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CITY CALM DOWN @ Rosemount gets 8/10

City Calm Down @ Rosemount Hotel
w/ The Cactus Channel, Elli Schoen
Friday, 25 August, 2017


If Joy Division and Interpol were to have a child, the result would be something like Melbourne new wave four-piece City Calm Down, who brought their moody soundscapes to the recently refurbished Rosemount Hotel last Friday.

Elli Schoen

Hitting up the stage up first was Fremantle native Elli Schoen, whose smoky, smooth-as-velvet voice delivered the perfect warm up for City Calm Down’s own rainy day vibes. While the crowd was not yet filled out, Elli Schoen hooked what early punters were around with her wit, banter and dark sense of humour. A stripped back set included powerful singles Hard Heart and Mumma, as well as an extremely satisfying rendition of INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart.

The Cactus Channel

Touring support act The Cactus Channel would not have sounded out of place in a Scorsese film. They’d be the backing track to a dive bar where Irish/Italian gangsters might meet in cigarette-smoke filled shadows. Combining instrumental new wave synth with elements of funk, indie rock and space age rhythms, they held the stage and delivered a solid opening set. While their performance wasn’t unappreciated, typically rude Perth crowds’ constant chatter threatened to drown out the band, which hampered much of the enjoyment.

Every nook was filled in and anticipation gripped the venue as the crowd awaited the main act. City Calm Down had already sold out this particular show as well as adding a second performance at Mojo’s the following night, so the eagerness was at fever pitch. Opening with Your Fix, the Melbourne lads gave a swelling audience energetic performances of favourites Border on Control, Son as well as new song Distraction.

City Calm Down

Despite their recorded low-key sound, the band managed to keep up an even tempo throughout the set, ensuring maximum hip-swaying and toe-tapping from their fans. The addition of a saxophone to their live set added an air of classic Australian rock. Hands were thrown in the air and shouts of elation met In a Restless House and Pleasure and Consequence. Finally, new single Blood capped the set as the crowd chanted for more. City Calm Down once again exceeded all expectation with a set dripping with mood that provides the perfect soundtrack to inner city nightlife. A confident mix of catchy, synth driven melodies with a classic Aussie rock flair suggest City Calm Down will go onto even greater things.

Words and photos by

City Calm Down
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