I was a relatively unsuccessful footballer, looking back. I had major issues at the best level I ever played at, and I had to give up on it. When I got my fitness back a bit, and despite my terrible knees, I agreed to sign for a pub team in one of the local leagues where I lived. I was given an address of a school where we trained over a side of town I didn’t know, so I drove over there. Now the thing I hated was fitness training. I was good with a ball, but (partly because of my knees) I loathed all the running, sprints, cone work and all the rest of it.
Turned out the team were very keen on fitness work. We were sent out on a run in the freezing cold out into the countryside in the pitch black. As we ran I chatted to my new team-mates and we were cursing the weather as it started snowing. Then my knee started jarring on the hard ground. I stopped to give it a break and walked a little up a hill. And then, I reached the top of this particular hill, and I surveyed the scene. It was Snowing, it was freezing, it was pitch black, there was no-one at all around that I could see, anywhere. I had no idea at all where I was, and the address of where we were training was in my car at the school, which I didn’t know the name of.
[youtube=http://youtu.be/Mhy-ozPkiDE] Everything Everything – Duet
It was at that moment that my life became like the video of Duets by Manchester’s Everything Everything. Sepia glazed with me just wandering, almost oblivious to what is going on around me, with the snow falling all around me (in the video it’s not snow, but ash, volcanic ash- but you know, its close!) Eventually reaching light and finding a bench, to contemplate – me my failed football career, singer (and director of the video) Jonathan Higgs, well – something more dark. The ending was a contrast too, me not giving into the helplessness of it all, instead finding a pub, thanking my lucky stars I had a fiver, having a pint, then wandering back to the school (directions supplied by the landlord).
The single itself is taken from the top five selling album ‘Arc’, and see’s the quartet inhabit the sort of popular Elbow/Coldplay fare, but seem to sidestep this by being more intricate, as well as possibly self-conscious. Higgs ponders in the opening lyrics ‘Do you feel like you’ve been left behind/ Like there’s something not right….’ Its that feeling from the top of the hill, that night in the snow. The music moves into a section where Higg’s voice is only accompanied by a string arrangement that shows the band can handle space and beauty. The strings continue to play an important role as the track builds to an emotional and heavier climax, before a heart stopping, breathtaking finish. In an album full of killer songs, this stands out – it’s that good. It’s out on March 24th
As usual Everything Everything have created something visually that is creative, incisive and is anything but workmanlike. It was pretty much those things that me and my coach disagreed about as valid excuses for my missing long training runs in future. I signed for someone else not long after.
You can catch the band at
05/3 – Atomic Café, Munich
06/3 – Tunnel, Milan
08/3 – Fleche d’Or, Paris
09/3 – Rotonde, Brussels
11/3 – Bitterzoet, Amsterdam
19/3 – Roxy Theatre, LA
25/3 – Bowery Ballroom, NY