Review: Cloud Nothings

Sunday. The last day of a caffeine-fuelled, flurescent-lit weekend at my ushering job. I had worked around 22 hours over the course of the two days and whilst the noises of the brass instruments playing at the festival were starting to quieten down, I could still hear their echoes in my head. One hand on my side as if to hold in the period cramps, the other on my Kindle as I sat outside the concert hall doors waiting for the last performance to finish.

Naturally then, when my boyfriend suggested we go to a gig I readily accepted.

Working at a university, albeit casually, has probably given me a new lease of life. Whilst working two jobs can be tiring, something about being around the imperceptibly young recharges my spirtual battery. I was described as "spritely" yesterday. And it's true; I am in much better spirits than when I'm sat behind a desk all day.

One hour after I'd finished work, I was in the car driving to Band On The Wall. The gig was Cloud Nothings. I'd seen them once before and listened to them on and off since 2012. They are one of those bands where I cannot recall a single song, despite their 2017 release Attack On Memory being one of the twenty five CDs we had to sustain us when Josh and I drove around Europe for a while. Cloud Nothings manage to sound like both Feeder and Finch in the same song, with the lead singer's chameleon voice screeching and straining the parameters of every song.

A perfect choice to wake me up, then. Cloud Nothings played for around an hour, reminding me of all the songs I'd forgotten. I was right at the side of the stage (seats!) and noted that I find myself waiting to leave a lot less when I have the security of knowing I could sit down at any time. Some observations:

  • Who needs the gym when you're in a band? They, particularly the drummer, played so frantically that they looked soaked. Jayson Gerycz looked like Buster Bluth during a manic episode and appeared exhausted by the end, but it was worth it. Through my lack of technical musical knowledge, I can only assume that he is very good.
  • Cloud Nothings are so good at creating tension. Long instrumentals where the distortion increases and the rhythms become erratic, building to up a crescendo almost to the point where you feel you can't take it any more. A feeling like something is about to happen. And then the storm breaks and Dylan Baldi, his face obscured by long hair and a baseball cap, starts screaming "I thought / I would / Be more / Than this". I caught myself beaming, halfway between joy and anxiety. 
All in all a nice way to end a long weekend. Band On The Wall was a great venue for this gig, the crowd wasn't massive and they weren't dicks. My vision wasn't obscured by a row of gangly giants, who seem to gravitate towards me (or rather in front of me) at events like this. I left the venue pleasantly deaf.