Saturday, July 25, 2015

The main event, of course, at the Metro last Friday night was Everything Everything. And whilst the crowd wasn't shoulder to shoulder, there was an energy in the air as soon as Urban Cone took to stage. Their first trip to Australia,  the electro-pop quintet's onstage banter was minimal, pushing to the obvious: our dangerous creatures, in particular spiders of gigantic proportion. So, with that, I'll take said cultural reference point and throw out one of mechanical choice. Urban Cones are akin to a sophisticated Volvo (yeah, they're Swedish). Everything in its place, tight and on the money. Yeah, you wouldn't necessarily drive a Volvo.... but have you seen their latest lineup? They've got some really neat stuff in the showroom circa 2015. I dug Urban Cone for their intoxicating energy. Envious of their youth, I was ready to be somewhat dismissive (yes, kill me!), but I held my ground (integrity and all that) and took in the fullness of their sound. That sound, at times, eerily perfect is full to the brim with electronic nuances. It's all on display, yet you can't help but zoom in on drumsticks hitting electronic pads, expecting something off kilter... expecting to catch them off-guard,  revealing the presence of a backing track. Anything! Yes, I was suspicious (again, kill me!). But that's just how dead-on their musical chops were.  In all, a happy affair. These guys really enjoy what they're doing, varying degrees of outward passion conveyed through all onstage; from studied concentration to all out hands-in-the-air celebration. Ramsus Flyct (vocals/keys/electric kit), in particular, looked like he was having a ball. Oh, Mr. Flyct did stumble on the closing track... not musically but physically. But, you know what? Not even a near-miss and a fallen mic stand could faulter the crispness of sound. Damnit! I mean, no! That's a good thing (sorry, a hint of envy just crept in...). 

Everything Everything hit the stage with a strained start, vocals finding their place. Lead singer Jonathan Higgs was having some trouble on the high notes and it was a dip so early, one could be forgiven for expecting trouble through-out the show (jet lag is a pain in the ass). But come second song, concerns were cast aside as voice found its place. If I'm to continue with motor vehicle analogies, I'll pile the cast of Everything Everything into an 80s Lotus Esprit. While squeezing five grown men (on the night) into such a vehicle wouldn't make the most comfortable of rides, the music (for the most part) is up-on-your-feet fun. There are so many nods to Brit new-wave acts that comparisons are totally (totally) unavoidable. Yet even with so much inspiration riding on their sleeves, Everything Everything manage to bring past into present without tinkering into all-out rip off territory. Because, in truth, it's not (it's more than just homage, too). This is a sound woven with inspiration and, sure, there's a game of 'spot the influence' to be had... but, as a live experience, Everything Everything deliver in creating a comfortable atmosphere of reminiscing (Brit nights at Club 77 were pulsating in my memory). There's a warmth in hearing the familiar. The shift in time travelling came with 'Distant Past', a track that sets them firmly in the now of electro-pop music... letting the Lotus Esprit idle in wait, if only for a track or two. 

Written by D.L. Bugeja 

(Photographer- Joshua Pike)
Featuring: Urban Cone
Photographer: Joshua Pike