LIVE // POND Return to London
The Perth outfit brings some of their magic to London’s Forum.
With seven studio albums in their catalogue and almost 10 years of experience as a band, POND still know how to shake up the audience going for set choices that sound as fresh as brand new.
Last Friday night saw Kentish Town transform into a somewhat Australian surfers reunion. No kidding. The wave of POND‘s locals flooded The Forum, highly anticipating the band’s appearance.
Filling up the venue with a zealous sensation, the men of the night finally take to the stage to face the eager crowd. There’s a touch of magic added to the set as the band seems to be locked up in a psychedelic bubble they’ve formed over the years. Now however, we are all invited into their world even if it’s just for this one night.
Kicking off suitably with 30000 Megatons, the opening track of their latest record, The Weather, POND create a feeling of grandness from the very beginning. It is a bold and solid choice as the origin of the track goes way back to the recent political protest and resistance against Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Having dazzling lighting sets as a visual accompaniment, the band’s stage persona allures and hypnotises instantly, leaving the audience with no desire to look the other way.
POND have harnessed the ability of shaping a diverse blend within their soundscape, tangling the psychedelic essence with punk and garage-rock elements. Elvis’ Flaming Star and Waiting Around For Grace deliver that spacious funky spirit of their 2015’s Man It Feels Like Space Again, capturing with sleek guitars and sparkly synths. Nick Allbrook’s bizarre sexy dance moves and vivid expressions catch the audience’s attention completely, setting the focus on the entire performance. And a quick stagedive onto the crowd makes the loud screams even louder.
“Hello! Holy shit. This is our headline show and it’s fucking crazy. Thanks for coming down”, we hear from the vocalist after the band spins the heavy and sharp Whatever Happened To The Million Head Collide, which is a nod towards their 2013’s Hobo Rocket.
Don’t Look At The Sun Or You’ll Go Blind is a massive throwback to their debut Psychedelic Mango and it’s an utter marvel of distorted sounds and raw energy that smoothly takes it down a notch.
POND take us on a journey through their vast repertoire, dropping some beloved tunes alongside the new offerings, not losing the passion and elegance throughout. Sweep Me Off My Feet is an expansive and boundless territory we all willingly walk into, despite singer’s statement that “there are times when you feel pathetic”. But with the hazy lights and precise transitions the track confidently sweeps a few off their feet, to say the least. Next they present Paint Me Silver that dazzles with euphoric feel as the sheer bliss spreads around, reaching every soul gathered here tonight.
“This is fucking crazy, crazy experience. Thank you so much. Get some water if you can, take care of each other” Allbrook says, quite astonished with the crowd’s reaction as tonight undoubtedly takes over, generating simply a happy place for many. People are smiling whilst moshing and crowdsurfing, jumping on each other’s shoulders whilst security decides not to give them hard times on this occasion.
As the rainbow round-shaped lights cover the room, the band rounds off the main set with Man It Feels Like Space Again, which sums up the atmosphere pretty well. With the encore clearly demanded, the band returns on stage overwhelmed with the chants and cheers hailing from the crowd.
“Thank you so much. I don’t know what else to say. Enjoy yourself. Take care of yourself. I love you. Thank you so much”, having said that POND gracefully finish off the set with You Broke My Cool, which once again emphasises their signature dreamy soundscape, ready to surprise you when you least expect it. With a massive sing-along and a piercing sense of aesthetic, The Weather closes it all out just like it closes their latest album.
POND‘s music may come across as demure at times but when you allow it to devour you completely, you will want to stay in their psych haze forever. As for their live shows, they let you experience even more than this.
Photos: Kasia Osowiecka