Everything Everything, Heaven, London

4.00

 

“I heard some good singing done there,” vocalist Jonathan Higgs remarks in a gruff Cumbrian accent. “Well done.”

Praising your fans for bellowing along can sound falsely modest, but when they studiously follow the stutters of ‘Cough Cough’ or the drinking-game tongue twister ‘Torso Of The Week’, that is noteworthy.

Everything Everything’s dense lyrical screeds join abrupt tempo changes and jarring melodic shifts in a mutation of math rock, a previously obscure indie-rock genre that has gradually shifted mainstream with success for Alt-J, Foals and this Manchester-based foursome.

Their second album Arc debuted at number five last month, thanks to time taken shoehorning their plethora of ideas into more manageable structures, but you sense this ambitious lot are yet to be sated.

With Higgs’s vocal ticks and other quirks, Everything Everything remain one of the more divisive bands around, so it will be intriguing to catch the reaction to forthcoming single ‘Duet’, a highlight tonight when the group stick to a steadier groove and more expansive sound. Admittedly, its soaring power relies on sequenced violins, but these provide a sumptuous background for Higgs’s falsetto and his bandmates’ harmonies.

Elsewhere, the group show progression from the contemporary r’n’b influences of 2010’s debut album, Man Alive, most strikingly on slower numbers that allow the singer to inject more feeling into his often inscrutable lyrics.

‘The Peaks’ is a sombre meditation on looming apocalypse, while Higgs, evolving into a committed frontman, delivers a seductive croon while laying bare the relationship breakdown of ‘The House Is Dust’. Now firmly away from the keyboards where he began in Everything Everything’s early days, he engages with the audience more as the night progresses and twitches as sharply as some of the band’s tunes.

Other numbers benefit live from increased contrast, as on ‘Torso’ when needling guitars lift the chorus from the verse’s bare two-step beat.

Not all the group’s collisions of genres and musical inventions work tonight, though it is early material such as the thudding, straighter indie rock of ‘Qwerty Finger’ that sounds most unsatisfying.

Everything Everything feel ready to leave this sweaty railway arch for airier climes, highlighting their ambition when they close with the engagingly warm-hearted ‘Don’t Try’, Higgs pounding away at a bass drum in time to the driving pulse of the group’s precise machine-funk. He may have the surname of the boson-predicting scientist, but life as studio boffins is not enough for Everything Everything’s singer or his bandmates.

Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

    Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

    I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
    Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

    Margaret Attwood on climate change

    The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

    New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

    What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
    Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

    The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

    Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
    Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

    Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

    The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
    Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

    Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

    The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
    Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

    Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

    Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

    Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

    Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

    Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

    The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
    10 best waterproof mascaras

    Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

    We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
    Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

    Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

    Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
    Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

    The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
    Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

    British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

    Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

    Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'