Live Review: Pond

Óran Mór – 23/02/15

It is about 9pm on a Monday and Nick Allbrook, a man whom I have long loved and idolised from afar, has just stepped onto the barrier in front of me and gripped the top of my head as a means of balancing himself.  I’m not entirely sure about what to do about this, so I stare into his gold swirly trousers and placidly say “fuck” to myself.  Then he wobbles back onstage.

The Aussie psych explorers have packed out the small and stuffy venue and as they take to the stage, it’s frontman (and former Tame Impala bassist) Nick Allbrook who receives the loudest cheer, but only just. There’s proper audience/band camaraderie – with Pond that’s rare at gigs these days.  Someone, bizarrely, shout out “Shit Wings!” and a few minutes are spent discussing whether ‘Moth Wings’ – a crowd favourite sadly missing tonight – should have been more fecally titled (maybe ‘Heroic Shart’ fulfils the quota).  Somebody else throws multi-coloured balloons with tiny LED lights inside them, and these fly back and forth from stage to audience throughout the night.

The music itself is slightly hindered by this tour’s lack of bassist, but Jamie Terry’s synth takes on the role well enough.  The set begins with new album opener ‘Waiting Around for Grace’, a song which fuzzes slowly into life before exploding into Pond’s signature joyous space-funk.  The gig highlight is ‘You Broke My Cool’, which has the crowd projecting the anthemic, slowed-down chorus not at the band but at each other. ‘Giant Tortoise’ is the most magnetic song, pulling bodies towards the barrier in an ecstatic, sweaty surge.

Afterwards, the throng of fans gather outside the venue – with whom the entire band come out to drink rum and smoke entirely legal substances – grin frazzledly at each other.  Nick awkwardly signs a girl’s breasts with lipstick and disappears into the night.

[Ciaran McQueen – @delareine]

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