A couple of years ago, everywhere headlined (headlined! WTF? everywhere is the super-support-act, the great motivator of headliners, the thinking man’s “Follow this!”) a gig at the late, lamented Vale Bar in Dundas St. Glasgow.
The gig was written up for the New Hellfire Club by a very lovely and earnest post-grad student named Isaac. I think he liked everywhere.
I sit here on the crumb-strewn kitchen floor of my flat contemplating last night’s everywhere gig. Those guys know what the fuck they’re doing. I’ll begin with some background…everywhere has been in operation in one form or another for over 30 years, and are self-described by the lead-singer as the ‘original guns for hire’. The “everywhere” name was birthed from a combination of different song/album titles that are of consequence to the band. Never repeat, never apologize is their motto…which honestly is not the worst motto to live by coming from a band with punk-mottled roots.
I arrived at the gig early in case I could catch some of the guys before the show began, and lo and behold, I managed just that:
• I spoke with Royston O’Boogie (double-bass) first. Royston is a hell of a nice guy, about 10 feet tall and looks debonair in a purple shirt. He is the newest member of the band, having been with them for around 5 months, and has been playing the double bass for 15 years.
• Jimbo MacKellar is the singer/guitarist of everywhere and is punk as fuck, in my humble opinion. Some of his favorite bands include The Zips and Devo. Jimbo has been in over 15 bands and owns 32 guitars.
• Dave Thompson is the drummer and is also a very friendly bloke. Unfortunately I didn’t get an opportunity to speak with Dave much, but he had a Family Guy T-shirt on and a very charming smile.
I initially knew I was in for a treat when Jimbo told me that he would be doing things on stage that would embarrass me if my father did them. When a sharp-dressed man with an actual feather in his cap and facial hair like a neatly-trimmed Franz Josef tells you something of that caliber, how can you not be beguiled?
Jimbo, Royston and Dave took their respective places on stage and Royston took a selfie for his wifey who was curious if he was on stage yet (what a guy!). As I was reflecting on how I’m always intrigued by a band with a double bass, Jimbo announced, “We are everywhere; we don’t rehearse, and if we do, we don’t play what we rehearse.”
They proceeded to open with a twangtastic detonation of guitar similar to what you might expect to hear on a Dead Milkmen album. Seriously, I love me a twangy guitar; good one, guys.
The next song, Fading Away, was introduced to the audience as ‘a little country number by a little cunt’. Fading Away was a lovesick ballad full of masterfully arpeggiated chords, satisfying rimshots, and a swaying rhythm. Jimbo nailed it personifying the crooning, lonely cowboy.
“Call Your Bluff” was a protest song which reminded me of a bluesed-out version of The Pixies’ “Vamos”. Royston provided a steady walking bass line and snaps into the mic while Jimbo tore up his classic black/white Strat with face-melting bluesy solos.
The guys did an honorable cover of the Talking Heads, dedicated to yours truly, which David Byrne would have been proud of.
The fellas then announced that they would be writing a song on stage, and were unsure of how it would turn out. All I can say is that I know how it turned out, and it was difficult to believe it was written on the spot. They titled it “Left My Future Behind”, and it was a savagely executed, glorious chaos of effects pedals and Jimbo once again devastating his unassuming guitar with blistering solos.
A few songs down the line was “Counting Sheep”, a foot-stomping tune full of post-punk angst and written about an ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. A topic of that sort always makes for a fiery song.
Everywhere finished with a cover. A really fucking amazing cover. They funkified things by covering “Kiss” by Prince. I was pleasantly stunned when Jimbo began the song in a spot-on falsetto and held it up through the entirety of the song. No joke…that guy has a falsetto-of-the-gods. I was looking for an effect pedal linked to the microphone, but it was all him. My wife described it as oddly seductive. I would have to agree with her.
Between songs, Jimbo often gargled with Jack Daniels, as any of us self-respecting musicians are known to do. They kept the songs relatively short and sweet, yet entirely captivating and leaving you wanting more. The band’s versatility kept me intrigued throughout the entire set as they jumped from one style to another. You can’t box everywhere in by one genre label, and they can’t be adequately described to justice through text. This is one of those times when you really need to go out to their next gig and witness the full experience. You won’t regret it. I went into the gig not fully aware of what to expect. I walked away from the gig fully aware that I had just participated in a tryst with an inimitable band of fun-loving, talented musicians who adore what they do.