Emilie Shane reviews the energetic and visually impressive Cloud Control at HEAVEN.
Cloud Control entered the music scene from “Sydney via London”. Following the release of their ghostly, lyrically rich debut, Bliss Release, they moved to the UK and recorded their aptly titled second album, Dream Cave, inside the Kentish caves. The cave’s acoustics created organic echoing sounds on the album and I was intrigued how these would be recreated live.
With a wave from lead singer Heidi, but a generally deadpan coolness from the other band members, the four piece took to the stage and assumed the position for harmonic instrumental album opener, Scream Rave. Alister, also on lead vocals and guitar, appeared as a mystical silhouette in the dim light with his hood up, creating the illusion that the harmonic vocals he emitted belonged to a celestial being rather than a human. It soon became clear that the cave echoes would be recreated through the band’s vocal harmonies, which they pulled off with seamless perfection.
It was evident that the band had perfected their live performance musically, but they also exceeded my expectations visually. Light boards behind them changed colour and rhythmically shot strobes. A sparkler, the kind you’d usually find on an elaborate birthday cake, was attached to Alister’s guitar during Island Living. Cloud Control are an energetic band, in a natural, unforced way; Heidi sashayed and danced in time to the tambourine, while Alister shredded on his guitar, jumping around the stage on gangly legs. Drummer Ulrich beat his drums with zest and energy, while Jeremy, the bassist, balanced on top of his guitar case during song Ghost Story.
Cloud Control have the ability to entirely absorb their audience in their sound and spirit, whilst remaining casual and unassuming in their chatter with the audience – something quite rare for a band of their talent. In the middle of the set Alister informed the crowd “we’re going to play an old song now, but looking at this setlist it might be a bit weird, I’m not sure the vibes are right”. But the band broke out into a beautiful, pure, perfectly crafted performance of Just For Now, and the vibes could not have been more spot-on.