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Live Review: Cloud Control

9 July 2018 | 4:42 pm | Jack Doonar

"A wonderful collision of modern art and an intimate experience with a must-see exhibition."

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There's something seductive, or at the very least, inherently cool, about being in a gallery after hours. Tonight's GOMA Up Late instalment, featuring an intimate set from indie stalwarts Cloud Control and access to the acclaimed Patricia Piccinini: Curious Affection exhibition, seems to be the hottest ticket in town as Brisbane's home of modern art steadily filled with hipsters and fashionistas.

Up Late encourages attendees to leave their "thinking brain" at the door to best experience Piccinini's video, sculpture and canvas masterpieces. However, logical thought and any expression apart from "wow" and "what the heck is that?!" is hard to come by as you meander between the exhibition's transgenic creations that are equal parts charming and unnerving. 

With flowing drinks and soft futuristic house music from DJ Grace Stevenson occurring just metres from each room filled with mysterious, lifelike hybrid creatures, it's truly a surreal atmosphere by the time Cloud Control take to the stage.

After a short tongue-in-cheek monologue about how much ART there is in the room, the quartet open with the dreamy Treetops — one of many cuts from their latest album Zone. Keyboardist Heidi Lenffer and guitarist Alister Wright's harmonies immediately swoon those facing the stage, but fight to cut through the buzzing chatter from the majority of the crowd.

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The band's struggle continues with feedback and mix issues plaguing Dojo Rising, but they find their stride in the guitar-drenched Rainbow City, which closes magnificently with a three-part harmony vocal canon.

Wright humorously addresses the band's age ("Geez, we're getting old!") as he introduces hit song Gold Canary. Ageing beautifully like a fine wine, their 2009 track induces the set's first singalong and manages to finally distract most from their now frustratingly loud conversations.

Delving deeper into their 2010 album Bliss Release, There'​s Nothing In The Water We Can't Fight and Meditation Song #2 (Why, Oh Why)​ are raucous dishes of indie-rock, distortion, and infectious "Why oh why, why oh why?" melodies. A surprising cover of The Cranberries' Dreams raises every voice in the riverfront hall, as the energetic indie rendition allows Lenffer to showcase her gorgeous vocal range, no doubt doing the late Dolores O'Riordan proud. 

With drinks still flowing in the gallery, a bass-heavy and climatic rendition of Scar almost tempts those closest to the stage to break out into a mosh. However, Wright manages to keep a lid on any potential crowd surfing in the art gallery by closing on the passionate '60s-esque love song Dream Cave.

Apart from annoying crowd chatter and a difficult mix due to the hall's towering ceilings, GOMA's Up Late provides a wonderful collision of modern art and an intimate experience with a must-see exhibition.