Gig preview: Everything Everything October 21 @ The Cockpit

Everything Everything
Everything Everything
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EVERYTHING Everything aren’t a band that are known for mixing pop and politics.

But the video for their latest single, Cough Cough, suggests we should think again about the Manchester-based quartet.

Footage of last summer’s riots and the robust police response are intercut with the band beating drums.

“It’s not more political, just overt this time,” says bass player Jeremy Pritchard. “Man Alive [Everything Everything’s debut album] in general, musically and lyrically, was full of distractions. It’s a smoke-and-mirrors sort of record. This [the band’s forthcoming album, Arc] contains a lot of the same themes but less covered up this time – the politial angle is one of those.”

Having witnessed at first-hand the riots unfolding in Manchester, the band felt compelled to write about them, says Pritchard, “because it was such a simple expression of a kind of sense of injustice that suddenly seemed to bubble up to the surface this time last year”.

“There was a growing sense of frustration,” he adds. “It just seemed so pure an expression – that anger and that want and need, younger people’s huge dissatisfaction at being treated as second-class citizens, being stopped and searched in London and Manchester.

“We walked through the battle lines to get home one night. Police were lining up – it was like cops and robbers.”

Arc is studded with references to the unrest. “There are no answers but I don’t think anyone with an eye or a conscience could have ignored it,” says Pritchard.

If the band felt any pressure to follow-up their warmly received debut – which was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize – it was, says Pritchard, “from ourselves but not from the record company nor from the media or our audience”.

“We’ve always been given pretty free rein by all those people,” he explains. “But we did put pressure on ourselves to sometimes push ourselves out of our comfort zone when we wanted to – also to keep being ourselves, to not play various insipid trump cards to Radio 1. Not that we don’t like being played on the radio, but we did not want to water it down in any way.”

At heart, though, Everything Everything consider themselves to be a pop band. “It seems to be quite a diverse term, ‘pop’,” says Pritchard. “We do consider ourselves to be that; melody is still the most important thing to us.”

The band will be road-testing songs from the album on their new tour, which starts in Leeds. Arc is not due for release until January – at the record company’s behest – to avoid competing with X Factor and the Christmas rush of releases.

“It’s a long time between the first single and the album,” says Pritchard. “We’re chomping at the bit but we’ve been told that’s not very sensible.”

October 21, The Cockpit, Swinegate, Leeds, 7pm, £12.50. Tel: 0113 244 3446.

Duncan Seaman