Pond @ The Bakery, Perth (16/09/12)
Pond @ The Bakery (15/09/12)
Ok let’s get this out of the way, yes it’s true, one of the biggest and most influential music publications based in the UK has declared Pond to be “The Hottest New Band in the World”. How true is this you may be wondering? If you were one of the lucky individuals that managed to secure a ticket to the sell out show you’ve probably already made up your own mind, but for those of you that are wondering what could’ve been, that question will be addressed later.
Strutting their stuff on stage first for the night was self declared folk-punk trio Fucking Teeth. What a name and what a drummer! The lads in the band hold their own, but (and hopefully they don’t take offence) the chick drummer is definitely the shining light of the group. From the get go, all three were sporting the awesome “Captain George” paper hats, in reference to the venue’s bar manager last night and they clearly have fun on stage together. Peter Bibby’s southern drawl, scratchy vocals and complementing shrieking guitar worked perfectly with Annetta Nevin’s nut-busting drumming. Bass player Adam Brown is the more controlled member of the group, but his casual approach does not appear out of sync on stage. One piece of advice to anyone thinking of seeing these guys (and you should), if you have a soft ear for profanities just beware of some sharp – but striking- lyrics including – “You’ve been here for three months, do you really think drinking makes you less of a cunt?” In conclusion, a pretty bangin’ chick drummer, howling vocals and to-the-point tempo makes for a more than decent set.
If you’re unfamiliar with The Weapon is Sound and are listening to them while reading this, you might be thinking they are an unusual support act for a psych-rock band. Maybe they are, but who cares? They are some pretty darn cool cats with their dub-roots vibe and Michael Franti-esque frontman. Besides spinning some dub beats behind conventional strings and percussion, the eight member group completed their sound with bongos, trumpet and sax. The Bakery’s stage was made to look tiny with a wide array of instruments and it certainly seems the guys would love some more room spread their love. These guys produce the kind of music that make you dance without realising it. Their heavy, smooth grooves invade your bones to manifest itself into various forms of interpretative dance. All the guys are evidently seasoned musicians and excel in their chosen platform, but it’s Tayo Snowball (brilliant name just quietly) that brings the band to life with his almost Caribbean-like vocals and crisp guitar licks – sometimes literally. Their penultimate track of the night, Isolation Dub, was a homage to the city of Perth and showed their amazing ability to bring the vibe of a city into musical form. Taking in such a large ensemble one might get lost trying to follow one member over another. With a band such as The Weapon is Sound – don’t try the ingredients, taste the whole damn cake.
Somewhere between a jam and soundcheck, people came clamouring into the stage floor to see what the ruckus was all about. They were confronted with an instrumental rock trio going by the moniker of Water Temple. It seemed after the first couple of tracks people were finding them cool to watch, however not long after, no one seemed to be sure of what was going on. Sure they were extremely capable and confident musicians, but even guitarist Richard Ingham admitted they “sometimes get carried away” with their extended performances. They had a pretty heavy, rocking sound but in a weird way nothing seemed to be happening. Looking around the floor, it was evident something was not quite connecting with the stagnant gathering with a bunch of blank faces simply staring at the onslaught of noise. There’s no doubting the talent of the lads but a confusing effect is produced when the elements of the instruments clash and it bewilders the listener to the extent that they almost reach a state of agitation. Water Temple are not without their merits though, they definitely deserve props for doing something different to the dime-a-dozen indie pop bands out there and some of the complex arrangements in their tracks are something that many successful bands would hope to emulate. Perhaps Ingham picked up on the vibe in the room when he said, “Our music is pretty meaningless”, but if you want to lose your shit for no reason, check out Water Temple.
After almost three hours waiting and three pretty diverse acts, the mosh floor (because it did indeed turn into one) was filling up well before Pond was due on stage. Two thousand and twelve marked the year Pond broke into the world stage that left many asking, “Tame who?”. Despite having a couple of same members, it’s a waste of time and complete injustice (to both bands) to compare Pond with Tame Impala. Apples and oranges. The increasingly alcohol fuelled crowd sparked up an electrifying atmosphere that left the room brimming with anticipation to witness what media have dubbed one of the best bands in the world.
Playing to the local Perth crowd, the band opened up with the Dockers theme song and even managed to make it sound less shit. A feat if there ever was one. Not going to lie, it’s tough to pinpoint individual band members with gigantors in front of you in the shoulder-to-shoulder crowd. Also, as the lads are so freakishly talented and multi-instrumental it’s also difficult to keep up with who’s playing what unless you know them personally or have been stalking them for some time. That said, with a front man like Nick “Paisley Adams” Allbrook you could be forgiven for not focussing on the guys performing the bombastic percussion section, gut-churning bass and animalistic guitar licks. A fair warning to you, there is massive call coming up. Allbrook is without a doubt one of the best, if not THE best, front man in an Australian band in a very long time. This guy totally gets what it means to lose yourself on stage and in the moment. The diminutive lead singer packs a punch on stage and his ability to front a band lies somewhere between Mick Jagger and Robert Plant. With his hands-on-hips attitude and delicately volcanic voice, Allbrook cannot be held in a high enough regard. Fantastic Explosion of Time really set the already rabid crowd alight and highlighted the musicianship of the group with a fiery stage presence. Those familiar with their LP Beards, Wives, Denim would already be aware of the cacophony of elements that somehow form to harmonious psychedelic sound, but watching Pond live really demonstrates their impressive structure and arrangement of their unique sound. They also seem like decent guys as well, taking the time out of their set to wish some random strangers a happy birthday. Moth Wings, their most played track on Australian radio thus far was obviously incredibly well received by the eager crowd with cups flying through the air and bodies grinding in time with the music. Crowd surfing at these kind of gigs often seem manufactured, however with the kick-in-the-face assault of Pond it seemed completely organic. So, are they the hottest new band in the world? Watch ‘em and find out for yourself.
Photo Courtesy of Spinning Top Music