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LIVE REVIEW - Pond @ The Triffid

There aren't too many bands that will get me out past my bedtime on a Tuesday night, a school night, but what insane person can skip the opportunity to see Pond live?

So, hopped on red cordial, I made my way down to The Triffid to get a taste of whatever Australia's premiere psychedelic rock band was willing to serve up.

If Pond weren't enough, supports RVG (formally Romy Vager Group) made their way up from the Deep South to tease our earholes.

RVG are what I would consider a classic grassroots music success story. Their debut album was recorded live in a Melbourne pub, was subtly dropped online and has been left to slowly infect the ears of the world since.

Frontwoman and namesake of the band, Romy, has been very open about the influences behind the sound of the band, listing the likes of The Smiths and The Go-Betweens as strong contributors to the sound of RVG.

It was in the likes of 'Quality of Mercy' and new song 'Christian Neurosurgeon' that I really sensed those influences. They invoked a sense of nostalgia in me, channeling those timeless sounds, without being derivative.

But it wasn't just pop-rock sounds and lyrics, there were guitar pieces and moments of frantic fretting along the way. Displays of high musical skill that elevated their live performance.

Now enjoying a national tour, RVG are letting us all re-live that original recording, along with some new material that is sure to appear on a new album, when and in whatever form it happens to take.

How are we already at album number 8 from Pond? Didn't Man It Feels Like Space Again only just come out?

What’s not to like though, new album means new tour, means new Pond live shenanigans. This time round it was flute holders, 'Blame It On The Boogie' interludes and Bee Gee cover intros.

Talking of the new album, Tasmania was a big focus of the set, opening with two new tracks from the album, 'Daisy' and 'Sixteen Days'.

'Daisy' has that signature Pond sound, a slow trippy start, and then a jump into pop-rock beats made for moving your feet to. For me, it’s all about that pause before the chorus, it really builds the anticipation.

Next up was 'Sweep Me Off My Feet'.You can probably get a good hint of my taste in music from this, but I just say here that I think 'Sweep Me Off My Feet' is my fave Pond tune. It is just so fun, funky and exhilarating. Damn, I love that song, and it didn't disappoint live.

'Zen Automaton' saw things get really bizarre, with a flute being wiped out one point. Jazz Flute has never looked so sexy.

At one point, we made a jump back more than a decade to 'Don't Look At The Sun or You'll Go Blind', where we got to experience some of that early, deep psychedelic Pond.

The psych continued in an extended outro, which morphed in 'Blame It On The Boogie' with lyrics from 'Firestarter' by The Prodigy, a small tribute to the late Keith Flint.

Hobo Rocket wasn't neglected with 'Giant Tortise' getting a spin in all its guitar heavy glory.

We were teased that we would be getting a Bee Gee's cover. So, when the opening to 'Jive Talkin' started up, I got pretty bloody excited. After barely 20 seconds, it was a transition into 'Paint Me Silver'. It may be a great track, but I'm selfish, and I wanted more of that cover. I wanted more of that Pond twisted Bee Gees goodness.

It all ended in nuclear, mushroom cloud glory with '30000 Megatons'. If this whole set was the buildup, then this was the big release. An explosion of sound to blast out the doors and into the night.

By the time you are reading this, the Australian leg of the tour will be over, but I'm sure Pond will be hitting the road again soon.

I give it 2 months until we hear about album number 9.



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