City Calm Down, The Cactus Channel, Mane @ The Gov, Adelaide 2/9/2017

City Calm Down are arguably one of Australia’s best kept secrets, these lads are bloody brilliant and when the rest of the world catch on greatness will just be around the corner. It was a big crowd at The Gov who ventured out in some pretty awful weather but were well and truly rewarded with a great show. There were some great support acts that were unearthed by way of The Cactus Channel and dark pop artist MANE who both impressed and are worth checking out further on Spotify.

Everything about this show was well balanced and in its right place from staging, lighting and their signature triangular LED lights, set list and the band performance. Vocalist Jack Bourke’s uniqueness is just astonishing making one think they are watching some indie band from the UK and it isn’t until he stops singing that you realise that he is Australian hailing from Melbourne rock city.

Their breakout album In A Restless House is no doubt one of the best debuts I’ve heard for quite some time and it was great being able to hear some of those songs again particularly set opener If There’s A Light On. Dang! What a ripping set opener followed by Son. A new song was dropped in the set early with the working title Drop D and has some awesome guitar riffs. What was pleasing was that the band didn’t pad out the set with pointless banter such as ‘how are you feeling’ and ‘Adelaide is better than…’ instead letting the music do all the talking. One of my favourite tracks In A Restless House was terrific and I wonder how many people picked the Radiohead cover Bodysnatchers well disguised in their set and given the City Calm Down touch up.

New songs were the flavour of the night and Distraction was another great one. Jack Bourke interestingly made the comment that it was daunting playing these new songs even though they had been living with these songs for six months or so and were familiar to them but still feeling quite new. Joan, I’m Disappearing is a winner and Pleasure & Consequence off the Movements EP seems like it was written an eternity ago all the way back in 2010. Bourke again commented that the last gig they played in Adelaide was their best and tonight was on par.

The band finished strongly with Border On Control, awesome new single Blood and set staple Rabbit Run. When the band is this good they don’t need an encore and even though the lights were down and the crowd cheered and cheered and cheered again hoping the band would return that was the end. They left the crowd hungry and wanting more. Remember the name City Calm Down, they’re going to be huge.

Set list
If There’s A Light On
Drop D
In A Restless House
Joan, I’m Disappearing
Pleasure & Consequence
Your Fix
Border On Control
Rabbit Run

Review by Rob Lyon

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