists. They could go on to be something-like-Radiohead special, and I can’t wait for them to deliver their Kid A, they’ve certainly got it in them. What a privilege it has been to see them in this venue tonight.

Everything Everything: Official | Facebook | Twitter