Cloud Castle Lake

Cloud Castle Lake


On Tuesday night, Gullivers was heaving as the crowds swarmed to watch their hometown prodigy Kiran Leonard. Tonight it feel as if the crowd has just left to the last drones of ‘Geraldo’s Farm’ as barely 20 people stand in the audience for Cloud Castle Lake. The hype for this band which has seen them be given several namechecks by the most on tune bloggers clearly hasn’t reached Manchester, of if it has those who would have come are too busy watching Messi flick the ball effortlessly through James Milner’s legs.

The first thing that strikes us tonight is the lead singer’s high angelic voice which helps to fill in the desert-like space between each audience member. The first song is immersive and at times, euphoric as it ends with a distorted scream which transports us all to a place, somewhere distant and less sparse. Then comes the skittle drums which are laced over by a keyboard scale not unlike Radiohead’s breezy hit ‘Weird Fishes/Arpeggi’, however, sadly this song is haunted by sound problems as rescuers pour on to the stage to try and restore some form of normality.

The sound despite being momentarily recovered pays them no favours as the night continues, which is a real shame with feedback haunting what would otherwise be beautiful elliptical soundscapes. They not only then are playing to a crowd whose small number barely cause the wooden plinths to squeak, but are also faced by daunting sound problems. This is the test for a new band to come through these nights and still want to continue when they reach the other side.

However, it’s as if this brings the band alive as from nowhere Cloud Castle Lake reach a completely new level as the lead singer voices his band’s rallying call in sync with a sea of glistening synths.  His voice grows as the night continues, reaching a point where every cry makes you want to bite your lip with pure hard-bitten emotion. For me, this poor turn out and continuous sound problems are not fit for a band capable of producing such a heavenly song, which could if you were in bed at home shock you out of sleep and let you enter a world unbeknown to the one you came from.

The band barely communicate and often let the music speak for them filling their silences and distracting the audience from their shy tendencies. The final song of a very short set which illiterates just how little amount of time this band has been together has a beautiful code and ends with a souring clash of drums.

As they walk off stage, what we have seen tonight really ties in with the beautiful that make up their name, at times, the synths remind you of a waterfall tinkling beautifully into a river below, the clear sky view from the top of a mountain and often made you feel like you could be in a castle bearing over a town, where the normal routines of life seemed far away. Tonight, they passed a tough test and if they go on to become what the audience tonight know they can be, there will be a lot more along the way and I’m sure they will come through them all with flying colours.

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.