Tag Archives: Cloud Castle Lake

Quompilation interviews

It’s been a while, but I’m getting back to doing what I love the most – very long interviews with Irish bands. Doing what will hopefully turn out to be a new one every day this week for Totally Dublin, each with a band that features on the Quompilation.

Started today with Cloud Castle Lake. Check it out.


Essentially cheating.

So the internet at home doesn’t work, so I missed Lo-Fi Friday. Sorry, the entire genre of lo-fi. Instead of that, here’s a veritable plethora of live reviews I haven’t done, in very truncated form owing to fading memory. A few sentences each. Explanation for new readers: I review everything, so I have to do this whether you want it or not.

Swans: People seem to talk about Swans in “legend” terms, but while they do make physically affecting music, they take themselves awful seriously and aren’t as ‘experimental’ as they’re often talked about as being. Gira saying “Jesus Christ” blank-faced over the same chord every song was is faintly ridiculous, and arriving in something other than a black t-shirt made me feel a little awkward. Still, worth seeing.


Xiu Xiu/Former Ghosts: Former Ghosts also required a suspension of disbelief, but unlike Michael Gira, it’s less difficult to feel like you’re pulling for Freddy Rupert. Highly strung, sometimes infectious, always energetic. Xiu Xiu were still as good as they were last time, and the noise-drenched Fabulous Muscles was unparallelled. The weight of sound and emotion that Jamie Stewart can get into the parts that are sound, and the desolate weight that he can get into the parts that are silence, is sheer and never not impressive, and even though they’re not a band, they’re one of the best live bands around at the moment.


Adebisi Shank: Only got about 80% of this due to other commitments. It’s Adebisi Shank, so you’re assuming perfect game and then taking points off for flaws. The sound in the Button Factory wasn’t great, and Europa will never be their best song no matter how many times they say that from the stage. Still great.


State vs. AU: Cloud Castle Lake were, as usual, hypnotic and excellent. Preferring their faster stuff, vaguely disconcerting and chaotic, to the slower stuff which is also good but closer to other stuff. Lowly Knights were a good ol’ nu-folk group of no note. Grand Pocket Orchestra I should stop talking about, but they’re on top of their game right now.


I have a feeling I forgot something. Regular service tomorrow.

Lacteal Duck Sloe

via Brian Rogers

They’ve been around a while, but all of a sudden any Irish Times employee you talk to (and by talk to I mean read the writing of on the internet) is telling you to check out Cloud Castle Lake. So, having been curious for a while – to the extent that I asked them to do an interview once that fell foul of the 50% attrition rate between being questions being sent and answers being returned – I decided to check them out at Electric Relaxation in the Bernard Shaw.

One of the obvious advantages to gigs in the Bernard Shaw is that they are free. One of the obvious disadvantages is that it is patently not a venue and if there’s more than about fifteen people there you’re probably not going to see anything. There were significantly more than fifteen people there. I couldn’t see anything.

Still, though. The scarlet letter with Cloud Castle Lake is the Radiohead thing – that the voice sounds like Thom Yorke’s, and the experimentalism follows the Kid A-Amnesiac-HTTT-In Rainbows mould. It’s there, definitely, as much as I’m sure they’re tired of hearing it. But for me that’s not the main thing going on. En route to being a little post-rocky, they shave off the unwieldy ‘epic’ edges and end up somewhere weird, proggy and not too far from krautrock at times. They’re hooks without melodies, rhythmic patterns from both the low end and the high end, going after the full-body-experience as well as just the head. The voice – which you could justifiably spidergram to Jonsi if you weren’t happy with Thom – is pitch perfect and so high it really just functions as another instrument, but with a little extra personality. It’d be interesting to see them play alongside someone a bit more aggressively experimental like Children Under Hoof, to see how they fit.

The recordings they have are all qualified with a (live) or a (rehearsal) caveat, which actually makes it all the more impressive that they’ve built up such a buzz. Whenever they do put something new out, consider it on the proverbial ‘hotly anticipated’ list.