On Friday night I went to see Cloud Control at the Hopetoun Hotel in Surry Hills. Now Cloud Control is a small local band that I've been following for a while, cos I know one of the members, and I like their music, and the Hopetoun is somewhere that I've always wanted to go, so it promised to be a good evening. And a good evening it was!
The support act was lots of fun, they were called 'Philadelphia Grand Jury'. There was another support act but we missed it because we were eating dinner upstairs (it was mexican). Their music was pretty good but they were very entertaining. They had a song called "I don't wanna party party, but I'm gonna cos you're fantastic" (which was also the chorus). It was quite silly but enjoyable. At the end the keyboard player unplugged his keyboard and walked out the door.
Then after much fiddling with sound and instruments and setting things up generally, and a mad scramble to the bar by me through a fairly solid crowd which was even bigger by the time I managed to fight my way back, Cloud Control came on. They were really good. Every gig I've seen them at has been good, but often the sound has not been done well and has kind of marred it. But this time everything was smooth and the music was just great. Instead of being made to sound rocky, it was just pure alt-folk. Someone Andrew ran into after the show decribed them as playing music with sunshine in it, which I guess is true. They looked really happy to be there and have so many people come to see them as well. It was a real buzz, and I think the success can be judged by the fact that Julz came along, and although she was new to Cloud Control she left vowing to introduce them to everyone else. So that was a good sign.
I also really enjoyed the Hopetoun, it was nice and intimate, and someone had written on the toilet door "if I loved you then that's my fault", which is a quote from Conor Oberst's latest album. And I happened to have seen his show the week before, at the Enmore Theatre. That was also really good, although the support act wasn't half as fun. Angi and I got through it by drinking Midori and lemonade and making fun of their lyrics. We came to feel for the band members, with their earnest yet amateur approach and obvious love of music, and yet it was hard to feel for their songs. Conor Oberst was good though. He played alot of stuff I'd never heard, and a song by Paul Simon (or was it Art Garfunkel? I think Paul Simon), but the highlight for me was hearing him play the songs from his album live. They sounded amazing live.
I think Cloud Control and Conor Oberst both sound great live. I have their CDs but hearing them live was better. And all up I think maybe I even enjoyed Cloud Control more, just with the atmosphere and general enjoyment levels. But the real message I want to leave everyone with is that live music is great and I want to see/hear more.