Everything Everything live at Birmingham's O2 Academy
Everything Everything live at Birmingham's O2 Academy

Everything Everything – O2 Academy, Birmingham (14th November 2015) – LIVE REVIEW

This Everything Everything article was written by Ben Malkin, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.

Fronted by the electrifying voice of singer Jonathan Higgs, Manchester’s Everything Everything have been wowing music listeners since their 2010 debut album ‘Man Alive’. They are currently touring perhaps their most impressive release, ‘Get to Heaven’.

The album contains their usual display of progressive pop coupled with unusual art rock – when focussing on their colourful instrumentals and general eccentricity – but the album also contains some of the catchiest songs of 2015. Uniquely, Everything Everything packed Birmingham’s O2 Academy on 14th November to treat fans not only to what is on surface a pop concert, but also a raw rock show, and one hell of a party.

Supporting them were Liverpool-based indie psychedelic band Stealing Sheep. The female trio took to the stage in matching outfits, and wowed a lot of people with their danceable beats, their beautifully executed harmonies, and their style in itself which is just very, very fun. There is a lot experimentation in their sound, with a bit of influence taken from ‘80s new wave; barricading themselves with synthesizers. A fantastic, lively opening act, funky stuff.

A massive ovation sounded as the lights dimmed and Everything Everything took to the stage. They opened with the first track from ‘Get to Heaven’, entitled ‘To the Blade’. The immediate start of the first verse had fans singing along, as did the incredibly catchy chorus, making for a great way to get the show running. Also, it was very noticeable straight away how amazing a show this was going to be as far as lighting and stage design goes. The colours and transitions were gorgeous throughout the evening, evidently dazzling many attendees.

What also dazzled was the disturbing-yet-danceable second song, ‘Blast Doors’ – adding to the humorous juxtaposition of people happily singing along to pop song lyrics, despite the fact that a lot of the band’s lyrics are quite barbaric, particularly on the new album.

The band excited many by playing a few songs from previous albums, including ‘Kemosabe’ ‘MY KZ, UR BF’ and later in the evening, ‘Cough Cough’. Of course, they got through the entirety of ‘Get to Heaven’, including the title track which might be one of catchiest songs of the year, even more infectious when played live, and immaculately sung by Higgs.

Having mentioned Jonathan Higgs a few times, this would actually be a good time to mention the rest of the band and how pounding Jeremy’s Pritchard’s bass playing was, how rich Alex Robertshaw’s guitar sounded, how colourful the keyboards were from touring member Peter Sené, how fiery Michael Spearman’s drums were (particularly on ‘Distant Past’) and how enchanting all the backing and harmony vocals were sounding.

As mentioned, all of ‘Get to Heaven’ was shuffled through. Including the song ‘Regret’, during which the band were joined by Stealing Sheep to sing along with the song’s recurring “regret, regret” backing vocal. Preceding this song was a message from Higgs, stating “this is our biggest show ever so far” – as he repeatedly let the Birmingham fans know how grateful he and the band were.

After playing ‘Spring / Sun / Winter / Dread’ the band left the stage, the stage lighting turned into the French flag in a classy gesture of respect to those who had suffered in the attacks the night before, and they returned wearing different, matching jackets. They then played an encore of new single ‘No Reptiles’ and one of the new album’s established fan favourites, ‘Distant Past’.

The immense, artistic nature of ‘Get to Heaven’ is sounding great live, and this particular gig worked as a very uplifting experience for all those in attendance. Everything Everything are continuing to put together live shows that amazingly capture the essence of their sound in the studio, and have managed to produce even more meaning in their concerts by doing so.

Everything Everything live at Birmingham's O2 Academy