Pond end their UK tour in Bristol with a performance nothing short of epic.
After having a month to digest Pond’s latest LP ‘The Weather’ we were very excited to see how their renowned live performance had come along, and where better than in the intimate hold of Bristol’s Thekla.
Opening the show are Pond’s fellow Perthians Methyl Ethel, who made quite an impression; their tight grooves and eerie synths along with some eighties pop sensibility captivated the crowd and cast a powerful atmosphere upon the evening. The highlight of the set was ‘Ubu’, a single from their latest record which got the audience dancing and singing along to its chorus.
It’s clear that Pond have notched up a dedicated following, fans shout out names of songs and band members as the stage is being set and there is uproar at the sight of Nick Allbrook. They begin with ’30’000 megatons’, a fitting opener with its synth led introduction and powerful anti nuclear declaration, later descending into an all out jam over which Nick cries “We need 30,000 megatons, Push the button now”.
We are treated to a perfect setlist with all the classics from their last four records. The first half being the most lively with songs such as ‘Giant tortoise’, ‘Elvis’ Flaming star’ and ‘Waiting around for Grace’. Nick is a powerful and captivating presence; he contorts his body, like some bizarre conductor, his body language is as inventive as the music Pond creates. , When he comes to the front of the stage the crowd reach out to touch him. Though Pond is far from a one man show, each member has a distinct manner and they all joke amongst each other and with the audience throughout the show, we feel as if we know them well by the end of it.
It’s hard to pick out highlights from such a packed set however ‘You Broke My Cool’ and ‘Sitting Up On Our Crane’ were amongst our favourite moments of the evening. Some of the more chilled out tracks from ‘The Weather’ such as ‘Paint Me Silver’ stood out far more live than on record. Pond have the ability to guide us very naturally through extreme changes, from delicate and ethereal to heavy or groovy, whilst keeping us within their unique and inventive universe throughout. They bring the show full circle by playing the majestic title track (and last track) from ‘The Weather’ as their encore.
We are left with melodies swirling in our heads and a strong affirmation that this band are only getting better each time we see them.
Check out ‘Paint Me Silver’ right here: