On January 11 they were in Brooklyn. The following Monday found them in Philly. Then Chicago, Seattle and LA before hopping on board Laneway Festival to play Singapore and Perth via NZ and Australia’s major capitals. With Laneway barely wrapped, it was another long-distance flight to Europe for a lightening quick tour that took in Germany, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Needless to say, 2014 has already been a huge one for Cloud Control, and it’s not nearly over yet. But before the band’s second US tour for the year gets underway in May, Cloud Control has an opportunity to dial it back a notch with a run of relaxed dates around their home country - for the first time ever, the band is doing an acoustic tour. Presented by Corona Extra, the tour starts in WA before winding up on the Gold Coast on April 20, and every single show will be free.
After relocating to London from their homes in NSW’s Blue Mountains, Cloud Control’s members are itching to get into this tour, revisit old haunts and play to a few familiar faces. With this in mind, we caught up with singer and guitarist Alister Wright to find out where the food-loving crew spend their down time when they get a rare day off in Melbourne.
“Food is always the first thing we talk about when we get somewhere,” Wright says. “We always roll up hungry and finding somewhere to eat is the number one priority. I would say our enjoyment of a place is greatly influenced by what food we can find.”
On tour you don’t always get time to find the best a city has to offer, and a lot of Cloud Control’s culinary experiences are of the more, let’s say, improvised kind. “There is something on tour called Cafe del Kelshaw,” explains Wright. “It’s where Jeremy (Kelshaw, the band’s bass player), Sexy Dave and Big Dog (the road crew) brew up coffee in an aeropress and we fry eggs on the sandwich toaster that lives in the backstage bag. This system works surprisingly well. I don't know if you’ve tried aeropress coffee but they make a good brew.”
So when you’re in a city you know, I ask, do you make an effort to check out new places or do you prefer to visit old haunts that you know are great?
“In Sydney I often find out about new places from friends, but in Melbourne I think we end up hitting the old favourites more often,” Wright says. “As a band we often head to Pellegrini's to grab some gnocchi and that watermelon granita they keep inside the counter. It's so tasty! I like the way that place is set out, how you hang out with the people who work there. It feels more old fashioned. Like the kind of place you shouldn't have your phone out or something.”
The Italian influence runs deep, with Wright name-checking The Mess Hall as somewhere that has been getting props from his Melbourne friends. He’s also a fan of 400 Gradi. “I helped out some friends running a legit Napoletana pizza trailer for a couple of weeks last year,” he explains. “Since then I have a sort of fascination with the dough and everything, like when a margherita comes together perfectly - to me that is magic.
Wright finds that Cloud Control’s time on the road has definitely enhanced the band’s appreciation of what Melbourne currently offers on the food front. “I feel like my knowledge of Melbourne is a bit out of date, but is that place the Waiters Club still open? Like, really late? We had a great time there after a show. I remember thinking, ‘I can't imagine this place existing in Sydney’.”
Corona Extra presents Cloud Control’s acoustic tour around the country. Check coronaextra.com.au/coronalive for all the dates and details.