Cloud Boat at The Waiting Room
Tom Clarke and Sam Rickets form the dynamic duo that is Cloud Boat. Finding one phrase to describe their music is a difficult task – they incorporate acoustic guitar, electronic synthesisers, ethereal vocals and an oh-so-deep sub bass. “Future bass” could be a good fit but no matter what you call them, Cloud Boat are taking the UK underground music scene by storm.
Their gig starts innocently enough: two timid looking guys perched awkwardly on the edge of their stools, one of them holding a guitar, the other what looks like a Roland 404 sequencer. Then the music hits you, sending you into a reverberating, dumbstruck numbness.
The haunting, almost whispered vocoder singing combined with the simple drum beat and slick guitar makes for a staggering sound. Then the “future bass” kicks in and the room fills with a super-massive bass line that you can feel throughout your body, from your head to your toes, and it hurts – in a good way. The audience stands in awe and they show their appreciation at the end of the song, having just heard what might be the future of electronic music.
The set consisted of some fan favourites and a couple of cuts from their upcoming album, which is more complex than their earlier work, but still exemplifies their brilliant song-writing. Bastion was a particular highlight – a throw-back to the roots of the acoustic-electronica genre, on which ghost-like vocals and an innovative guitar style feature. The band appears to be experimenting with expressive, poignant harmonies and this shows throughout the song, before the bass comes back in and the reverberation takes hold again.
There was an issue with feedback and the drums were not as hard-hitting as they sound on the recorded tracks, but this didn’t matter. It was still a blistering performance.
Cloud Boat’s music needs to be heard live in order to feel the emotional impact, as well as the power of the bass. If you enjoy bass that fills the room like a cloud and impacts like a wave hitting a boat, then seek out Cloud Boat.
Photos: Laramie Shubber
For further information about Cloud Boat and future events, click here.
Watch a live video of Bastion here