With punters lining up down the street an hour before doors even opened, and a rowdy selection of gig-goers downing beers at the bar, it was bound to be a good night from the get-go. The last in a series of fundraising shows for a tour of America, Pond were back at their old stomping ground.
First-billed Bastian’s Happy Flight warmed up the crowd, laying down some seriously sexy synth sounds and getting everyone in the mood for some loving. Regular shoes transformed into dancing shoes, and gyrating occurred. Next up, The Silents took the stage as the middle men, with a little less hot and heavy and a little more…just heavy. Song after song blended into a haze of bass and experimental grunge, with little excitement or enthusiasm from band or crowd, bar a few hardcore fans at the front.
By the time local favourites Pond hit the stage, the gig was well and truly sold out and punters were left out on the street: a testament to Pond’s huge fanbase and the love Perth has for the funky, funky blues.
Wandering on stage and carrying out their own sound check, the five-piece resembled any other messy alt-rock band, having ditched the tie-dye for t-shirts and jeans. That is, they looked like any other band until they launched into their set. There’s just something about Pond!
A couple of minutes in, and the previously mellowed out crowd was a writhing mass of sweaty bodies, grasping onto beverages for dear life and moving maniacally around the tiny room. Frontman Nick Allbrook encouraged the crowd, shimmying around the stage in a Jagger-esque manner and propelling himself out into the crowd for some mad signature crowd surfing. New drummer Cam Avery (The Growl) smashed the skins like a pro, and Jay Watson proved his prowess as a strings man. It’s been said before and shall surely be said again: Allbrook’s falsetto pipes are one of a kind, and it comes as a surprise every time you see those forceful, screaming, old-style vocals come from such a young guy.
The boys pumped out older crowd favourites from Frond like Cloud City, newies from recently released Beard, Wives, Denim, plus an insane cover of Kick Out The Jams as the clincher. Throughout their relatively quick set, Pond took the crowd on a genre roller coaster: journeying through some ‘70s psychedelia, keyboard work that would definitely have a place in the ‘80s, and pedalling backwards to some classic ‘60s rock with a hint of hippy-psych.
Each member of Pond has their musical fingers dipped in a bunch of different honey pots; from duo outfits (Allbrook/Avery) to local Perth bands, to international superstars (Tame Impala).
But there doesn’t seem to be any pretension or band-crowd separation, and Pond’s lack of boundaries is what makes them great musicians: the ability to switch instruments, bands, scenes, genres, all the while taking it in their stride and cutting the bullshit. Pond ended their set and last hometown show for a while with an all-in jam, and it was all over too quickly with the crowd left gasping for more. But alas, no encore. Here’s to hoping the boys sort out their visa troubles so they can hop the lily pad and show the U.S a good time.