In an all-too-brisk half-hour set at Rough Trade East, Everything Everything showcased the heavier, riff-happy side of their new album, ‘A Fever Dream’.
The gig began explosively with ‘Night of the Long Knives’. Just like Get To Heaven’s ‘Blast Doors’ – the set opener when I saw EE in Shoreditch last September – the song features Jonathan Higgs’ characteristic vocal acrobatics, jumping between a strained head-voice, tricksy semi-rapping, and a breathless falsetto that sounded like his head might burst open. Higgs isn’t one to gently ease his voice into performance-mode…
As well as an ingenious singer, Higgs is a charismatic performer, manically grinning and exposing his tongue like a rabid dog. The frontman is backed by a slick-as-fuck rhythm section in drummer Michael Spearman and bassist Jeremy Pritchard, as well as a special guitarist in Alex Robertshaw, whose subtle flourishes and repetitive glitchy solos seemed more prominent in the mix than before.
And for good reason. During the proggy outro of ‘Big Game’, the snarling, uncultured chorus of ‘Run The Numbers’ and the bonkers guitar hysteria of ‘Ivory Tower’, Everything Everything showed they are finally ready to satiate their teenage desire for rockier, guitar-driven music, as they unashamedly played ‘the big riff’ in unison.
Their penchant for unhinged, unorthodox pop was also in evidence on new singles ‘Desire’ and ‘Can’t Do’, both of which were enthusiastically received along with insanely catchy encore, ‘Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread’.
Despite a slightly timid hush between songs, Everything Everything were warmly appreciated by the 200 fans inside Rough Trade East. And this warmth was reciprocated by the band as they hospitably and humorously greeted fans in a post-show signing.