How we miss kimonos in rock. And sparkly makeup. And playing a guitar behind your head just ’cos you can.
Pond’s elfin frontman Nick Allbrook brings all three – and a whole lot more – to this evening, in a kaleidoscopic spectacle that debunks the perception that his band are little more than happy slackers, short on focus and long on self-indulgence.
Now on their sixth album, Man It Feels Like Space Again, the Perth four-piece are definitely starting to grow up (despite titles such as Heroic Shart) and away from the shadow of hometown affiliates Tame Impala (with whom drummer Jay Preston still plays). Expecting some cosmic tomfoolery, lava-lamp visuals and cute, fuzzed-out frolics, instead we get a full-throttle psychedelic rock show punctuated by the prog disco of Elvis’ Flaming Star, an overenthusiastic Baby’s On Fire (Allbrook tipping his furry cap to Brian Eno) and the sci-fi AOR balladry of Holding Out For You.
Giant Tortoise’s gargantuan stoned riff sends the room into euphoria, glitter-cheeked boys and girls spinning with joy, amid a nicely mixed crowd that, unusually for Antipodean gigs in the capital, isn’t just the ex-pats.
And all the while, these fabulously freaky brothers keep just the right side of sonic dissolution – loose enough to improvise, tight enough to seriously impress. Not only wizards, but true stars.