Live Review: Everything Everything @ Exeter Phoenix (07/04/15)

Ahead of their new album release later this year, James Beeson, Editor, heads to Exeter Phoenix for the first night of Manchester based Everything Everything’s tour…

Playing their first gig for almost 15 months, electronic art band Everything Everything are, by their own admission, a little rusty. However, if this is a band not yet at the peak of their powers, those attending the rest of their tour are in for a treat.

Since forming in 2007, Everything Everything have built up somewhat of a cult following with two critically acclaimed but not overly successful albums, Man Alive in 2010 and Arc in 2013. Nonetheless, Exeter’s Phoenix is packed to the rafters as the Manchester based four piece take to the stage.

Led by the bizarrely dressed Jonathan Higgs and clad entirely in red, the band open proceedings with a new track, entitled ‘To the blade.’ Instantly recognizable is their electronic and dynamic style, with Higg’s falsetto voice penetrating the intimate venue. Wasting little time with pleasantries, the quartet launch straight into hit single ‘Kemosabe’ – a track littered with skuzzy guitar rifts and high tempo percussion.

Acknowledging the band would be playing some new songs and announcing how good it felt to be back, Higgs commands the stage as he raps in eccentric fashion on new number ‘Get to Heaven’ and old favourite ‘Schoolin’.’ The audience duly whistles along appropriately, and its clear the band’s absence has not caused their fan-bases’ enthusiasm to waver.

In-between another new track, ‘Regrets’ and ‘MY KZ UR BF’ Higgs pauses to ask the crowd for their opinion on his new look. It’s safe to say the reaction is lukewarm at best. ‘Well I like it anyway’ he shrugs, and continues to strut his way across the stage.

The new tracks keep coming, with ‘Radiant’ squeezed into the gap between ‘The Wheel’ and ‘Spring, Sun, Winter, Dread.’ What s noticeable, however, is the sheer intensity and power of the new material. Higgs is much more tribal and visceral on the vocals, whilst every thump of Michael Spearman’s drum is more resounding, echoed only by the omnipresent bass guitar of Jeremy Pritchard.

There are of course, some casualties to make way for the new material. Notable absences include ‘Suffragette Suffragette’ and ‘NASA is on your side’ from debut album Man Alive, as well as ‘Don’t Try’ and ‘Duet’ from 2013’s Arc.

Nevertheless, the band continue to rattle through their set at a feverish pace, ‘Leave the Engine room’ is quickly followed by fan favourite ‘Photoshop Handsome.’ The set is capped off by new single ‘Distant Past,’ which is sung with the same vigor as any of the band’s older hits and met with rapturous applause.

Returning after a brief pause, the band return with one final new track, ‘No Reptiles’ before concluding proceedings with the insanely catchy ‘Cough Cough.’

Admittedly, Everything Everything’s brand of eclectic psychedelic rock is never likely to set the world alight, and it would be very surprising to see this new record propel them to major stardom. Nevertheless, the new material is a definite step in the right direction, and when their fans appear to enjoy it as much as this evening, perhaps that’s all that matters.

Everything Everything played:

To The Blade

Kemosabe

Get To Heaven

Schoolin’

Regrets

MY KZ UR BF

The Wheel

Radiant

Spring, Sin, Winter, Dread

Fortune 500

Leave The Engine Room

Photoshop Handsome

Distant Past

 

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