Pond are the third Australian psych band we’ve seen in a week, and frankly they were way bigger and better than we expected.
Australia’s music has been drifting its way in a haze to European and American mainstream radar over the last few years, with two of Perth’s finest on show tonight. The wave that Tame Impala started to ride has turned into a full scale tsunami.
Methyl Ethel kicked off proceedings, back in Brighton for the second time this year. We caught them in March at the Green Door Store (read all about it), and remain in love with their dark, swirling, pop flavours.
Set closer ‘Ubu’ sees us pulling out some serious(ly bad) dance moves, induced from the call/response vocals and funk-driven bassline.
Pond launch into the set with the first track of their latest album (The Weather). 30,000 Megatons is big in name, but even bigger live. The synth starts as a slow rumbling, building in urgency and volume before abruptly falling away. It’s about Trumps’ tiny hands hovering over the big red button. Enough said really.
Frontman Nick Allbrook is fascinating to watch – a ball of energy with Iggy Pop’esque contortions – he crowdsurfs and interacts with his fans throughout. This contrasts nicely with Shiny Joe Ryan’s vocals, who brings the more blissed-out vibes.
Set highlights include new tracks Paint Me Silver and The Weather, but standout song is Giant Tortoise – it crescendos into a fuzzed out assault on your ears.
This is the first night of their brief UK tour, and Nick is clearly glad to be back; “After 2 months in America and Europe, it’s comforting to come back here and be sarcastic motherfuckers”.
During the encore he quips (In a terrible English accent) that they just went “for a quick cuppa tea”. He certainly knows his audience.
It leaves us smiling, happy that the Australian psych-haze continues to rule.
Thursday 16 June, Concorde 2
Words and Photographs by Ashley Laurence