Everything Everything (also known as EE before the 4G telephone company stole the acronym) haven’t found a space on this blog when I shot them. I was too busy organising my last few things before another of my Asian journeys
The first time I heard of Everything Everything, they played a gig at the small Student Union bar of the Anglia Ruskin, the ‘other’ University of Cambridge. Songkick tells me it was the 5th of October 2010. My friend wanted to bring me along but a couple of youtube streams didn’t convince me to get there.
Still Songkick tells me the other reason I was being lazy. Of Montreal gave me a pass for their Koko show in London the following night and, quite new to digital photography and discovering the world of colours at 6400 ISO after years of B&W at 800, I opted for some theatre rather than another indie guitar band with an electro twist.
More than 2 years later, Everything Everything came back to play in a sold out Cambridge Junction.
To my surprise, the band has been steadily gathering a growing following.
I am seeing EE again this Saturday at the Field Day and in the next months they will be playing a large set of summer festivals, Isle of Wight, T in The Park and Glasto included. To be fair, I still have to find a band touring Europe in June and not playing Glastonbury.
Everything Everything also announced a massive UK tour in October closing with two dates at the London Forum. Quite impressive.
Let me be frank, I wouldn’t predict it and wouldn’t bet my money on them. This is also why I don’t bet.
So far, two full length albums in their CVs.
Before the release of the debut, Man Alive in 2010, BBC picked EE at the end of 2009 as one of the Sound of 2010 acts. They were right. Man Alive was received with very positive reviews in UK and, as usual, less positive in the USA with an infamous 3.8 at Pitchfork opening with a now famous Simpsons comparison and the sentence “Like that [Homer’s] disaster, Everything Everything’s debut LP, Man Alive, is proof that enthusiastic experimentation can’t save your end product when the underlying elements are so incompatible and unappetizing.”
Man Alive, Man Dead? Not at all.
UK pride is strong and revolt against USA music-zine cult. Everything Everything have been shortlisted for the 2011 Mercury Prize.
It was the unwinnable year. PJ Harvey‘s masterpiece Let England Shake was above anything else by a country mile. She won, being the first time double winner of the Mercury, but EE because of this, didn’t lose.
2013’s Arc, gathered quite an impressive collection of positive reviews from the press and from the public and , guess what, from Pitchfork. They doubled the debut’s 3.8 mark with a 7.6.
Arc sounds better and more focused than Man Alive but I don’t think the quality in the band’s music has got twice as good.
More likely is that since music journo Laura Snapes, English, based in Manchester and writing Arc‘s review, joined Pitchfork’s editorial staff, the British music managed to get a solid grip and more positive visibility in the world most revered music webzine.
In this little world of words of mine, typing here to separate pictures, EE from their Manchester base are pioneers of the alt/indie resistance.
A guerrilla style tough job. The decline of the lad guitar bands from the previous decade and the explosion of girls lead synth-pop armies of these years made the environment harsh and hostile as a jungle.
Their music, fusing jangly guitars with synth extravaganza and abrupt tempo changes, shocks and awe.
It’s one of those rare cases where ‘angular’ works as an adjective to describe a sound. Like for a pinball the notes bump here and there setting an irregular track perfect for Jonathan Higgs swirling falsetto to ride up and down it in his rollercoaster.
Belonging to the same league of Foals, Alt-J (who followed and won both Mercury and Novello this year) and declaring inspiration from everyone, their eclecticism delivers complex songs.
I can find hints of anyone from Mars Volta to Michael Jackson, from Mr Bungle to Muse in the sound and this confusion is what still cannot convince me 100%.
The ups and downs of concert photography. In a single image.
One of these photos I took at the Cambridge Junction (above) was published on an Independent review of their London Heaven gig.
Weird and understandably disappointing for my fellow photographers shooting the reviewed London concert.
Not the first time. I shot Laura Marling in Cambridge and her picture was published, quite big, on the Independent to go along a London Apollo Hammersmith review.
Don’t know why this happens.
To my ego it is rewarding, because I may read someone thinking “regardless it was shot elsewhere I like this so much I will use this”.
Maybe truth is upside down, the same photo editor just being lazy and picking the first on the list without checking its origin. Who knows?
Who would not want to be a concert photographer?
To go to free gigs (free three songs of a gig).
To take pictures of your idols (in the darkness).
To chat with the girls in the front row (they will ignore you as soon as their loved ones appear).
To meet the band (unwilling to stand for another photo or interview and dreaming for a drink).
I’ve been doing this for almost ten years, on a weekly base with no interruptions and still love it.
Getting home late, sleepy sitting at a computer, quickly editing the photos, writing the captions, double checking all the keywords are there, uploading the best to the agency’s server.
I dream of my pic travelling as spiders on the world wide web to landing on some media’s terminal.
There a photo editor of some publication receives a request to fulfil: “I have a review of Everything Everything from London Heaven coming out tomorrow on the paper, can you please pick a photo of them?”.
The photo editor browse Getty, Rex, Retna, whatever… and, wow, picks my photo.
In the morning I check the papers, I check the web and I find my photo, there online.
It always goes… “that’s quite similar to mine…oh wait … that’s mine”.
But there are not credits, nowhere is written it was me doing all the above work, which is not as flattering as being picked in the bucket.
With no credits you don’t even know to be published.
Tomorrow is another day and I have another gig.