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Too little, too late for Disclosure's All Points East set

28 August 2022, 17:00

Ten years on from their debut album Settle, Disclosure have come a long way.

Finally being able to tour after the pandemic has done them good, and at the end of a raucous day at All Points East – with energetic sets from the likes of Mura Masa and Charli XCX – Guy and Howard Laurence’s unique brand of commercial house is just what the crowd needs.

The show kicks off with a single firework, and the faint melody of “White Noise” is heard over the sound system. A siren blares, a resounding monologue about 2020’s pandemic riles up the crowd, and as a single spotlight then shines down on the Lawrence brothers, “White Noise” fully begins.

As the duo talks to the crowd, they're let down by the sound system. We speed through “F For You” and “Ultimatum,” with the square visuals on stage fading through electrified neurons to Sahara-like deserts and large bodies of water, but this is the only thing that really holds the crowd’s attention. As the brothers remain on stage drumming and don’t really engage much, it’s hard not to notice the two massive side screens on stage remaining completely blank. As they hit the throwback sounds of “What’s In Your Head,” they’re missing out on a great visual opportunity.

The continual mix fades and flows through Zedd-collaboration “You’ve Got To Let Go If You Want To Be Free” and into underground favourite “BOSS,” but the sound emanating from the stage hits a wall and falls flat. Lasers and fun visuals try to distract from it, but something’s holding the duo back. Even the dulcet sounds of Gregory Porter on “Holding On” don’t seem to help, and as the crowd becomes rather desperate for something more, Disclosure sadly don’t deliver.

Recent single “Waterfall” is brought on with cascading water on the screens, and their classic “When A Fire Starts To Burn” opposes it with its bright red and fiery visuals, but still something isn’t quite there, and it’s starting to have effect on the audience. They ease into “In My Arms,” and there's finally some interaction from Howard, demanding the crowd get as low as they can, waiting for the final drop to jump up into dancing action. It's works to a point, but by this stage it feels almost too little too late.

It’s when Disclosure bring out their samba drummers for “Energy” that the pace begins to pick up, and the six men bring a well needed boost of stage presence to the set. This continues as “Nocturnal” makes an appearance, and the pair make a point of fading into their VIP Remix of the track, bringing the set alive and returning the vibes to the crowd. Building on this still, the raging “Never Enough” truly wakes the show up, and as their now-iconic face emblem rotates on screen, it’s safe to say that the set has been revived and is breathing once more.

The final act is the show’s swan song, and seeing Aminé and Slowthai bounce across the screens to “My High” maintains the atmosphere and grows the crowd’s excitement. The sound seems to have improved too, lending itself well to the rising standard, but it’s the second that the vocal snips of “Latch” erupts from the speakers that you know Disclosure have really arrived. The build-up is electric, and as Guy shouts to the buzzing crowd to get ready for something special, a bleached blonde Sam Smith walks on from the side of the stage.

Fireworks shoot into the sky, and the crowd sings along to every word coming out of Smith’s mouth. This point of the show is magic, making it the highlight of the set and quite possibly the highlight of the whole day at All Points East. Everyone is high on the moment, and Howard asks if “we have time for one more?” milking the ambience for all its worth for a final hurrah. A horde of brass players storm the stage, and the funky beat of “Tondo” play Disclosure out as even more fireworks light up the sky and onlookers.

“Alright London, this is it” is the worst thing you could hear at this point, as you’d think they were just getting started – but the hour and half set has flown by, frustratingly wasted on the first half that didn’t get the ball rolling. Disclosure thankfully end on a high, and all seems forgotten by the endeared crowd as the lights finally go down.

Set list

White Noise
F For You
What’s In Your Head
You’ve Got To Let Go
Holding On
Mail Mali
When A Fire Starts To Burn
In My Arms
Never Enough
My High
Latch (with Sam Smith)

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