It had been quite a greedy week of live music leading into Pond’s gig, 4 shows down and we’d been out sweating it up until 3am the night before at Oxford Art Factory – the thought of backing it up took an immediate toll on my mind. I’ve been punishing my ears with Pond for the last few weeks, so was damn excited for this show. The lads came in for a session on the beers before Xmas, which turned pear-shaped, but cemented our view of them bloody good kents.

Photos: Charlie Hardy

All this momentum going into their show and I totally forgot about our monthly cousin banquet the same night – there was no way I could miss this shit. 9 cousins and our legend Aunty Lis, it’s like the most ridiculous family gathering, without that immediate family bullshit. No bickering, no fights, just a tonne of food, beers, wine, shit talking, dissing, competing and alot of yelling at each other. After devouring a heavy set tiramisu, moving some furniture around for Lis, getting paid in a couple of Macbooks and an iPad (standard), I stepped on the gas straight for Oxford Art Factory.

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A couple of the MC crew were MIA, Dale had to go to a baby shower and Mongo was watching his duck walk around in circles. Or some shit excuse for not backing up 2 nights in a row. Their loss. By the time I arrived, Pond were 2 songs in and the place was going mental. Pond were flawlessly loud as fuck, as per usual, and a sea of limbs swayed in front of them, blanketed in an array of wild colours. The ridiculous fuzz Pond projected into the crowd had an instant effect on everyone, kind of a warm fuzzy feeling, that funnily enough left you feeling grimy and dirty. In the best possible way. The guys obviously have a good time at live shows, they play themselves into exhaustion and feed on the insanity of the impending riot, gathering strength in front of them

Nick Allbrook recently told me that “recording music is like shitting, the fun part is consuming all the stuff”. Are live shows the stuff he likes consuming? Or is there a diverse range of substances that he much prefers. It’s hard to say, I like to think it’s a beautiful combination of the two experiences.


I’ve seen Pond a few times live, the previous was at Splendour a couple of years ago – memories from that festival evade me, much the same as that mystical french girl I always see surfing The Pass. So it was nice to see them play in my relative sobriety. I always have those moments at a show that stick with me, this time round was the extended version of Giant Tortoise. My head was already bending with the trail of their phaser, so I kept following it. Of course you’ve heard it before, it’s that song that makes love to your dopaminergic neurons, causing uncontrollable and pleasurable body movement. Okay, Pond basically fucked my mind. As the song was coming to a end, they dropped into a second verse, something I’ve never heard before. The guys only play this live and it was a present for us all, kind of like the weed bowl you find on top of your parents fridge. Fuck, just thinking about it again gave me goosebumps.

Oxford Art Factory was heated like a sauna, the mist of sweat from the pit of punters drifted to the roof, illuminated by blue, red and yellow lights. So goddamn beautiful. As the set drew to a close, Pond gave a wave and left the stage to an un-harmonious chant of ‘one more song’ ‘blah more blah’. The guys returned to the stage and Nick replied to the crowds expectation of an encore with “fucking show biz”. One more attempt to blow the speakers and Pond were out. A mighty fine show.

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