Concert Review + Photos: Pond @ The Leadmill – Sheffield

Pond
What initially stemmed from a side project/collaborative project/whatever you want to call it of Tame Impala’s, psychedelic rockers Pond add a more trippy edge to that distinct Aussie psych sound that picked up massively after Tame’s success. Loose and quirky front man Nick Allbrook, who left as Tame’s bass player in 2013, recently crafted a pop-ish take on the psychedelic sound Pond have familiarized themselves with on recent release ‘Man It Feels Like Space Again’ . An album which left a pleasant taste in many critics’ mouths, has set them back on the road and back to the UK.

Returning once again to The Leadmill in Sheffield, but for the first time as a headlining act, the band played a set which leant heavily on new material with a few older glimpses of Pond creeping in at times.

“Waiting Around For Grace” the title song off their new album was first on the list and eased the Aussies on stage with that familiar synthesised keyboard blaring out across the room. It wasn’t long before those drawn out keys were halted and firm strums from a clean cut guitar filled the room as the catchy pop like chorus kicked in.

Laying straight into another song from the new release “Elvis’ Flaming Star”, the modestly sized crowd began to shift away from the comfortable lounging around moving far more aggressively as the upbeat and fast paced riffs changed the tempo of the gig. Clearly a favourite amongst fans off the new album and one that the band themselves felt particularly attached too, many amongst the crowd sang along to its chorus. “Flaming star, don’t shine on me, flaming star, flaming star, keep behind me…”

A cover of Brian Eno’s “Baby’s On Fire” was debuted for the first time, which settled the crowd once more – except from a rather failed attempt to crowd surf by one fan who was clearly a little too excited.

Chatting between songs the band were observantly heckled as one fan shouted “where’s your bass player?”. Following the recent departure of bass player Cameron Avery it hardly came as a shock to the band who laughed as drummer Jay Watson sarcastically applauded the guy saying “that’s very observant” just before guitarist Joe Ryan shouted back “Bass players are for chumps!”.

With the absence of Cameron the band hardly seemed stinted or at a loss. Bringing the crowd to their rowdiest of the night with “Giant Tortoise” an earlier Pond crept through as heavier guitar riffs and hectic drum clashes were belted out. The screech and deafening noise created by the distorted guitar hook, was echoed by the crowd who shouted the hook back at the band and danced crazily around as a few successfully crowd surfed their way onto stage before leaping back. A safe and guaranteed crowd pleaser, Pond Showed they clearly still have that old energy in them and that it only needs to be teased out.

Ending the night with “Man It Feels Like Space Again” an epic 8 and a half minute penultimate and title track to the new album, the more slow paced song brought the crowd to ease again before the band left The Leadmill’s main stage for the final time of the night. With this set it’s clear that Pond plan to emphasise their new material, and with this crowd’s reaction it seems to be going down rather well.


 


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Review and Photos by Jacob Flannery |

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