Everything Everything reside in the hard-to-locate hinterland between frivolous dancefloor pop act and serious musos with a plan and a bit of real compositional nous.
Oran Mor, Glasgow
Star rating: * * * *
With this year’s second album Arc, the follow-up to 2009’s Man Alive they have produced a strongly-defined sound coupled with an air of dynamic sonic playfulness. After all, two of their number have degrees in popular music.
A live quintet which uses synthesisers and guitars, the band are built around two distinctive elements – first, a stuttering rhythm which pervades the vast majority of their songs, bringing to mind a difficult-to-categorise fusion of early 21st-century dance-punk, synth-led R’n’B and acid jazz; and second, the feather-light but infectiously dancefloor-worthy falsetto of lead singer Jonathan Higgs, looking scenester-smart in a fitted black jacket. From the futurist funk of Schoolin’ and the club thump of Photoshop Handsome to The Peaks’ clicking electronic pulse of a ballad and Suffragette Suffragette’s breezy indie-pop, the formula never changed, but was moulded into ever more unlikely shapes.
The show was not much longer than an hour, but quality outweighed quantity, their new material standing more than convincingly alongside the old. The encore, a near re-creation of the new album’s finale, emphasised this, incorporating The House is Dust’s ghostly synth balladeering, Radiant’s smart pop thrust and finally the dynamic anthemics of Don’t Try, all brand new songs. For Higgs it was a special occasion, because his brother was in and he doesn’t often get to see the band. His kids don’t like them, apparently – that’s how ahead of the curve they are.