Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cloud Control Bliss Release Tour, Annandale Hotel 25/6/2010

Ten years on and the Annandale continues to champion local talent, showcasing some of Sydney’s finest bands. As apart of the iconic venue’s 10th birthday celebrations Cloud Control served up a jovial romp with a side of delight. And we all had seconds.

First up Jinja Safari spoilt us with their lavish melodies and intricate afro-beats. Live these guys are the embodiment of energy and fun with their ‘ugly dancing’ and bizarre animal noise harmonies. Mr. Safari, please give us an EP or album soon so I can listen to you on repeat, infinitely. Regards, Jinja zealot.

Synth laden three-piece We Say Bamboulée create remarkably original and entertaining bites of helium-pop. A highlight of the night was their song Party Punch, a triumphant number that held its audience in Hitchcock-like suspense, building and building, drummer Russell Fitzgibbon’s eyes rolling further back into his head before culminating in glorious synchronised jumping. Truly grand.

Kyu returned to the live music scene with an unfortunately disjointed set, still shaking off the recent sabbatical and suffering from some sound difficulties. The band’s sound is a mix of messy, experimental folktronica and some finely layered vocals. I wasn’t that into it and was consequently chastised by my friends who likened them to Bjork and Fever Ray. Their closing number showed the band at their most animated with tribal bellowing, looping tings of a xylophone and distorted rainforest noises.

For a long time now Cloud Control has been slowly simmering, marinating in their own genius. I mean, when you look at the quality on their self-titled EP their inevitable success was never a question of if but only a question of when.

They bound onstage as playful as usual; the friendly faces you know so well but have never met. Jeremy Kelshaw (bassist) still attempts uncomfortable banter, Vintage Books still gets a raucous response and the band still plays with a peppy eagerness tantamount to Cloud Control of old. But the band is significantly different.

Opening with There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight, the refinement is ridiculously obvious. The band is tighter, tidier, trimmed, cleaned, cropped cut and in their element. This Is What I Said reminds us of the deadly amount of crowd-pleasing tracks the band now has to call from (see set-list, and then for further reference see tracks omitted from set-list).

Cloud Control gave a generous and almost perfect set-list (is anyone else crushed over the absence of Into the Line from recent shows?) with some unexpected charmers sneaking through such as In Your World and Beast of Love. When Alister Wright’s (Guitar and Vocals) stunning falsetto sings “You were all I needed/You are all I need still” the crowd is completely transfixed. Heidi Lenffer (Keyboard and Vocals.) announced that “this next song is for Triple J listeners” to which the hum of Gold Canary began, as did the sing-along.

Encoring with Ghost Story, its rolling drums and echoed vocals stirred hand-clapping and seeing who could sing ‘I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up’ the loudest. A deceptive interlude almost had us fooled, but when the familiar intro to Death Cloud began, rapturous smiles were prevalent. Cloud Control delivered a lucid tapestry of folk perfections; it’s no wonder why we’ve fallen so hard for them when they perform this brilliantly.

There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight
This Is What I Said
Vintage Books
The Rolling Stone
In Your World
Meditation Song #2 (Why, Oh Why)
My Fear #2
Beast Of Love
Gold Canary
Buffalo Country

Ghost Story
Death Cloud

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