Live Review: All We Are | OMEARA, 13th March
Group return to London to translate their complex layered indie-pop for the live stage.
Indie pop three-piece All We Are have had an exciting twelve months. Their sophomore album, Sunny Hills, was released in June 2017, they then supported Nick Mulvey on his UK/Ireland tour in October, before releasing an acoustic version of Sunny Hills on 2nd March. Following this release, the Liverpool-based band are currently touring the UK.
While the members of All We Are met in Liverpool, none of them are English. Drummer Richard O’Flynn is Irish, bassist Guro Gikling is Norwegian, and guitarist Luis Santos is Brazilian. This mix of nationalities is reflected in All We Are’s eclectic, indie-dance sound.
At London’s intimate OMEARA venue, support comes in the form of fellow multi-national group, Imperial Daze. While the lead singer reminds us of Alex Turner, with no less than three guitars there is perhaps slightly too much going on. In their own words, the band decide to keep their set "short but sweet". The relaxed indie pop is a good opener for All We Are, but it could be turned up a notch.
After a 15 minute break, All We Are take to the stage. Physically, the band has an impressive stage presence. Santos towers above the other band members, O’Flynn adopts a power stance behind his drum kit, and Gikling is assertive as ever.
The set begins with three tracks from the group’s first self-titled album. Opening song, ‘Ebb/Flow’ epitomises the hook-laden approach of All We Are, and sets the tone for the rest of the night. Gikling and O’Flynn’s husky vocals complement each other well, and together they transport the crowd to a dreamlike place.
The set then moves onto songs from the band’s sophomore album. There is not a marked difference between the albums, more a natural progression. Fan favourites such as ‘Feel Safe’ are well received. Gikling sings "I want you, can’t get you out of my head", and this is true for the song itself. It is the definition of an earworm.
On the whole, the music is slow burning with most songs building to a noisy crescendo. The trio confidently produce a complex sound with multiple layers. Gikling often produces an angelic noise rather than words meaning the lyrics are not always comprehensible, but it works.
The introduction to ‘Burn It All Out’ echoes ‘Isolated System’ from Muse’s ‘2nd Law’ album. It frantically builds to a dramatic conclusion, but you are left feeling a little cheated. Nothing really happens, but perhaps this is the intention.
Things improve with the penultimate track, ‘Human’. On it, Gikling interrogates us: ‘Are you a human? Because your eyes don’t dry?’ The speedier pace of the track is well received and the crowd energetically dances along.
All We Are take us on a journey. The set ends with ‘Dreamer’ – a song which lyrically discusses how to break free from your demons. On record, All We Are are extremely polished and aurally exciting. At OMEARA, they did not quite deliver. The band is clearly passionate but certain tracks fall a bit flat. All We Are are at their best when they are lively and energetic, but a little forgettable when not. Nevertheless, the fanbase clearly relished the group’s return to London.