LIVE REVIEW: BRAVES / GUNNS / CLOUD CONTROL
Saturday 31 August 2013 at the Capitol
First published by Space Ship News 03 September 2013
Early on a Saturday evening the Capitol shows no sign of the indie chaos it will deteriorate into by the end of the night, and Perth band BRAVES starts a saturated set to a sparse crowd clustered around the bar. Tonight they are opening for CLOUD CONTROL, the Sydney indie-pop whiz-kids recently returned for a national tour in support of their second album, ‘Dream Cave’, fresh from recording sessions in Kent, UK.
On paper and on record, the lo-fi cruisers Braves don’t appear much: jangly bite-sized tracks with a few killing riffs and husky vocal duties shared by guitarists Alex Di Giovanni and Sean O’Connor are blissful fillers. But live is a different matter, and with a pristine, studio-clean sound, easy command of the stage and friendly banter with the audience, Braves far outstrip themselves tonight. Drenched in the violet stage lights, Braves’ effortless poppy lines have kids in ugly sweaters bouncing along and foster a perfect vibe for the night to come. Single ‘Hallows’ is a stand-out with its glassy riffs over honeyed fuzz, as much an ode to summer as you’re likely to find this early in the year.
GUNNS take the stage next, blustering onto scene with bassist Jennifer Aslett pawed at by the growing audience and drummer Michael Jelinek’s Reg Mombassa shirt the louder than their blaring PA. With a burst of clean guitars chasing Clinton Oliver’s chiming vocals, Gunns flash and glimmer their way through a laid-back, sunny set barely tethered by Jelinek’s stripped percussion. At ease with their music, Gunns are a strong presence seeped in self-confidence and a nostalgic glow, youth yearning for an idea of the past over one they knew. Call it escapism, but Gunns’ wistful, beach tinged ballads such as ‘Leaving Home’ promise a small nirvana, and the crowd responds in kind.
The night takes a sharp turn as Cloud Control boost up their speakers to bowel-dropping levels. Drummer Ulrich Lenffer, previously lurking in the shadows, peacefully takes the helm for an ear popping intro undulating over the full club as Perth’s resident indie wild children emerge in force to spill drinks down one another and sway as a throng, following the bizarre movements of vocalist Alister Wright and keyboardist Heidi Lenffer on stage.
They surge through their set with a pulse and a pound plumped by Heidi Lenffer’s nord orchestra to outrageous applause, floating weird over the bowel-moving sub tones. Wright’s cheesy stage-banter leaves something to be desired but all slights are forgotten under the power of Cloud Control’s music; he encourages the audience to sing along, decides they might be awful and then lets it go for throbbing ‘Why Oh Why’ and wonders at the sheer number of birthdays he’s summoned by announcing ‘Happy Birthday’ from the new album. Heidi Lenffer channels art pop divas the world around in her white jumpsuit, her angelic voice plush behind Wright while the simulated night sky churns over them: dusk to dark to dawn. The faithful crowd, following the band – says Heidi – for five years now, leave on a crystal, lucid note, lifted through youth and nostalgia to a glowing future.
‘LIVE REVIEW: Cloud Control at Capitol’ by Richard Moore.