13 February 2013 (gig)
15 February 2013
Straight off the back of 6 Music’s 'Live at Maida Vale', and amidst an exciting tour that takes the band all across the UK, parts of Europe and as far afield as the US, Everything Everything are seemingly brimming with the confidence, not ego, of a band whose name seems to be constantly on the tip of the music industry’s proverbial tongue.
With what is essentially a straightforward line-up, consisting of two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards, Everything Everything offer a surprisingly sophisticated sound - Errors and Django Django initially come to mind as a couple of lazy references – that, thankfully, they are able to fully recreate live.
Their songs quite often sound as though they are arranged in a particularly non-linear fashion, meaning that their recorded music can require several listens before fully grasping their multi-layered, but deceptively straightforward form of songwriting. Fortunately, for audiences everywhere on this tour, none of the musical elements get dumbed down for ease in performance on the road; Everything Eveything are uncannily tight, and extremely well-rehearsed, and tonight, they do anything but shirk away from the complexity of their music, and do it without losing any on-stage energy, vibrancy or entertainment value.
By throwing in their much-loved single, ‘Kemosabe' early on, Everything Everything immediately underscore an assured conviction in their set, and rightly so, as the remainder is full of music that is anything but second best. Throughout, they mix up some amazingly rich textures: ‘Cough Cough’ and ‘Final Form’ bring clever, although, quite often simple in form, empathic beats, accompanied by guitar, synth and bass parts that oscillate between providing mere melodic accompaniment, and chiming rhythm, displaying a pleasingly surprising ability to induce movement through quite fragmented grooves, while ‘Radiant’ illustrates the strength in their vocal arrangements, with parts that range from solo falsetto to complicated and inspired three-part harmonies.
Live, Everything Everything are a strange entity. On the one hand, they can be considered quite the pop machine, with choruses that could put our beloved pop stars to shame, but their sound works in that manner without them having actually written the simple, safe and albeit poppy sing-along tunes. It’s an effective dichotomy that even sets them apart from their hugely successful contemporaries, displaying a complexity in their song writing that offers excellent musicianship and a set rife with “song” songs, all despite the fact that this is only their second full album release - something that their peers are still trying to achieve three or four albums in.