All We Are Host Assemble's Farewell
by Miles Rowland and Augustin Lorne
Since this event was unfortunately postponed twice before it eventually went ahead, we arrived at the BikeShed on a cold Sunday evening, intrigued by what this elusive gig could have to offer after such a build-up. The bar was sparsely occupied, in fact less so than most normal evenings we’ve been there, and during the support slot the members of All We Are made up a large proportion of the audience.
We both felt that for both performances this actually turned out to be a positive, for it meant that both acts were of a very intimate, yet casual nature. The Devon-based support act, The Livework Unit, is the solo project of Simon Hampshire; he made clever use of looping on his electric guitar to create some ambient pieces of indie music, but was also ably accompanied by a band for this performance.
Then the main attraction, All We Are, took to the small stage. The first noticeable feature of their amazing set was (unlike most bands) that most of the energy and enthusiasm came from the drummer. For many songs he would lay down a strong beat, which gave their performance real dynamism, and he was also a very talented singer with an incredible range. This was shown especially in their first single and last song Utmost Good, where he was accompanied by the female bassist. She not only worked well in completing the rhythm section of the band, but her romantic, subtle vocals complimented those of the drummer with some impressive harmonies. The band was completed by the guitarist, a more understated stage presence but arguably the creative hub of the trio. Like the support, he made constant use of looping, but he took this to another level, building layer upon layer of guitar riffs which had the audience mesmerised. He used a wide variety of effects too, which defined the band’s sound, be it psychedelic, funky, or folk such as in another highlight Cardhouse which was reminiscent of American folk bands like Fleet Foxes or The Lumineers.
All We Are have comparatively little material available online, and indeed the best songs of the set are yet to surface in their recorded form. You could tell after their set that the small crowd of the BikeShed knew that they had witnessed something special, and I cannot recommend going to see this band enough. It’s hard not to see big things in store for All We Are, given their onstage brilliance, the impending release of their debut album, and the fact that they are soon to go on tour with another great band, Warpaint.