Live: Pond

Perth’s cosmic jokers send a glitter-cheeked crowd spinning.

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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.

Jo Kendall

Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.