Fresh from supporting London Grammar on their European tour, All We Are enjoy a glorious headline homecoming at The Kazimier, Getintothis’ Emma Walsh reports.
There are outstanding bands that you might see a dozen times at venues not a stone’s throw from your front door yet never truly appreciate until suddenly you hear them on the radio or strain your neck to watch them from the back of a packed out festival stage. It’s the classic case of wanting what you can no longer have.
We can’t say that was the case with All We Are because right from the start, we knew that these guys were going to make it big, and we savoured every opportunity to see them in our own back garden before they inevitably flew the coop. They may not have reached Rolling Stones status just yet but it’s fair to say their name is no longer a regular on Merseyside’s gig listings.
Which is why there seemed to be such a grand sense of occasion on our midweek ramble out to The Kazimier for All We Are’s homecoming headliner after a European jaunt with London Grammar.
Up first, Cavalry, another band we’d do well to appreciate while they’re still playing the humble Merseyside circuit. With opulent harmonies layered over a heavy acoustic sound these guys could be well be the male equivalent to First Aid Kit, reaching dizzy heights in their melodic outbursts. Complaints that their set sounded like a series of b-sides with no stand out, exceptional tracks may not be entirely unfair, but it comes down to a matter of taste. We could listen to their intimate tones all day and hope there may well be a release on the horizon so we can do just that.
If Cavalry were just our cup of tea, Disaster Artist who followed, were like the fortified, yellow-label tonic wine we used to partake of in parks before going to underage Battle of the Bands events – not bad, but a taste you grow out of very quickly.
Perhaps it’s the forced American twang of the vocals that draws us back to a time when Blink 182 and Sum 41 had the greatest influence on our singalong tones because the rest of the set is actually really good. If we’re continuing our ‘male equivalent’ comparisons, these guys bring on visions of Haim with their sunshine pop vibes on Sushi. Add a bit of surprise sax (note: SAX) and we’re convinced, they may well be like a visitation to our misspent youth, but it was pleasant enough trip.
In that sense Disaster Artist provide a fine contrast to the main attraction of the night. All We Are are the essence of a sophisticated sound, and as they take to the stage we can’t deny a sense of maternal pride as though seeing a prodigal child return to the fold, all grown up. Back in the early days you may have been forgiven for assuming that, despite holding a traditionally background role, drummer and charm offensive Richard O’Flynn had taken on full front man duties, but of late you can be left in no doubt that All We Are are a real triple threat. For some songs we simply can’t take our eyes of Guro Gikling with her bold handle on the bass and sexy curl of the lip. At other times Luis Santos absolutely steals the spotlight, assailing his guitar with a violin bow. Staple singalong tunes Feel Safe and Utmost Good receive suitably raucous receptions with new track I Wear You bringing on another roar of enthusiasm. Of course, All We Are are among friends here in The Kazimier, many, many friends if the length of the guestlist on entry was anything to go by, but it’s safe to assume that the band are getting accustomed to this kind of applause wherever they go.
Photos by Gaz Jones & Tom Adam.