Live Review: Majical Cloudz, Anatole

10 February 2016 | 1:23 pm | Alex Michael

"This was a bump and sway kinda night; crescendos were far and few between and all the more impactful for it."

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The crowd was already half-decent when Anatole sauntered onto stage and warmed up ears with crunchy ambient blips. The fact that this kind of atmospheric stuff filled the Newtown Social Club so nicely was a good sign of things to come, because little baby-doubts about the transferability of headliner Majical Cloudz' downtrodden slow-burners to a live space meant a few boxes had to be ticked in the subconscious for this to be a successful gig.

Endearing banter was a massive tick straight outta the gate for Majical Cloudz: lead-singer Devon Welsh stumbled into what seemed like a Jerry Seinfeld as a deer-in-headlights style animorph routine — both absolutely bewildered and observationally sound. His cries of "no genuinely, it's really refreshing that you actually know our songs" were delivered with the tone and perceived authenticity of a coffin salesman.

Preconceptions were shattered as soon as the first song ended; the crowd chucked out one of the longest-sustained applause sessions in recent memory and remained unrelenting throughout. This was a bump and sway kinda night; crescendos were far and few between and all the more impactful for it — they seemed earned. Welsh's wolf-like howl during set highlight Silver Car Crash hit like a tonne of bricks, only because the crowd had been hypnotised with croons and downtempo synths for close to an hour. As the synth began to oscillate and devolve into a crunchy spiral and Welsh finally tore free — both lyrically and physically — the room got that kind of religious feel where suddenly everything in the world makes sense: prey on people's fear of death and the desire to live eternally in some sort of white-walled Disneyland and the reason why you keep buying those 'As Seen On TV' products makes a whole lot more sense, you sad, sad human… Okay, so it wasn't that epiphanic, but you get the gist.

Majical Cloudz' set was a universal success, thanks in equal parts to the band's general awesomeness (expected) and the entire crowd's willingness to be taken on a different kind of live-gig journey (pleasantly surprising).

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