All We Are took to the North Docks for a belter of a gig as Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody kept his hat and scarf close to hand for a trio of bands who did their best to generate some warmth on a chilly Saturday.
It’s been a while since we saw All We Are live.
The previous GIT Award winners have been busy though, releasing new album, Sunny Hills last year, but live dates have been a bit thin on the ground. So we were happy to see they dropped in a Liverpool gig on their current flurry of dates. This is, after all, the adopted home city of a band made of Irish, Brazilian and Norwegian heritage.
But it was freezing outside in the aftermath of the Beast from the East. And, to be honest, not much warmer inside the North Shore Troubadour. Nobody was looking for a cloakroom to deposit their gear. Hats and scarves stayed on for the most part.
As we were nursing a cold beer (why?) the sound guy appeared from behind his desk with biscuits and multi packs of crisps to keep us warm while waiting for Tom McConnell’s TV ME project to take the stage.
It’s decent jangly pop with a mixture of guitars, synths and backing drum track. An enjoyable first course to warm up the punters. There’s even a theremin in use at times. Set closer Opal Fruits from the band’s recent EP is probably the most upbeat number. And that kind of sums up the band – sweet, tangy and just about enough to get your teeth into. We’re big fans at Getintothis and this was a solid performance.
Tonight’s other warm up act was St Jude the Obscure. Previous Deep Cuts alumni, they had the benefit of an expanding crowd, although still not one giving off enough body heat to make a difference to the temperature in North Shore Troubadour.
The band does make a difference, though. Haunting vocals from Adele Emmas and tight arrangements throughout, this was a belter of a set. The band started off life as a duo, but there were five of them on stage tonight and we reckon they were all the better for that. They’re less electronica and more like a “proper” band as a result.
There are hints of Kate Bush or Enya in Emmas’ voice, but there’s a power and movement to the songs that really grabs. She had the room, if not quite dancing, then swaying agreeably along. The set closed to genuine appreciation and, we’d wager, a sizeable increase to the band’s fanbase.
All We Are require little, if any, introduction to regular readers of these pages. Their polished, political, pop oozes class. And so it was tonight.
Although not a sell out for this gig NST was pretty full to see them kick off with a statement of intent in the form of opener Ebb / Flow from which the set developed like a well oiled machine covering most of the new album. Animal, Down, Waiting are all rattled off with panache.
There’s an energy here which is infectious. You can’t help but get carried along with the flow.
Although Guro takes the lead for vocals on most of the numbers the pinion is Richard’s drumming. He leads from the back, standing behind his kit like a conductor in reverse. It’s an unconventional set up but it just works so well. And the crowd loves it. People have travelled for this gig – from France and Ireland, so we’re told. Fair play to them given the weather, but we reckon they won’t have been disappointed and will have been well rewarded for their efforts.
By the time All We Are launch into bass heavy Human near the end of the set – the first single from the second album – it’s clear the band has pulled off a magnificent gig. This is an anthemic rallying cry of a song and wouldn’t be out of place on anyone’s Desert Island Disc selection.
It was a shame about the weather and the less than capacity crowd, but no worries, that just made the queues at the bar less of a pain. All We Are deserve a wider reach than they got tonight, but it was no less a gig for that. Top work guys.
Images by Getintothis’ Peter Goodbody