Cloud Control were Clash’s pick of the pops from the many hyped bands heading into the festival season. I interviewed them for Clash’s Festival Guide.
The Newcomers – Cloud Control
There’s nothing more satisfying than unearthing a new act whilst in the throes of running around a festival. For 2011, may we introduce you to the much-feted Cloud Control for your listening pleasure.
Landing fresh from a handful of gigs in the new music maelstrom of South by South West, and with the Australian Music Prize, the Australian equivalent of the Mercury Music Prize under their belts, this cute quartet combine infectious vocal harmonic wonder with some reverb-soaked indie guitars to produce one of the freshest and most inspiring albums we’ve heard this year.
While they may have played a lot of festivals back at home, Cloud Control are rather green behind the ears when it comes to the UK festival scene. Their first experience, at the Great Escape in 2009, was less than ideal.
“Yeah that was really funny,” exclaims lead singer and guitarist Alisder Wright. “We played the Great Escape because the festival director was in Australia, saw us and was like, ‘Yeah! Come and play!’ So we came over, but no one really knew we were there. We played to a couple of people, and I remember being like, ‘Oh my god, that just cost us AUS$25,000 to fly over’. It’s insanely expensive for Australian bands to come over here.”
Alongside Alisder, the band consists of brother and sister Ulrich and Heidi Lenffer on drums and keys respectively, and the distinctively insistent bass of Jeremy Kelshaw.
They’re obviously gluttons for potential punishment, as an invitation to play last year’s Secret Garden Party prompted a return trip.
“That festival was cool,” Alisder recalls. “There were heaps of costumes and people running around on drugs. It wasn’t what I expected from an English festival, it actually reminded me a lot of some festivals back home, specifically Peats Ridge Festival.
“Something weird happened there. We’d never released anything, and all these people showed up to our set with heaps of kids.
“They were all dressed in purple and they knew all our songs. They were singing along, and then after the show they came up and were like, ‘Oh my god! Can we get photos?’ Wow! It was so weird.”
With debut (and award winning) album Bliss Release set to come out over here this month, Alisder’s intrigued to see what England’s reaction will be to an LP that was lauded in their home country.
“I’m really excited to see what people think of it over here. Hopefully they’ll like it. It seems like it’s a completely different kind of scene over here. It’s bigger and faster, and so much more intense.”
With a return to Great Escape planned – with a few more people watching this time – as well as a number of other festivals such as Liverpool Sound City booked throughout the summer, there’s plenty of opportunity to build up that fan base. And maybe also find somewhere to live.
“Well, technically we’ve moved over here, but we haven’t got houses yet,” Alisder explains. “I’m homeless! We’ve been on the road the whole time.”
Who needs a house when you can have a tipi in one of England’s green and pleasant fields? Welcome to England, Cloud Control. You’re about to experience a festival scene unlike any other.
Cloud Control are playing Liverpool Sound City this month