STOPPING off in Glasgow in the midst of a widely acclaimed UK tour, Everything Everything were given a roaring reception as they took to the stage to make their Barrowlands debut last week. A band who have continued to defy expectations since their deliriously infectious and outlandish 2009 debut Man Alive, it feels like a headline show at the city’s most legendary venue has been a long time coming for the eccentric four-piece who last year released their most bombastic and self- assured LP to date in A Fever Dream.
Bringing with them a fiercely impressive support act in Pumarosa; the London five-piece mesmerised and enthralled the steadily building crowd with material from their sublime debut album The Witch before the Mancunian art-rock outfit took centre stage. Illuminated by seven blinding strip lights behind them which ran from the floor to the ceiling, they launched into the album’s title track ‘A Fever Dream’; a rather ominous and low-key opening with frontman Jonathan Higgs’ sublime falsetto delivered from behind the keys on a raised platform. Within minutes though, the show lurched to life with a cathartic burst of energy as the frontman jumped down to the centre of the stage and took hold of the microphone. Surrounded by dramatic light changes and a whirl of synths, they effortlessly transitioned into ‘Blast Doors’ with the crowd well and truly in the palm of their hands.
Higgs’ frenetic energy was infectious throughout with his pitch-perfect, highly distinctive falsetto utterly faultless from start to finish; whether blowing you away with double-time lyrical chatter over a splurge of erratic beats or lulling the audience into a captivated silence with more emotionally open, vulnerable moments like ‘White Whale’.
Crowd favourites ‘Desire’, ‘Cough Cough’ and ‘Regret’ were given early run-outs while a furious take on the riff-heavy ‘Run The Numbers’ brought a different dynamic with its blistering, razor-sharp guitar work. The set was made up mostly of material from A Fever Dream; perhaps the band’s most focused album to date, pairing potent lyrics about the bleak world around them with massive, bombastic melodies. Of course, the band’s stuttering rhythms and experimental ways still flow through it; it’s just more obvious than ever that they have learned to grasp the reins of their inventiveness with greater confidence.
Boasting songs that are melodic as they are insistent, complex as they are infectious; their intricately crafted creations were performed masterfully. Everything Everything are no strangers to tour life and it showed in this exceptionally tight performance. There was not much chat inbetween songs; instead this was 90 delirious minutes of uninterrupted art-rock impossible not to dance along to.
And while there was a noticeable lull in the middle of the set during the lesser-known newer songs, it didn’t take long for the band to whip the crowd back into a frenzy. The emphatic Night Of The Long Knives signalled a shift in tempo and had the crowd trying to reach Higgs’ enviable vocal heights before they whizzed through some old favourites like Qwerty Finger, Kemosabe and the anthemic Spring Sun Winter Dread. Blasting out one hit after another, the Mancunian outfit demonstrated the wealth of material they now have behind them; and it’s the type of back catalogue that any band would be proud of.
A lengthy encore featuring a stunning take on ‘White Whale’ and the euphoric ‘Distant Past’ saw the night out before the emotional epic ‘No Reptiles’. Undoubtedly the highlight of the night, arms were flung in the air as the Barras belted out its anthemic chorus in a momentous, spine-tingling finale.
From humble, wacky beginnings to the Radio 1 staples they are today, Everything Everything have established themselves as one of most exciting and vital live bands the UK has to offer. Now taking bigger venues in their stride, you can’t help but feel there’s still more to come.