Australian band Cloud Control couldn’t have hoped for a better reception at their first Canadian show in Vancouver last week.
The indie rock quartet, now based in London, played to an appreciative crowd at The Biltmore Cabaret on Thursday as part of a North American tour supporting their second album, Dream Cave, released last year.
Californian band Body Parts opened the show with an eclectic set of dramatic, theatrical pop songs melding Kate Bush style 80s drama and danceable funk.
The duo of Ryder Bach and Alina Cutrono paired emotional vocals with synchronised dancing and filled the empty dance floor before their show was through.
Cloud Control, a four-piece comprising Alister Wright (vocals/guitar), Heidi Lenffer (vocals/keys), Ulrich Lenffer (drums) and Jeremy Kelshaw (bass), opened their set with two songs from Dream Cave, including the single Dojo Rising.
Wright paused to tell the crowd it was the band’s first time in Canada, before continuing the show with “This is What I Said,” an upbeat and sunny track with a Pixies sound and lyrics like “I was made of atoms in the atmosphere.”
“Promises,” a darker, brooding track from Dream Cave, was a show highlight, reaching a crescendo with a vocal harmony that gave this reviewer shivers.
“Meditation Song #2,” from their debut album Bliss Release, highlighted the perfect contrast of Heidi and Wright’s collaborative vocals, hers deep and smooth and his with more of an edge.
Long-term fans of the band were treated to early singles “Gold Canary,” which put the band on the map in their home of Australia, and “Something in the Water.”
Wright and Kelshaw were light-hearted and conversational with the crowd, high-fiving people at the front and gushing about their first impressions of Canada.
Faced with cheers and applause at the end of their show, Kelshaw screwed up the setlist and threw it in into the crowd, offering to play a couple more just because they “whinged so nice.”
The encore ended dramatically, with Wright leaping across the stage and Kelshaw balancing his guitar on the rafters.
Cloud Control brought to life their stunning melodies, dreamy chants and reflective ballads with all the energy a live show should have, but it was the perfection of their vocal harmonies that made the biggest impact.
The band looked as buzzed as the crowd when they left the stage after their first Canadian show on Thursday and, with a growing following in the U.S.A., it seems likely there will be more chances to see them in Vancouver in the future.