To Everything Everything Manchester is home and their return to the city was nothing short of dazzling.
Band members may hail from the North East but it is in this city where they made their name. On a surprisingly mildly snowy April Friday evening Everything Everything treated Manchester Academy to a hint of what to expect from the group’s forthcoming album, Raw Data Feel, which is set for release next month.
There was no playing hard to get from the crowd who cheered and howled the band from the off. Lead singer Jonathan Higgs told the Academy: “I can’t tell you how good it is to be back on the road.”
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New offerings Teletype and the melancholic Jennifer got early airings before Higgs and his bandmates really stepped things up with ‘some f**king bangers’. The singer, who has such a distinctive vocal range, wasn’t kidding with long-established favorites Cough Cough and Kemosabe reverberating around the Manchester Academy such was the power of the singalong.
The set spanned Everything Everything’s six records and there was a very apparent sense of what the Manchester return meant to the band – who were all dressed in matching gray jumpsuits. Mid-set Higgs declared: “Manchester, you’ve been my best friend for 20 years.”
Seeing the Mercury Prize-nominated Everything Everything live truly is a must for anyone who loves music. Higgs’ unmistakable falsetto is always a joy with the singer having the ability to vary between silky smoothness to then each syllable having a sharp cutting antagonistic bite.
The 80s synth-enthused Pizza Boy was a clear standout from the Raw Data Feel preview. It feels like fans won’t be disappointed when May comes and they can hear the record in full.
But, of course, many ventured to the Academy to enjoy those Everything Everything ‘bangers’ which Higgs alluded to. As the set thundered to a conclusion Photoshop Handsome and Spring/Sun/Winter/Dread were highlights of the set. The latter, perhaps omitting the dread element, pretty much summed up the seasons Manchester experienced during the band’s Friday evening back in the city.
The three-song encore ended with a Distant Past rave slowing into the rhythmic chanting of No Reptiles. One and all could be heard repetitively shouting: “It’s alright to feel like a fat child in a pushchair, old enough to run, old enough to fire a gun.”
Thankfully, Manchester doesn’t have to wait too long to welcome Everything Everything back to the city as the group will be supporting Foals at Castlefield Bowl in June. Given that’s an outdoor show let’s hope there’s no snowy spells as atmospheric as that would be.
to the blade
I Want A Love Like This