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The sound of the cloud
They’re critics’ darlings down under – but can Cloud Control crack it overseas? As their big push for world domination gets underway, they talk about touring with Vampire Weekend, bagging the Australian answer to the Mercury and the perils of a dashed-off press release.
Ed Power, 24 Aug 2011
It’s a lesson for young bands everywhere: be careful what you put in your first press release because chances are it will come back to bite you in the ass. “Nobody had even heard of us and we decided to include all sorts of crazy shit in our biog,” says Alister Wright of buzz powered Australian country progsters Cloud Control. “We foolishly took the advice of a guy who was older than us who said, ‘Put in whatever you want, nobody will remember’. Boy was he wrong!”
The biggest misdirection contained in their inagural media bulletin was that the quartet, from Blue Mountain near Sydney, had got together whilst rehearsing for a performance of Pirates Of Penzance. Actually, they met at high school. But with the Penzance story firmly embedded on their Wikipedia page, they’ve spent the past five years explaining to journalists that Gilbert And Sullivan played no part in the their formation. With a big media push underway to coincide with a recent relocation to Europe, frankly it’s starting to get to be a pain.
“Wherever we go, it’s all we get – the Pirates Of Penzance thing. How naïve we were to think that if we put it in the release nobody would notice. It’s funny ‘cos our biog pre-dates Wikipedia. It’s up there now and we can’t get away from it.”
The other Cloud Control nugget in widespread circulation is that the band’s debut album Bliss Release won the 2011 Australian Music Prize, the equivalent of the Choice Music Prize (though with a slightly heftier winner’s cheque of $30,000). Conceived of as a Southern Hemisphere equivalent of the UK’s Mercury, the Australian Prize is regarded a major deal in the antipodean music industry. Which cracks Cloud Control up as, outside of the media-record label bubble, few have actually heard of it.
“It’s funny – we told our friends we’d won it and they were like, ‘What’s that all about mate?’ It’s only been around for five or six years. Really it isn’t that established yet. It takes a while for this thing to become influential the way the Mercury is.”