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Everything Everything – My Gigging Year

January 17, 2011

Finding myself in a position to write about possibly my favourite new band of the last two years, about a gig I went to almost two years ago, because the person who was going to write about them can’t remember all that much, gives me great pleasure. Particularly as my memories of that night are still crystal clear.

Let me be conventional then, and start at the beginning. Having been flicking through some digital channels one day, looking for something new to jam along to guitar, I happened across a song with some energetic guitar, unique chord progressions and vocals that initially made me think of TV On The Radio. Hypnotised by the track Luddites and Lambs I instantly went online to grab as much as I could of this hitherto unknown entities back catalogue.

It turns out that there was only one single available at the time, but that didn’t stop me rinsing the two songs and continually visiting their MySpace page for extra songs, live videos and updates. Finally, coinciding with their second single, a small tour around the UK began and I eagerly went ahead and bought two tickets – this will become relevant in approximately one paragraphs time.

The venue, as it turned out, was for the life of me I can’t remember the name of the place a delightful little pub with the stage area cleverly hidden up some twisty stairs. I arrived suited and booted straight from work at around 6:30 in plenty of time for any support acts and with the vain hope of making some form of aquaintance whilst at the bar. It turns out you see, that in my infinite wisdom I had failed to take into account that my friends might actually have lives and be otherwise engaged to come to the gig….. Cue myself, three pints in, chatting to some randoms about the other bands that had performed that week and eventually at around 6:39 or thereabouts I decided to stumble up the aforementioned twisty steps.

I was staggered by the lack of people – it was of course around 8:00 when I went up, I’m not an alcoholic, nor naive enough to think a gig would actually start anywhere near on time – however I appeared to be the only person turning up. Next step, cue myself pints four and five in hand, talking to the people who couldn’t make it to the gig with me and those with whom I just wanted to waste a further half hour or so talking to while a further 4 people turned up.

The support act then, made their arrival at approximately 9:00. They were, as far as my knowledge goes, some form of math-pop-esque group of the Foals erk, but with less melody and far less charisma. The lead singer reminded me of his counterpart from The Flying Seagulls and the only part of their set I remember was a guitar melody that sounded somewhere between Chris Rea’s On The Beach and ATB’s 9pm (Till I Come). On the plus side of all this though, I was still on my own (relatively half cut at this point) and the members of Everything Everything – out of kindness I imagine – came out to see the support act play. I took it upon myself of course to go and make a complete ass of myself by saying hello to them and having a relatively long chat to Jonathan about how their record deal search was going and when they were going to get an album together. I also think I mentioned my love of Come Alive Diana…a song they have since ruined in their re-recording for the album but that is another story altogether.

So finally, at just past 10:00 the reason I had given a then substantial amount of cash to the pub in question, arrived on stage. And somehow between the support act coming off and Everything Everything coming on the venue was mobbed. I literally had to push myself and my eighth pint to the front of the crowd – something which had, for obvious reasons, been a complete non-issue. The band started with little fan fare, as seems to be their way in most of the live performances I have seen online, going straight in for the kill with Schoolin’.

I have to say that drink aside (and the numbers may have been exaggerated) the sound quality was fantastic. I was watching with avid interest to see what the guys were playing and how as much as I was listening to it being played. I was particularly fascinated by the lead singers little MacBook that was set up on the floor to control the synthesisers and sequencers and was generally impressed with how smoothly everything ran considering the slightly amateurish setup they had going on.

The performance was faultless, the songs on par with the recordings, but with more energy, and I have to admit to being quite memorised with how the guys brought their own individual pieces of musical trickery to the construction of the whole. At this stage, remember, I also couldn’t get hold of more than 4 or 5 songs, so to perform for over 45 minutes with me still humming along and enjoying the performance says a lot. I find it really hard normally to enjoy a band play live where I don’t know the majority of the songs being played. I was particularly taken by Nasa Is On Your Side which at the time struck me as a very different style to the rest of their set. The album has since shown they are more than capable of such songs but it was this performance that struck me the most about what a talented and diverse band Everything Everything truly are, with the band taking a relative backseat early on the song gradually fading themselves in with expert ease. The lead singer, Jonathan, in particular was so seemingly self-depreciating throughout the gig that when it came to such a slow paced and soulful song, you could truly feel the emotion in his voice.

The final song was also a complete newby and one I cannot find anywhere, called Hey Jude Law. It wasn’t great, but in all honestly, I don’t think it was intended to be. They did it in what appeared to be an afterthought and almost like a bit of an in joke (friends from bands will know well enough about the potential for joke songs – the irony of this alone being an in joke is not lost on me) but it was nice to see them having fun and not taking the whole thing too seriously. Aside from this small dose of humanity, the entire session was nothing but professional – very little talking to the audience, something which at times does annoy me – and very little ad-libbing. And if I am to be critical of one thing regarding this bands performance is that they suffer like so many before them in making music so technical as to be difficult to run with anything other than the song itself. You only had to have watched their live performance with an orchestra accompanying them to see that when it comes to changing the songs to fit a live performance, they haven’t quite got it down yet – although I fully expect this to change over time. In fairness though, I expected just as much and was left feeling more than satisfied with the price, the venue and the show itself.


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