Cloud Control Live at The Academy Review

thekanyutreeThere aren’t too many bands that I go and see gigs of a few weeks apart. When the opportunity arose to head to The Academy to Cloud Control on April 7th, I jumped at the chance. I had seen the band open for The Naked and Famous in The Button Factory and was looking for to seeing how their own headliner in a smaller venue would go down.

There were two supports on the night, Hello Moon and The Kanyu Tree. Catching only the last track from a band isn’t fair to comment on them but they had a decent pop indie sound, I wouldn’t mind hearing more.

The Kanyu Tree have been knocking around the Irish scene for a few years now and have just signed to Sony. Their new single ‘Radio’ is all over the airwaves at the moment so this was a good opportunity for them to get to an indier pop audience. 

The Galway band sure know how to write a pop song. Working now as a four piece they have drafted in a drummer to let lead vocalist, Shane take centre stage.  He dances.  A lot, which is nice to see.  The band possess good pop songs, we’re talking 80’s pop songs (nothing wrong with that), great melodies and harmonies. Shane’s vocals are really interesting, almost a cross between Prince and Plan B.  They are well received by the waiting audience, highlights of their set include ‘Radio’ and the uptempo ‘Shelf Life’, which they chose to end their set with.

The lights on the stage are lowered as Crowd Control come to the stage. Opening with Mediation Song #2 (Why Oh Why),   you can see the band are into the music, they are loving what they are playing. The four musicians onstage move at the same time, in the same way, putting as much into the music as the audience are getting out of it.

For the first time during the night, bass player Jeremy Kelshaw is on his knees giving it loads. The lights are still lowered adding to the small club psychedelic indie vibe.

cloud control2008’s Death Cloud gets an airing, the band’s vocal harmony layers beautifully playing off each other. Heidi Lefnerr shakes her tambourine and looks like she is doing so in slow motion. The uptempo ‘This Is What I said’ gets everyone dancing, the vibe and energy in the room is, yeah, slightly sixties hippyish, everyone is here for a good time.

‘Bliss Release’, Cloud Control’s AMA winning album gets an Irish and UK release in May so these gigs are an introduction for new audiences to their music. There are some tracks that the audience are more familiar with that others. ‘My Fear#2’ reminds this listener of a more upbeat ‘Near Wild Heaven’ (R.E.M.).

The opening notes of ‘Nothing in The Water We Can’t Fight’ is more familiar to the gathered crowd. It takes ‘Gold Canary’ though, to have the cavernous venue in raptures.

Frontman Alister speaks to the audience, the band are obviously enjoying themselves and decide to do an extra song not on their setlist. An almost fully accapella version of Kid Cudi’s ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ is something I was definitely not expecting to hear. Great choice of cover, just wait for this to be on BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge.

Everyone’s on a high as the band play ‘Ghost Story’, singing back at the band, singing along. Tonight in The Academy, it seemed like the boundaries between band and audience melted. Small venues have their good points. On this performance we mightn’t see Cloud Control in a small venue like this again. No encore but it was an amazing performance with amazing vibes, just wait til their album comes out here and everyone knows their songs. One of the ‘I was there’ gigs.

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