If you have yet to hear the experimental indie rock of Everything Everything, it would be useful to know that this four piece band from Manchester aim to make their music sound like nothing you’ve ever heard before. Standing in the intimate venue of Wedgewood rooms in Portsmouth, it’s hard not to agree that they have achieved this goal. Not only that, but they have done it with a perfect mix precision and improvisation.
The headliners were supported by Outfit, a band that seemed to draw its influences from a mix of 80s electro synth and modern indie bands such as Two Door Cinema Club. Outfit did a fine job of warming the audience up, with some interesting melancholy songs contrasted against some upbeat tracks. However, the lead singer relied too heavily on reverb, which was a shame since he did seem like a very competent vocalist.
Everything Everything opened with the eerie and poetic melodies of ‘Undrowned’, featuring dim lighting and a mostly crystal clear falsetto performance from Higgs. From this point the mood was firmly set from this highly stylised band. The opening created a tense atmosphere, before building into a thumping crescendo and keeping both the pace up and the crowd going with their new single ‘Kensombe’. From here the eccentric band began a sterling show with an extremely sharp set list which was nothing short of clockwork. Higgs is a charismatic and eccentric front man, engaging the audience in every song and reflecting the band’s style in his performance. Higgs appeared to struggle with some of the high vocal standards of the songs to begin with, but this is an issue that was quickly resolved once he had warmed up.
A clever mix of both Man Alive and their new album, ARC, was blended seamlessly together, emphasising the band’s consistency through time but also highlighting how much they have developed since that 2010 release. While Man Alive features a number of eccentric individual songs with a lyrical pacing that is boardering on rap, ARC is an album that flows fluently, with each piece complimenting and enhancing the next. The band did a fantastic job a selecting the right songs from both albums to ensure the gig had an overlapping and consistent theme. We can see an example of this with the ordering of ‘Feet for Hands’, a sporadic song with a quiet finish, paralleled with the staccato synth and harsh beats of ‘Photoshop Handsome’. The audience were also lucky enough to hear ‘No Plan’ which didn’t make the final cut for ARC. Listening to the punchy beats and quick fire lyrics, the song seemed like it would be more at home in Man Alive, and is a fitting representation as the bridge between the two albums.
One of the highlights of the gig was a excellent performance of one of their first songs, ’Suffragette Suffragette’. You couldn’t complain that the band simply played through a number of their songs when gems like this crop up. Reaching the chorus, the lighting and music exploded into a volley of crashing cymbals and roaring guitars that divulged from the original song and brought a new emotional level to the performance. This was finished by a seamless blend into the verse, with the strobe light suddenly cutting off to be replaced with a wash of red. The balance between keeping to the original piece and adding that ‘live flare’ to the performance is done perfectly here, with such a clever use of lighting in such a small venue. It was also good to see the boys thoroughly enjoying the performance, and really getting into their music. It’s passionate performances like these that ensures the audience doesn’t feel a disconnected from a band.
Each with a cheeky beer in hand, Higgs, Pritchard, Spearman and Robertshaw performed a fantastic encore that featured the final 3 songs from ARC which, naturally, flowed nicely into one another. ‘The Peaks’ emphasises the band’s sincerity as an emotional and poignant song that really invokes an emotional response from the audience. Ending with a rendition of ‘Don’t Try’ featuring Higgs’ angelic falsetto combined with a good drum trashing, the gig was tied into a neat little bow.
It’s significant to note that Everything Everything is a band that really does care about their fans, coming out afterwards to sign various items, have photos taken and even have a quick chat with each individual. It’s this appreciation of the audience and attention to detail that makes this band worth a watch. This is a band to watch in the future, a band that delivers so much more than you would anticipate and aims to deliver everything you wouldn’t expect. When it comes to performing live, this band really does give you Everything (Everything).