On Tour in
May 2025


The Gov
Rosemount Hotel
Theatre Royal
Melbourne *Sold Out*
Corner Hotel
The Triffid
Sydney *Sold Out*
Factory Theatre


Event Info

The Clouds are back for their ‘Retroactive Tour’ showcasing Highlights from their four albums – Penny Century (Hieronymus, Souleater, Anthem), Octopus (Say It), Thunderhead (Red Serenade, Bower of Bliss) and Futura (Here Now)

Few artists embodied the indie spirit that defined the golden era of 90’s Australian Indie Music like The Clouds. On the now legendary Red Eye label, The Clouds became Triple J favourites with their dream pop vibes, occasional shoe gaze elements, and just the right amount of guitar crunch, all wrapped up in an exciting and catchy pop sensibility.

The Clouds ‘Retroactive Tour’ will feature the classic line-up of Jodi Phillis (Guitar/Vocals), Trish Young (Bass/Vocals), Dave Easton (Guitar) and Raphael Whittingham (Drums)

*The ‘Retroactive’ Box Set including all Four Albums is Out Now and Available from Red Eye Records

The Clouds Bio

In the vast and diverse landscape of Australian music, The Clouds emerged as a seminal force in indie rock, crafting ethereal harmonies that have resonated with audiences across generations. Formed in Sydney in the late 1980s, The Clouds quickly garnered attention for their unique blend of alternative rock, dream pop and indie sensibilities. While the Clouds have gone through some line-up changes, the duo of Jodi Phillis (vocals, guitar) and Patricia “Trish” Young (vocals, bass) have remained at the core. The band released four albums and many EPs and singles before they originally broke up in 1997. The Clouds reformed in 2011 with the lineup of Philis, Young alongside long standing members David Easton (guitar), and Raphael Whittingham (drums).

The Clouds coalesced in 1989, born out of the vibrant music scene of Sydney. They emerged alongside contemporaries like Ratcat, The Hummingbirds and Falling Joys. Jodi Phillis and Trish Young, both talented musicians with a shared passion for crafting melodic yet introspective music, formed the nucleus of the band. Originally, they called themselves Scudda Hey before drummer Stuart Eadie and guitarist Robert Phelan joined and the band settled on the name Clouds. Drawing inspiration from artists like The Pixies, The Velvet Underground, and Cocteau Twins, The Clouds set out to create their own distinctive sound. Their first show was as the opening act for the Go-Betweens’ farewell concert at the Petersham Inn. Their early gigs in iconic Sydney venues such as The Lansdowne Hotel and The Sando (RIP) showcased their dynamic blend of lush harmonies, driving rhythms, and introspective lyrics.

The Clouds signed with Red Eye Records in 1990 and recorded their debut EP in May of that year. The EP, entitled Cloud Factory, reached 118 on the Australian ARIA charts. They promptly followed up their first EP with another, Loot, featuring the song “Soul Eater” which was a hit. Music journalist, Craig Mathieson wrote in his book, The Sell-in, that “Phillis’s “Soul Eater”, was seditious ear candy and it converted not only Triple J to Clouds but also made inroads at commercial FM stations.” Loot peaked at number 22 on the ARIA chart.

The Clouds’ breakthrough came with the release of their debut album, Penny Century, in 1991. Produced by Jorgen Traeen and Tim Whitten, the album received widespread critical acclaim and catapulted The Clouds into the mainstream spotlight. The album showcased the band’s penchant for crafting catchy hooks intertwined with poignant lyrical narratives. Dave Easton had replaced Robert Phelan on guitar and brought a harsher sound to the album. The Clouds’ melodic yet edgy sound resonated with listeners, cementing their status as one of Australia’s most promising bands of the early ’90s. Craig Mathieson described the album as “proof not only that Clouds could last the distance but that they ability to render depth and mystery into an accessible structure.”

In addition to critical acclaim, Penny Century achieved commercial success, reaching 23 on the ARIA Albums Chart. The song, “Hieronymus”, was released as a double-A side single along with “Lucy’s Eyes”. “Hieronymus” was ranked number 4 on Double J’s list of the 50 best Australian songs of the 90s with the station describing it as “”a perfect showcase of the lush shoegaze pop that they made their own, with songs that are off kilter, intricate, beautiful and tough.” Adalita of the band Magic Dirt said of the song, “Everyone loved ‘Hieronymus’. It’s just such a classic song, so beautifully crafted and so original and unique. I still listen to it today! One of my all-time favourite songs ever!” “Anthem” was also released as a single from the album, peaking at 47 on the ARIA charts. In 1996 Penny Century was re-released with a bonus second CD of B-sides and both the Cloud Factory and Loot EPs. Following the re-release the album was certified gold in Australia for sales in excess of 35 000 copies.

