Everyone's favourite W.A. psych-rock outfit Pond released their 7th studio album ‘The Weather’ back in may, and have been touring ever since. The band (finally) toured Australia in celebration of this critically acclaimed release. Pond have been playing all over the world, but were very happy to be playing in their home town at Fremantle Prison, a world heritage site. This venue should be high up on everyone's list to see any act, but Pond is especially suited to the dark and somewhat unnerving atmosphere of the prison.
The night kicked off with a DJ set by good friends of Pond, Koi Child. We were then introduced to the strange but seriously cool ‘alien trap rap’ of REEF PRINCE. Opening for Pond was Sydney four piece Body Type, who provided everyone with their lo-fi, indie needs. When Pond hit the stage, Nick Allbrook had his teacup in hand. With their mesmerising presence, I instantly forgot how creepy my surroundings were and became fixated on a show that really swept me off my feet.
Pond are known for their amazing live performances, and being fronted by Allbrook there’s no doubt that every show is going to be full of energy. On this night, there was no disappointing. Koi Child’s Jamie and Christian shared the stage, accompanying Allbrook’s flute skills with some sax. With performances of old songs like ‘Giant Tortoise,’ and songs from the new release ‘30000 Megatons’ and ‘Paint Me Silver’ you know you’re going to experience a great set.
Fremantle prison is one of the most iconic sites of Fremantle. The prison is listed as a world heritage site and consistently has visitors (tourists) from all around the world since it ceased operation in 1991. Being used for many different things since the prison was decommissioned, the prison in the past year has become a live venue! Since Tex Perkins played the prison early last year, big names including Boy and Bear, Xavier Rudd and locals Pond have been lining up to play this haunted venue. Fremantle Prison is Western Australia’s most haunted building, and renowned for its eery atmosphere, which is evident as soon as you step foot inside the grounds. A venue with such history is the perfect venue to see any local act, but the somewhat creepy ambience of the prison and Pond’s live show creates a perfect storm.
With Pond’s lineup of local heroes including the likes of Nick Allbrook, Jay Watson (GUM), Shiny Joe Ryan, Cameron Avery (Allbrook/Avery) and Jamie Terry, there is 100% certainty that this outfit will blow you away. This hits you the instant you hear any of Pond’s tracks. Likewise, when Pond walks on stage you can feel that you’re in for a treat. Nick Allbrook has a voice that everyone needs to hear at least once, especially when performed live. Along with his amazing vocals Nick Allbrook adds to the stage presence that grabs the audience, making them dance and sing until they no longer have the energy to continue. This stage presence drives fans especially crazy when Nick Allbrook climbs off stage and sings into the microphone with Pond’s front row fans. Pond are a band who have you encapsulated in their set from the moment they walk on stage, until the very sad moment you realise they can’t play endless encores.
The event description said ‘we can’t guarantee you will see a ghost’, although there was a somewhat eery atmosphere at the prison grounds, and a lurking man in the watchtower who creeped me out for half the night. This was a perfect concoction of both a haunting venue, and a performance that left you in awe.
Review - Kyle Hodson
Photography - Josh Nicolopoulos