With a spate of Brisbane clubs and bars changing hands, changing their looks and changing how much we enjoy visiting them, it's lovely to climb the stairs of The Zoo in Fortitude Valley to see Sydney's Cloud Control and find it exactly the same: dark, endearingly grimy and completely unassuming. It's the perfect place to enjoy a plastic glass of something and a night of good music.

Brisbane locals Ball Park Music looked barely old enough to legally enter the venue but their opening set was clever, catchy, at times hilariously bawdy and included spontaneous trombone-playing, all of which made them an excellent start to the night. Second act Richard in my Mind, who have been supporting Cloud Control on their national tour, lacked stage presence and their mix of low-key synth and guitar just didn't do much to lift the crowd to greater heights of anticipation.

But whatever enthusiasm had been briefly lost came back in spades as Cloud Control took the stage to romance us with songs from their latest EP Bliss Release and some of their much-loved earlier work. We're the second-last stop on their national tour (their last show is in Adelaide this Saturday) and their enthusiasm for their work hasn't abated one little bit.

As the band moved through tracks such as "There's Nothing in the Water We Can't Fight", "Beast of Love", "Ghost Story" and the two current singles getting a lot of airplay, "Gold Canary" and "This is What I Said", you can see that their EP is aptly titled. Their music is truly blissful and transportive: it makes you want to move your feet, put your arms around the person next to you and sing long and loud to the frequent "yah, yah, yah's", "da da da wayo's" and "oh oh oh ohOHoh's" that make up many of their songs. And if enthusiastic dancing isn't your thing, then you can just as contentedly stand back and be swept away by the glorious melodies of Alister Wright (guitars, vocals), Heidi Lenffer (keyboard, tambourine, vocals), Jeremy Kelshaw (bass guitars, vocals) and Ulrich Lenffer (drums, vocals).

Bliss Release is a pleasure to listen to as a CD, but seeing it live obviously brings an extra richness. The vocal ability of Wright and Leffner during their harmonies was compelling and often achingly beautiful, and bassist Kelshaw and drummer Lenffer added real depth and heart to each song.

Plus, seeing them live gave us a privileged view of a band just in love with what they're doing. They were so excited to be sharing their music and so ready to connect with us. At one point, when Wright mysteriously ran offstage at the beginning of a song (to retrieve a pedal as it turned out) Kelshaw was left repeating the opening chords over and over again. So, he just started talking to the crowd, beginning by asking them what was good to do in Brisbane and, after getting into a brief discussion about it, ending with an enthusiastic exclamation of how good ice-cream was, especially when it had nuts. This sort of open and excited feeling infused the whole night and as the songs wrapped around us and the crowd swayed their hands in the air, jumped up and down or just languidly listened, it all felt natural, joyous and euphoric.

Resplendent in what appeared to be a vinyl purple hoodie (which he brought up over his head for the gorgeous "Ghost Story") Wright seemed especially pleased to be playing in Brisbane, at one point shouting "We're so happy to be here. We haven't played here in aaaaaaages!"

It might have been aaaages since their last show here, but hopefully they'll be back again very soon, so we can experience another night with Cloud Control.

Cloud Control
Bliss Release National Tour
With Special Guests Richard In Your Mind

13 May      The Harp, Wollongong Nsw
www.oztix.com.au 1300 762 545 or direct from venue

14 May       Oxford Art Factory, Sydney Nsw
www.moshtix.com.au, Moshtix Outlets 1300 Get Tix

15 May      Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle Nsw
www.moshtix.com.au or Moshtix Outlets Or At Venue

21 May       Republic Bar, Hobart Tas
www.moshtix.com.au, Moshtix Outlets, or 1300 Get Tix

22 May       East Brunswick Club, Melbourne Vic
www.eastbrunswickclub.com or Ebc Box Office 9388 9794

23 May       East Brunswick Club, Melbourne Vic
www.eastbrunswickclub.com or Ebc Box Office 9388 9794

27 May       Prince Of Wales, Bunbury Wa

28 May       Mojo’s, Freemantle, Wa

29 May       Amplifier Hotel, Perth, Wa

2 June        Beach Road Hotel, Sydney Nsw                   Free Entry

4 June        Clarendon Guesthouse, Katoomba Nsw
02 4782 1322 or www.clarendonguesthouse.com.au/enquiries

5 June        Transit Bar, Canberra Act
www.moshtix.com.au, moshtix outlets, or 1300 Get Tix

11 June      Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay Nsw
Oztix www.oztix.com.au  or 1300 762 545 or Venue: 6685 6454

12 June      The Zoo, Brisbane Qld
Oztix www.oztix.com.au or 1300 762 545

19 June      Jive Bar, Adelaide Sa
www.moshtix.com.au, Moshtix Outlets, or 1300 Get Tix


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