Cutting the umbilical chord and emerging from a realm of addiction and darkness
Calgary collective Crack Cloud are a many-headed beast. In their present incarnation there are seven of them, playing various strains of guitars, percussion and synths, but you get the feeling that could change with the wind. They could just as soon be a three piece, or a full art-rock orchestra, or just one person on their own with a sample pad.
“It’s very fluid, people come in and out,” notes singer and drummer Zach Choy. “These last few months have really been a means of finding where the collective stands, philosophically, and how to stabilise as a more permanent group of individuals who all resonate with what Crack Cloud is. But the seven of us have all been playing live together for a year now more or less. In and out.”
The ‘in’ today consists of Zach, slight and shorn, in black sequined sliders, sample pad player and vocalist Mohammed Sharar, whose silver nail varnish glints as he talks with his hands, guitarist Jon and bass player Daniel, both of whom seem to have just come along to kill some time. Tonight is the band’s first ever show in London, so we’ve wandered away from the venue to give them a chance to look around and find something to eat. That also means the quietest place for our chat is a typically piss-stained alleyway tucked behind Islington Police Station – hardly an auspicious start, maybe, but they don’t mind settling down in the gutter. Oscar Wilde had a point when he said some of us are looking at the stars.
And Crack Cloud should have their sights set high. Their self-titled debut LP is a reissue of their two bedroom EPs, ‘Crack Cloud’ and ‘Anchoring Point’, but carries the self-assuredness of a band much further down the line. True to its name, ‘Anchoring Point’ in particular is the band finding their centre; a many layered art project that sees Zach hit his mark in danceable post-punk akin to Gang of Four and early Talking Heads.