City Calm Down rocked out the Metro Theatre in Sydney on Friday as the Melbourne band traverse Australia, touring their new single “Blood”. Having toured their debut album ‘In a Restless House’ for the past few years, would the wait for some new tracks be worth it?
Cactus Channel provided some sweet smooth alternative soul to warm everyone up, but it was close to City Calm Down when the room filled with an eclectic crowd of fans.
Opening with ‘If there’s A light On’ is going to enthral even the most rambunctious of crowds. Jack Bourke’s voice shines through and with pounding drums and guitars, and a catchy riff, we are wrapped around the 4 piece band’s little finger. Following that up with ‘Son’, and I’m ready to marry that man’s voice, and anyone who helped write that chorus. ‘Wandering’, and album title track ‘In a Restless House’ are performed with aplomb.
You can see that this band has played some big stages and been touring, with a tight show, minimal down time between songs, and were frequently joined by a trumpet and sax on stage. Bourke wanders the stage, sipping on a mug between songs, strutting about during songs, and standing on the front speakers while belting out in full voice. It took him and fellow band members a little bit of time to warm up to the crowd, looking like they were at work for the first half, and jamming with their mates for the second.
The most enjoyable, emotive and rewarding songs live are when Bourke’s voice isn’t drowned out by fellow band members or fed through with some synths. ‘Pleasure & Consequence’, ‘Your Fix’, and ‘Border On Control’ offer swelling drums, clean guitar riffs and chords, and a chance to move your body.
The Melbournites saved their best till last. The new single ‘Blood’ is a hectic live song. More emotive, raw, and 80’s Aussie rock than the recorded version, you cannot help but dance and drink in the driving drums and sweet clean guitar. Finishing their set with ‘Rabbit Run’ was a great set list decision. This is their undoubted runaway song, and it had the entire theatre up and pulsating, with the album being unable to be compared to the live show which provides far more energy and a more immersive experience. The 80’s Aussie rock themes shine through and are incredibly powerful live.
With the the crowed baying for an encore and cheering for minutes City Calm Down returned to stage with Bourke admitting to having offended previous crowds for not being organised and not being prepared to play encores. Well boy am I glad they did their homework. Having again admitting to playing all their own tracks, the band dropped their Like a Version cover of ‘Spanish Sahara’ by ‘Foals’. I hope it’s not insulting to a band to suggest someone else’s work was their best of the night, but this song live is incredibly impassioned, emotive, and drowns all your minds thoughts into uplifting drums and guitar. An absolute privilege to see it live.
City Calm Down’s metro show was an enjoyable collaboration of work from new and old work. From humble beginnings, this is an Aussie band that continues to impress. Get down to see one of their gig’s particularly when the new album drops, you will not be disappointed.
CCD have one more show left on the Aussie leg of the tour this Saturday night in Brisbane, before they head off to Europe in November for a run of shows over there – click the artwork for more details!
author: Anthony Glanville