After the success of Penny Century, The Clouds embarked on extensive national and international tours, sharing stages with acts like Sonic Youth, The Cranberries, and R.E.M. Their electrifying live shows further solidified their reputation as a formidable force in the alternative music scene. Andrew Byrne replaced Stuart Eadie shortly after the tour.

The Clouds released “Say It” in September 1992. The lead single from their forthcoming second album, Octopus, which was released in October that year. Octopus reached 24 on the ARIA charts. Penny Century was given an English release in 1993 by Polydor. By this point drummer Raphael Whittingham had joined the group and he continues to be a member of the Clouds to this day. The Clouds ventured to the UK to promote the re-release and returned to Australia with a set of demos for their next album.

The Clouds began recording their third album, Thunderhead in June 1993. The band was evolving creatively, delving deeper into sonic experimentation while retaining their signature sound. Produced by Wayne Connolly, Thunderhead showcased a more expansive musical palette, with tracks like “Alchemy’s Dead” and “Red Serenade” exploring themes of love, loss, and redemption. Lollipop Magazine said the album contained “everything from cotton candy power-pop to dismal, droning angst.” The album was promoted with single releases for “Bower of Bliss” and “Alchemy’s Dead”. The album peaked at number 30 on the ARIA chart.

Thunderhead caused some friction between the Clouds and Polydor. After hearing demos for the album, Polydor wanted to release the song “Domino” as the lead single. The band then went into the studio and rewrote the song and recorded a version that had slowed down the vocals until they were unrecognizable.

In 1994 the Clouds embarked on a six-month tour of Europe and the United States. While in London the band recorded the Beetroot EP. Beetroot was released in October 1994 and peaked at 65 on the ARIA chart.

While on tour in the U.S. the band based itself in San Francisco eventually signing a distribution deal with Elektra after Polydor had refused to release Thunderhead in North America. Thunderhead was released in the U.S. in March 1995 supported by several promotional singles. Bad luck struck the Clouds when Elektra was unexpectedly merged with East West by Warner Bros and they were dropped from the label. Frustrated by the setback, Dave Easton quit the band following this. Despite the misfortune of losing both label and guitarist, the band still released singles “Aquamarine” and “Panel Van” in August and November 1995. While the band were happy to stay as a three piece, they eventually settled on bringing in Ben Nightingale on guitar to record their fourth and to date final album, Futura.

Futura was released in 1997 and peaked at number 50 on the ARIA chart. A video was filmed for the song “Never Say Forever,” in which the band were convinced to wear masquerade masks while floating around in a rowboat. The band members hated it so much they refused to release it. Polydor insisted on releasing the video without the band’s approval. Phillis later saw it on the ABC’s RAGE music video program without consent and this led to the Clouds’ deciding to disband. The band performed a farewell tour of Australia in 1997.

Jodi Phillis went on to form the indie / alt country band The Dearhunters and has maintained a consistent singer / songwriter solo career for the last 30 years. Trish Young moved to England following the Clouds’ dissolution but returned to Australia in 2005. In 2005, Phillis and Young reformed as The Girls from the Clouds, releasing a 5-track EP titled Lalalala. They disbanded in 2007.

In 2011, The Clouds reunited for a series of live performances with Jesus Jones and The Wonder Stuff. These shows delighted fans with their timeless melodies and electrifying stage presence. Their reunion sparked renewed interest in their music, introducing a new generation of listeners to their iconic sound. In Late 2011 and early 2012 the Clouds toured Australia.

In February 2017, The Clouds released an EP Zaffre, their first new music in 20 years. In a review for What’s My Scene, Maryanne Window wrote “It’s short and sweet with tough and edgy instrumentation that juxtaposes the sweetness of the vocals, a sound that is a trademark of this EP and picks up where the mid ’90s left off. All the elements of the Clouds of old are here but it is a fresh, raw energy that shows they are far from a nostalgia act.”

Following the release of Zaffre, the Clouds toured Australia as the support act for legendary American rock acts, Blondie and Cyndi Lauper. Daniel Cribb of the Music reviewed their performance saying “Their charming, gritty twang came in thick and fast… the dual, poppy vocals of Jodi Phillis and Patricia Young delicately danced atop music that took unexpected dark turns.” In a review of the bands 2018 show, Darren Leach, also writing for The Music wrote “The four-piece tore through their catalogue, Young and original singer/guitarist Jodi Phillis’ two-part harmonies still standouts.” The band again toured Australia in December 2022 in commemoration of Penny Century’s 30th Anniversary and performed the album in full.

Despite their commercial success and critical acclaim, The Clouds remained committed to their artistic vision, eschewing mainstream trends in favour of authenticity and integrity. Their willingness to experiment with different musical styles and lyrical themes endeared them to fans and critics alike, solidifying their status as one of Australia’s most beloved bands. With their enduring legacy and unparalleled influence, The Clouds remain a beacon of creativity and inspiration in the Australian music landscape.