Everyone You Know at KOKO Camden, 22/04/24

The London duo close out their Ain't Smiled In Ages tour with a Monday night rave in their home city

“Is anyone thirsty?” Rhys Kirkby-Cox asks a breathless London KOKO crowd.
“Thirsty for tequila?”

Moments before, the Everyone You Know (EYK) frontman was belting out the riot-inducing lyrics to their drum and bass roller ‘anarchy’. A Prodigy-influenced Delta Heavy collaboration that saw KOKO viscerally explode; complete with kaleidoscopic lighting, a charging circle-pit and a friendly “mosh manager” – easily spotted thanks to his bucket hat and tattoos.

Rhys declares his friend is in the crowd to ensure everyone stays safe and has a good time. There’s no doubt they succeed in this endeavour. The energy in KOKO is electric.

In the concluding notes of their track ‘No Sleep’, EYK brothers Harvey Cox and Rhys Kirby-Cox take a moment to connect with the audience. They hand out tequila shots to the crowd before slinging one back themselves and thanking everyone for coming out on a Monday night, buying tickets, and continuing to support them.

I discovered EYK during a COVID lockdown in Auckland, New Zealand, back in 2021. I’d been itching to move to London, to go to shows like this, and to see and experience a world that, at the time, had shut down. Hearing the opening notes of their poignant COVID-era tune ‘Just For The Times’ feels very full circle. In fact, it’s cathartic for everyone. Rhys says, “This is a special one” as the crowd’s volume rises. We collectively sing along to the JOY Anonymous collaboration that helped us through those dark times.  

Everyone You Know x Joy Anonymous - Just for the Times (Official Video)

Their hour-long set is peppered with several tunes from the Just For The Times album. They open with the bouncy, Alex Turner-inspired ‘Higher,’ before moving into the all-nighter anthem ‘When The Sun Comes Up’. I was treated to one of my sad-girl favourites, ‘Crying On The Weekend’. But it’s their 2023 single ‘Coming With You’, with its high energy and switching tempo, that sets the crowd alight. Fan-favourite ‘Charlie’ also provides a powerful connection between the artists on stage and the effervescent crowd.

Genre-bending might be a cringy way to describe music in 2024, but seeing Everyone You Know live surprises everyone. These guys really BEND genres. I fell in love with EYK and their breakbeat, house, and UK garage influences. Yet here at KOKO, with the crowd’s explosive energy, Rhys’ heavy London accent, their relatable lyrics and their live drummer, I almost feel like I’m at an indie-rock show. Comparisons to the Arctic Monkeys and The Streets feel even more appropriate in this live setting. Meanwhile, Harvey Cox’s production leans into hip-hop, punk, and 90s rave culture, carving out a unique and exciting sound of their own.

That sound has seen the duo rise rapidly, amassing over 150 million streams in just a few short years. Viral hits like ‘She Don’t Dance’ (which featured on the FIFA 20 soundtrack), ‘Charlie’ and ‘Just For The Times’ have garnered EYK critical acclaim from the likes of BBC, NME and Complex as well as a heavily invested fanbase.

Everyone You Know - She Don't Dance (Official Video)

They planned to close out the show with ’She Don’t Dance’, but the crowd weren’t having it. I hate encores when they feel overly planned and performative. This was something I hadn’t seen in a while. The fans were truly not letting Everyone You Know go. Stomping, cheering and chanting “ONE MORE SONG”. Rhys eventually jumped back on the stage and unleashed an acapella version of ‘The Drive’, with the crowd rapping back to him, word for word. He conceded with a smile, “All right then, we’ll do that one.”  

Everyone You Know - The Drive (Official Video)

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