Having reformed after fourteen years and played a successful East Coast tour with fellow 90s indie outfits, Jesus Jones and The Wonder Stuff, it’s safe to say The Clouds are well and truly back on their feet. How long they’ll stay reformed is another question entirely (there are rumours about the possibility of new songs to be released) but Sunday night’s show at The Gov proved The Clouds are a band with natural cohesion and talent for writing catchy tunes that are relevant and resonant to their loyal fans.
Supporting The Clouds for their Adelaide show were locals 20th Century Graduates and Hawks of Alba. Young trio Hawks of Alba instantly garnered interest from the small, relaxed crowd by wearing the kind of bird feather capes you used to make out of fabric and wear at your primary school end of year performances. While the girls, guitarist Hannah Fairlamb and vocalist/bassist Sarah Masters looked a little nervous to begin with, drummer Aidan Moyse was a ball of energy, enthusiastically beating his drum kit so hard it looked like it would rattle off the front of the stage.
Their 90s inspired rock was a blend of The Grates and The Breeders delivered with a little bit of shyness, eagerness and a lot of cuteness. Anyone who wasn’t drawn in by their endearing performance was certainly won over when the band gave away a hundred of their Dear Punk Rock, sorry I said all those nasty things about you EPs for free.
Adelaide septet 20th Century Graduates filled every possible corner of the relatively small stage with a variety of instruments including a keyboard, tambourine, melodica, glockenspiel, trumpet, trombone and all the usual pieces. Their infectious indie rock is sweet and upbeat with notable influences from The Shins, Belle & Sebastian and The Panics. The lone female in the group, Larissa, did an excellent job of multitasking as she played guitar, glockenspiel, melodica, sang back-up vocals, and danced with the boys in the brass section.
After a short wait, The Clouds took to the stage as visually the most understated act of the night. Wearing dark pants and their red and navy tour t-shirts they launched into “Fear the Moon”, “Loud” and “Souleater” without much of an introduction. Taking a quick break to sip wine (Trish drank hers from a water bottle) the band took a moment to say hi, “How’s everybody been?” as if catching up with old friends.
The set played out like their Favourites compilation, with all the best songs from the band’s albums and numerous EPs. Playing pitch perfect with natural harmony and camaraderie, The Clouds looked right at home playing their old songs to old fans. We heard “Immorta”, “Maryanne”, “Foxes Wedding” and “Aquamarine” before a pause to check on a dodgy speaker pointed out by Trish, the atmosphere was relaxed and happy as the band chatted casually on stage.
Trish told the audience about how when Dave got into the taxi at Adelaide airport, he quipped, “It’s good to be home,” then she told a joke, “What do you find inside clean nostrils?” and an audience member called out, “Fingerprints.”
All eyes were on Jodi for her incredible vocal work on “Bubble Baby” before the band launched into a rocking rendition of “Red Serenade” and crowd favourites “4 pm” and “Bower of Bliss”. Saving the best until last, their four song encore ended with “Cloud Factory” and “Hieronymus” to which the audience sang every word and danced in a Clouds induced bliss.
Wrapping up a well received reunion tour The Clouds delivered an exceptional performance ripe with nostalgia. Like having a beer with an old friend, catching up with The Clouds was easy, comfortable and well worth the wait.
– Lauren Pitman