Yves Klein Blue w/ Cloud Control & Last Dinosaurs, Mona Vale Hotel – Friday 9th April

I was really looking forward to this gig because, admittedly, I am a big fan of Cloud Control, one of the supports of the night. I left that night a (new) big fan of Yves Klein Blue and thoroughly impressed by Last Dinosaurs, the other support act. Mona Vale was a somewhat incongruous venue for the indie extravaganza, but all three bands showed exceptional quality and we in the audience relished the experience.

Last Dinosaurs set the scene for a great night with their performance. The Brisbane band, comprised of four rather young-looking guys, played an energetic set. Their music was melodic and lively, yet neither sweet nor sugary. With a fun rock sound, their forté lay in their cleverly-paced rhythms and overall composition. You can tell these guys have a vision for their band and their music. Rest assured, it is only the beginning for Last Dinosaurs.

The night then stepped up a notch. Cloud Control were fantastic and totally lived up to my expectations. Their sound is so unique: multi-layered and multi-instrumental, sometimes folky and sometimes psychedelic. It’s reminiscent of country hippies, dancing around a campfire in an easy-going, happy kind of way.

They started off the set with their latest single release, ‘This Is What I Said’ – an upbeat, poppy tune accompanied by the sincere and lovely vocals of Alister Wright. The popular ‘Gold Canary’ was welcomed enthusiastically by fans and, throughout the set, we couldn’t help dancing to their infectious tunes. We loved watching Heidi dance barefoot on the stage with her tambourine, encapsulating the free and fun spirit that is Cloud Control.

Despite my enduring love for Cloud Control, Yves Klein Blue were definitely the stand-out performance of the night. And damn well they should be, considering it was their tour; they just happened to have outstanding supports which meant they had to step up! Dedicated to their latest single ‘About The Future’, the show was incredible as the Yves Klein Blue boys put in every ounce of energy and spirit they had into the performance.

They kicked off with ‘Dinosaur’ beautifully loud and dynamic. The set comprised of new songs as well as ones off the album, including the rocking ‘Digital Love’ and the catchy ‘Polka’. Frontman Michael Tomlinson was charming and chatted to the audience, introducing their song ‘Summer Sheets’ as one “about having fantastic sex” (according to my friend, it was rather a “hash brownie song” – we’ll settle for it being both). Whatever the case, we all celebrated along to their lively and impressive music.

There is something about Yves Klein Blue’s sound that is classic and diverse, transcending the musical status quo and incorporating a multiplex of styles. Sometimes up and sometimes down, their music manages to capture the essence of what life is: a mixture of pain and beauty, the “ragged and ecstatic”. With an altogether powerful sound, they incorporate world and cultural rhythms and textures which reinforce the band’s unique brand of indie rock.

Yves Klein Blue also put unmatched passion into their performance, Tomlinson almost to within an inch of his life. It was a bit of a shame that I could hardly hear his vocals throughout a lot of the set – it honestly sounded like his mike was turned off. I don’t know whether they were deliberately playing up the band, but most of the time it was considerably loud electric guitar and drums drowning him out. Fortunately, Chuck Sale happened to be an exceedingly talented guitarist, and the drums and bass were excellent.

I was very happy when Tomlinson jumped onto the keyboard for ‘Make Up Your Mind’ and their rendition of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’: I could finally hear his voice on that other mike! Tomlinson’s vocals are always engaging and genuine, as though he’s telling an important story or communicating a crucial message.

The atmosphere was anticipative, with just Tomlinson and his guitar on stage to perform the song of the moment, ‘About The Future’. The heart-wrenching number is about a break-up Tomlinson experienced 18 months ago. Surprisingly, it wasn’t him who kicked off the song but the audience. There were many hard core Yves Klein Blue fans in the crowd who literally provided half of the vocals, singing ardently along to the words. When Tomlinson did sing, it was passionately and he finished the song almost in tears.

Yves Klein Blue finished off the memorable set with ‘Getting Wise’, the fun, catchy tune that first got me into them. I was well-pleased to be able to hear the vocals in this song, because we all enjoyed singing along. They rounded it off well and left the stage to repeated calls for an encore which weren’t realised. Tomlinson had predicted the show was “going to be a good one”, and it was indeed.

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