This was a homecoming gig (of sorts) for Manchester-based Everything Everything. They gave their all – and it showed.
Firstly, we were spoilt with the support bands on offer.
All We Are have described themselves as “the Bee Gees on diazepam”, but their tight harmonies and soulful funk style are more reminiscent of 1980s Prince. There was some gorgeous summery guitar playing (with beautiful sequencing and overlayed guitar lines building into crescendos) supported by a solid slap bass and a standy-uppy drummer. I loves me a standy-uppy drummer, I do.
I’d been listening to Dutch Uncles’s most recent album in the run-up to this gig and found it to be a slick affair, polished with some quirky corners. I could hear moments of The Orb and early Tears for Fears in there, and they gave off a deceptively laid back vibe but with LOADS going on underneath. Bold bass lines, xylophone duets, and bags of attitude – frontman Duncan Wallis channels the moves of Ian Curtis and Jarvis Cocker with the voice of Liz Fraser. Compelling.
Everything Everything stormed it. You could tell by the way they attacked the opener Undrowned that they meant business, and by the time they reached Torso of the Week, via the barnstorming QWERTY Finger they were in full flow. There were highlights from each of their two albums, including the recent singles Duet and the sublime Kemosabe. The warm nihilism of Radiohead is an acknowledged influence, and this was apparent throughout. The current album Arc has the same compelling sense of foreboding as OK Computer – a sense that all is not well in this image-obsessed digital age. We’re not quite doomed yet, but the future’s bleak.
A dream-like sequence of three quieter songs (current album title-track Arc, Tin (The Manhole) and the deliciously melancholy The Peaks) were reminders of the delicacy of some of Everything Everything’s writing – and of Jonathan Higgs’s voice. He has an uncanny ability to smack each note square in the face, his stunning falsetto always in tune. A rip-roaring Suffragette Suffragette snapped us out of a momentary reflective lull, and was followed by crowd favourite Photoshop Handsome and the more poppy Don’t Try. By the time the encore Cough Cough took the night to a crescendo, the crowd was in their hands.
Everything Everything postponed the next night’s gig in Liverpool – Jon’s voice had given out. He had given everything to Manchester.
Review and photos by Chris Payne
Where: The Ritz, Manchester
When: October 12 2013