Clarks Originals: Cloud Control

Clarks_Cloud_Copyright MSethi 2011 8.jpg
Cloud Control are super charming. They answer questions with guileless open expressions, like Frodos from the Shire - they come from the Tolkienian Blue Mountains in Australia; their set is equally guileless and seducing. There was Alister Wright, on guitar and vocal, dressed in black with a Chigwell mop, and Heidi Lenffer, in a poppy belted overcoat looking like a beautiful pre-Colombine Quispe Sise on vocals and tambourine; Her brother Ulrich was also there on drums and vocal, and finally there was the stocky Jeremy Kelshaw, keeping time with an egg shaker and drums.

The band are signed to Infectious Records, and have won a fair few awards in their native land; they have been nominated for and won AIRs and ARIs and have received write-ups in all the major press there. Some of them attended Sidney University and they wowed competitions there with their Fleetwood Mac melodies and psych rock solos.

Their album is due out in March, with a couple of singles out and due out before. They have moved to the UK, to, I suppose be more connected to the music scene, are planning their SXSW show....and spent last night in Coventry. Alister was less-than-impressed by the town, he tells me, but in a typically self- deprecatory way qualifies this and says he “had shits and giggles” with the crowd.

In a recent interview he said: “This is basically the first time they have been full-time musicians, with no part-time jobs. We’re only allowed to be musicians. It’s a pretty exciting prospect.”

Among the other awards, one of the highest musical authorities in Oz land, the J Awards, nominated them for a best album gong, putting them alongside Aussie music royalty like Sia. I ask them about The Middle East, a hot Aussie band and they say they had a barbie with them two weeks ago. Mixing it up just rightn then.

Their show at Clarks was the final of the five day series, and they had drawn a crowd to fit the occasion. The first track saw a tribal accumulating percussion, with spider-soft lyrics from Alister: ‘As I dragged her down to the river..,I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up’ – nice, despite the amount of ‘down by/ to the river tracks’ around at the moment.

Gold Canary, their stand out single, came soon after, with two harmonizing like a barbershop quartet, and Heidi, low, wide black fringe just above her eyes. There’s Nothing In the Water We Can’t Find followed, from their Bliss Release album with the fanbase faithful singing along.

Just For Now, a moody self-reflective number came after ‘Twenty years on a steady slope I’m running out of rope’. The mood of the band might not quite equate with the tired grey UK sensibilties, but then they could provide a foil for moody/medicated self-centric UK sound.

Their last track, Meditation Song 2, had a darkish guitar intro, and repeated use of harmonizing from the four-piece: ‘Point my arms out at the sky’. A further testament to the band’s freshness was their treatment of fans – a couple of Chardonnay-enthused groupies came to greet them, and persisted for about ten minutes: Alister smiled and made them feel appreciated. More of these please.

Words by Miguel Cullen

Find out more about Clarks Originals 'Original And Live' gig series on ClashMusic.com HERE.

Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-