Walking into the Cockpit, I am confronted with a sight I am not used to. Everything Everything might be somewhat bookish looking themselves, but realising you are probably one of the coolest looking people at a gig (and that's saying something) is a rare, but somewhat heart warming thing. Put simply, not a single person here looks like they belong at an indie gig. Parents evening, certainly, but not a gig. People are wearing CHORDS. People are texting BABYSITTERS. Still, the genre bending theatrics of what is about to unfold means that everyone leaves with some value for money, regardless of my stereotyped perception of their appearance.
Plagarism is something that doesn't even register in the same lexical field as Everything Everything. The music they make is about as original as is possible in today's industry, making them one of the only geuinely intriguing guitar acts around. This is a far smaller venue that the sort they could usually fill, but by road testing new material from their forthcoming album Arc in such safe numbers, the potential to fail is minuscule.
Fail they do not. 15 minutes before they are due to take to the stage, an eager fan starts up the refrain of their now Top 40 single Cough Cough, steadily gaining contributors until 'I'm Coming Alive/I'm having it now' is a chant that fills the room. It's no mean feat for a band who have been away from the public eye for almost three years. As it grows in volume, it's a clarion call for tonight's heroes to enter, bashfully shuffling through the audience rather than in smoke and glitter.
That's not to say that the showmanship of Jonathan Higgs isn't on theatrical point. Far more enigmatic and actually rather dapper in real life, the West End's loss is our gain as he commands the audience with a simple, honest smile, visibly bemused at the pandemonium that is breaking out below his feet. His shrill, erratic voice that sounded so brilliantly bizarre and unique on record simply glows here, seemingly effortless in the likes of Qwerty Finger and a particularly enthusiastic My Kyz, Yr Bf.
However, it is the new material that really makes this Sunday night special. It's rare that you can find yourself singing along word for word to the choruses of any song upon the first time of hearing it, but that is what happens here, time and time again. Choice Mountain's rumbling bass and pirouetting vocal makes for a potential future single, The Peaks shows them at their most introspective ('I've seen more towers come down that children grow up'), but it's Don't Try that is the true success story, like some great, terrifying 80's-tastic juggernaut that sounds as if you've known it forever. 'The boiler suits are gone!' proclaims Jonathan at the songs finish, by way of explanation of the bands new choice of smart casual attire, 'Now we can finally bend our knees.' Far from bending their knees, Everything Everything have rolled up their sleeves, and they mean business.
Stay tuned to safetyinsound.com for an interview with the band...