Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018

Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018Everything Everything @ O2 Academy, 12 April 2018

We may not have had the wintry landscapes of their postponed date in March but tonight showed just how powerful music is at painting vivid images, bringing people together and creating beautiful memories.

After a random conversation with someone about why I wear ear protection at gigs (primarily because I will go deaf if I don’t), London based band Pumarosa treated us to a short but poignant set. The female-fronted four piece delivered a hugely emotive set that moved from a dream pop/shoegaze sound into a soundscape of 80s saxophone and techno-driven electronica.

This band is a significant draw as the venue was at least half full during their set. Reaction to their music was phenomenal for a support band. I think they delivered approximately five tracks during their 25-minute set and every single one of them was as captivating as the last. Priestess was mind-blowing, to say the least, and showed how much of an impassioned performance the lead singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome could give. If you haven’t heard their music, I implore you to investigate their 2017 debut album.

At 9 pm precisely the venue went black, a deep bass sound began, and the band entered to a lilac coloured, smoke-filled backdrop. They started with the title track of their 2017 album Fever Dream. What a way to begin, I had goosebumps! If you don’t know the track, it is a tension builder quietly escalating to its summit, at which point frontman Jonathan Higgs jumped down from his keys joining the crowd with the same raucous energy that they had built. This was immediately followed up by Blast Doors from their third LP.

Higgs, donning a bright orange rain mac thanked the crowd and apologised for being a month late. I wondered if his dress sense was perhaps symbolic of the atmosphere that they were trying to create with their set. Was it suggesting that they would create a summery feel in this never-ending winter? Other visual elements suggested this was the case as well. There is a lot to be said about minimalistic lighting; not only does it help awaken the senses, but the wonder of blues on reds and shades of orange and yellow worked perfectly with the electronic blends that Everything Everything creates enhancing that summer vibe.

From my viewpoint of the balcony, I was able to people watch to my heart’s content, and it was interesting to see how varied the audience were tonight. Everything Everything is a band from the 10s, and it was evident that their core audience was Gen Z, but I think that there were fans from Generations X, Y, Z and even younger fans. I had a family of four sitting in front of me, and the little girl knew all of the words to every song in the set.

The setlist was predominantly made up of their last two records with occasional glances towards sophomore album Arc and one sole reference to their gradually forgotten debut (a shame in my opinion) with QWERTY finger. The band performed an extremely well rehearsed and exceptionally well-executed set, and the Birmingham crowd were in fine form. They already knew the songs that were coming and felt driven to respond with clapping and singing at the right times without being coerced into doing so. For me, this gig showed just how powerful music could be at bringing people together. Everyone was singing along including entire families. There were smiles everywhere, throughout every song; in fact, I would go as far as saying that emotion filled the venue.

Like many of their tracks, the set was one that intensified as the night went on. We had seen spontaneous clapping and singing throughout, but it was almost known to Higgs that the participation level was about to go up a notch as he announced “You ready for this?” before Night of the Long Knives. Kemosabe and Spring/Summer/Winter/Dread saw the excitable crowd reach higher heights with pogoing and mosh pits beginning. The venue was on fire for stand out track of the night Can’t Do, completely ripping apart the dance floor with everyone “loving the bass” and “loving the drums”!

Ending the main set with Ivory Tower created a frenzy that needed to continue in the encore. A spontaneous rendition of “Oh Jeremy Corbyn” happened before the band returned to the stage. The encore consisted of entering to New Deep and following this by the newest song of the set Breadwinner continuing the crowds increasing need to dance. The climax came with the classic Distant Past followed by a crowd ended singalong to No Reptiles as Higgs had “been singing hard” asking the venue “to help me out with this last one”.

I’m sure that everyone here tonight was so glad that Everything Everything and the promoters were able to reschedule this date. Their unique sound and growing fan base across a range of ages show that they are likely to continue to develop, playing increasingly larger venues as they go. The passionate fans and perfect delivery ensured that this was one of those ideal nights out.

Set List

A Fever Dream

Blast Doors

Desire

Cough Cough

Regret

Run the Numbers

Zero Pharaoh

The Wheel (Is Turning Now)

Good Shot, Good Soldier

Put Me Together

Night of the Long Knives

Qwerty Finger

Kemosabe

Spring/Summer/Winter/Dread

Don’t Try

Can’t Do

Ivory Tower

Encore

New Deep (instrumental)

Distant Past

No Reptiles

Reviewer: Imran Khan

Photographer: Ian Dunn

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