Live Review: All We Are

Broadcast – 17/03/2015

When All We Are bassist Guro Gikling beckons the sparse audience closer to the stage, she shrinks the already tiny Broadcast venue to about the size of the average student bedroom.  The band then proceed to do what they did on their eponymous debut record, and squeeze a big sound into a small space by sliding into the soaring and sexy ‘I Wear You’ – a brilliant opener to the intimate basement set.

All We Are have a setup that most won’t have seen before – the Irish/Norwegian/Brazilian psych-pop trio are strongly grounded on stage by stand-up drummer Rich O’ Flynn in the middle of guitarist Luís Santos and bassist Gikling.

It’s a visually appealing live image, and each member is individually fun to watch: Santos’ understated yet technically advanced playing carries the vocal hooks as he swings his guitar around tonight’s confined playing area; O’ Flynn impressively juggles complicated drum rhythms with Bee Gees-style falsetto while provides soft harmonies and sultry, distorted basslines, most at the forefront in songs like the Joy Division-esque ‘Ebb/Flow’.  She often extends an arm into the air, brushing the ceiling, after plucking a low note which sends ripples through the ribs of audience members.  Even the weirdly erratic lighting doesn’t detract from the smooth fluidity of the set.

In a way it’s a shame more people didn’t come down to see All We Are tonight, but if Broadcast were packed it wouldn’t have felt as intimate as it did.  The band end with ‘Keep Me Alive,’ loudly extended at the end as Santos channels Jimmy Page by taking a violin bow to his reverberating guitar. There’s an extra song on the setlist – the quiet and moody ‘Life Of Seven’ – but the band leave out the encore, probably not wanting to dispel the house party atmosphere in the air.

[Ciaran McQueen – @_delareine]

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