Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Take me to the clouds above...

The timing of my trip to Brighton for a hen do was deliberately planned to coincide with The Great Escape, Brighton's annual musical festival which proudly claims to be "Europe's Leading Festival for New Music" and who am I to disagree? I was introduced to many new bands I enjoyed and have since listened to again. My personal highlights were Warpaint (ok, so they were new to me), Matthew and the Atlas, Ben Howard and Cloud Control.

So how chuffed was I when I found out that Cloud Control were included in the set list for Bushstock. To be precise they will be playing from 8:30 in Ginglik. Hailing from the Blue Mountains, near(ish) Sydney, Australia they are a youthful band of three blokes and one bird. It is hard to pin point their music exactly because as with their performance, each song you listen too sounds a bit different from the last. Some are slow, some are fast, some are folky and light, some have real weight and rocky layers to them. However all their songs were in varying ways worth listening to.

Presentation wise they keep it simple; the fellas were dressed in jeans and"normal" T-shirts (and were free of a haircut that was mastered in Shoreditch) whilst the girl looked effortlessly stunning in a vintage-esque shirt top and tight jeans. Far too many bands detract (intentionally or unintentionally) from their music and live performances by what they wear these days. That said, Cloud Control tick the most important "how to make it as a band" box by having a lead singer who's very easy on the eye in a quirky extra on Home and Away kind of way.

With reference to fellow countrymen there is something a bit Temper Trap-like about them with strong, memorable rift like vocals, but their music isn't as subtle or flowingly crafted. The influence on their music is different too; a bit "native", and like Vampire Weekend they build on this with male-female harmonies that are reminiscent of, dare I say it, Magic Numbers. But they maintain a raw edge which is very effective when they perform live. Bizarrely as I post this, they are warming up for a gig over the road at Bush Hall tonight.

These songs are my favourites and also, I hope, give you a good overview of how different each song is; something for everyone? Maybe, maybe not. I'll certainly be in Ginglik for their performance at Bushstock. See you there?

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