Now in its fourth year, Fred Perry’s ‘All Our Tomorrows’ festival is an opportunity for anyone and everyone to come-together and celebrate the communal flourish of British counter-cultural experiment.
Returning to the eponymous 100 Club following a year-long switch in routine (2020’s lockdown saw All Our Tomorrows move online in bid to maintain morale), it was the turn of fifteen acts to take to the stage over three-days of tireless aptitude and remind us all why nurturing new-talent is so bare-bone essential in promoting structural change, welfare, and growth.
Festival opener Honeyglaze: the newly signed Speedy Wunderground darlings whose debut single ‘Burglar’, was released a mere few hours beforehand, are a trio of evocative-dreamers whose trademark jangle enables them to soar mountainous, whilst keeping their roots planted firmly in states of quasi-lucid reality.
Despite the twenty-minute set-length, vocalist Anouska Sokolow, drummer Yuri Shibuichi and Tim Curtis on bass demonstrated a confidence that’s arguably earned either from years worth of touring, exploring and quite simply living, or, (as was the case here) a masterfully innate ability of putting the human to the forefront of atmospheric escapism.
Something that All Our Tomorrows never ceases to deliver, is a line-up that spans background, age and genre – a conscious statement of diversified intent, that’s reflected not just on stage, but between audience and artist a-like.
Whether it was the anarchically-hedonistic theatrics of London’s Paddywak, the seasonally nostalgic, blue-sky-slickness of Nia Archives and Nayana Iz, or, Grandmas House’s acerbically-growled self-assurance, All Our Tomorrows 2021, much like the success of years gone by, was a communal melting-pot of intuitively nurtured zeitgeist.
Where Regressive Left brought Electro-Art-Pop centre-stage, churning out a set which squirmed a bit like a slinky with body-dysmorphia – instigating a communal inability to tell whether your frame is staggering down a spiralling staircase, or, forcing its way through gravitational pulses with synth-driven sensory.
The Umlauts, (hailing everywhere from Stroud, to the Austrian Alps and Monaco), were a straightforwardly obscure delight. An undeniable dream-signing for alt-label Moshi Moshi, The Umlauts are, put simply, an extraordinarily agitated breed of their own art-college making.
With a vocalist-duo who channel Joseph Beuys meets The Slits’ Ari-Up circa 1981 in hyper-space, tracks such as ‘Um Politik’ and ‘The Fact’ were a contemporary Cirque-du-Kosmiche– simultaneously minimalist and conceptually overboard, surreally ‘Das Model’ and all-in-all made little sense, yet felt so, so right.
Hopping masterfully between the stripped-back divinity of Thursday night lyricist’s Rada and BXKS, the A$AP Rocky collaborator POiSON ANNA, multi-disciplinary truth-purveyor TaliaBle or, Friday’s Mount Palomar- the latter of whom enlisted the services of a Gene Roddenberry-esq Modular-Synth, for those who attended all three-days, The 100-club floor was a time-lapsing playground of endless new-music discovery.
As is often the case when spanning ‘scenes’ of like-minded individuals, some sort of performative cross-over was an inevitability waiting to happen. PVA, who performed at 2020’s online-edition of AOTs, took their opportunity of a sophomore appearance to bring out fellow South-Londoner LYNKS; re-creating their rendition of ‘Talks’ to endless levels of well-crafted chaos.
Having reached a level of cult-ish notoriety, PVA’s set was effectively a ‘best-of’ showcase of all their four-minute rhythmic elation’s to date, with a few additional newcomers. Soaked up in the bass-squelchy-symbolism of ‘Divine Intervention’ – “Where did you go? I searched the streets. Outside the church, between the sheets”, PVA’s set was a rapturous reminder that we’re back, we’re together, and in the present moment, we’re free.
Following in the steps of All Our Tomorrows alumni Black Country New Road and Black Midi, Automotion, who’s debut EP ‘In Motion’ was released in June of this year, are fresh-ears in the factory churn-out of instrumental head-fuck.
A project that follows “the dominance of technology in society, becoming and overcoming and the start of a journey towards creating something new”, Automotion’s strength was their core-synchronisation, and ornately painted high-rise. Embodying Cape Pillar cliffs in sonic form is no easy feat, but if ever there was a stage to give jagged elevation a try, it would be at The 100 Club.
Not too dissimilarly, Belfast’s, Enola Gay, much like their conflicted namesake (The Enola Gay was the first aircraft to drop an atomic bomb in warfare and, is an anti-war song by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), are a mechanical outlet for full-frontal fury, and responsive protest.
Seething impassionate outpour like a boiling kettle with no lid to retain its scathe, Enola Gay’s presence was an internally-enveloping testament to ritualistic-authenticity, as frontman Fionn Reilly embodied the acutely raucous culmination of all things pivotally flighted.
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