Everything Everything Liverpool O2 academy review

Posted on 1 October 2010
By Martin Higgins
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A lot of noise has been made about these four unassuming Manchester lads, following an appearance on Jools Holland, which is usually the sign a band has arrived or is about to. As well as being put on the BBC’s Sound Of 2010 shortlist, they have a burden of expectation on their young shoulders.

Roadies were buzzing around the O2 Academy stage like drones in preparation for the show, while The Cribs and The Rakes were played over the speaker system the people in waiting supped happily on their pints.

The stage emptied soon as the music cut out and the four piece took up their instruments to a rapturous reception. All four seemed genuinely taken aback by the number of fans packed into the 500 capacity venue, but more so at the noise that rose to meet them as they stepped out.

Everything Everything composed themselves for a moment, seemingly in awe of the gravity of the situation, before chirping into their first song QWERTY Finger.

Manic drum lines and shrill post-punk guitar work ensued, accompanied expertly by Johnny Everything’s (Johnny Higgs away from the stage) accomplished voice which is almost operatic in its range. This particular tune got the sticky mass of people in a bunch and ready for a group dance.

Then playing into My Keys Your Boyfriend it was obvious the vast majority in attendance had been swatting up all night with their Google lyric sheets, and sang back the song to the band passionately, word for word. It was a laugh watching everyone trying and failing to hit Johnny’s high notes that are simply out of the reach of mere mortals.

MY KZ YR BF was a true rabble rouser and one of the real highlights to be taken away from the night, with its distinctive off kilter harmonies and Johnny singing out as if he had just had electro shock therapy before coming on stage.

The diminutive lead singer, dressed all in black, addressed the crowd at this point saying: “This is the first night of the tour and it all seems very strange, you people singing the songs back to us is unbelievable. We spent 2 years in the wilderness, so thank you so much for sticking with us.”

Suffragette Suffragette brought a little absurdity and humour to the night, with Johnny asking this question- “Who is gonna sit on the fence when I’m gone? Who is gonna sit on your face when I’m not there?” A pertinent question in these times of austerity.

Almost in the same breath the lads tore into their Bloc Party esque guitar riffage and the crowd reacted frenziedly to the change of pace and tact, moshing about at the front and loving every minute of it. It all got a bit too much for some of the less zealous of fans and there was a mass exodus from the war zone up front.

Photoshop Handsome was the real crowd pleaser however, the one everyone had turned out to see. It is a tune that is as innovative as anything being produced today, it counteracts people’s expectations and surprises at every turn. The whole sound is like a breath of fresh air.

The indie scene has become relatively stale and inert stylistically, as the last heavyweights of the era like The Arctic Monkeys and co become old hat- there has been no one yet to take on the mantle and push the boat in a new direction. This tune has all the ingredients and force to reinvigorate a waning scene, or create a new one all its own.

The song had a computerised feel live, with synthesisers and Super Mario theme tune notes interspersed all over the place- hence the refrain “I will gain an extra life”. Johnny’s voice was as flawless as ever and was complemented by the oddly syncopated rhythms and jarring bass lines throughout.

The lads bid adieu to the crowd here and made a sharp exit, as if not wanting to overstay their welcome- like a band of shy boys, demurring at complements. It was refreshing to see a group so humble, with so much hype and spin surrounding them.

Everything Everything have well and truly emerged from that wilderness Johnny spoke of, with the world and everything in it at their feet.

Check out the video here for Photoshop Handsome, which reflects perfectly this band’s cosmic leap into modernity.