While they may be better known for their folky on-record sound, Cloud Control’s recent performance in Belfast’s Stiff Kitten solidified their reputation as infinitely more than a one trick pony, as they introduced an intriguingly rocky edge to their music, and won over the masses in the process.

Kicking things off with the mystically beautiful ‘Meditation Song #2’, Cloud Control quickly established themselves as a band who could provide not just tunes, but raucous energy by the bucketload, as lead singer Alister Wright bounded around the stage like a young Mick Jagger, accompanied by the shape-pulling of bandmate Heidi Lenffer as she skilfully turned her hands from keyboards to tambourine for a number of tracks.

They’re not just at their ease musically either, but quite happy to regale the crowd with charming mid song banter. Whether it’s discussing their journey here, or complementing the bar staff on their Buckfast, a liquor (apparently) beloved of the vast majority of the audience, the Aussies waste no time in winning over those who’ve assembled in front of the stage, and confidently encouraging everyone to move forward.

The undisputed highlight of the night arrives mid-set, in the form of the powerful, anthemic ‘There’s Nothing In The Water We Can’t Fight’, as incanted melodies drift through the venue, wailing guitars and a rhythmic baseline contributing to what’s almost definitely a shoe-in for the song of the summer.

That isn’t to say there aren’t other highlights, though; to name just a few – ‘Gold Canary’ and ‘Deathcloud’ go down particularly well, transporting the minds of listeners from their candlelight surroundings and the stale odour of beer, instead invoking scenes of beach barbecues and blue skies.

The venue may not have been packed out, but those who made it would surely testify to the fact that it was an incredible evening. Those who missed it will be sorely disappointed.

Exhilarating, exuberant and quite frankly excellent, the band haven’t just released the best record of recent months, but have followed it up with one of the best gigs Belfast’s seen all year.

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