When Pond announced a gig in Glasgow a few weeks ago, I was thrilled to hear that the Aussies would be playing one of the most beautiful venues in Scotland; Oran Môr. However, as we entered the idyllic church venue we realised we were in for a surprise.
“Are youse here fae the gig...” the doormen asked, “...it's doonstairs”!
“Downstairs” I repeated somewhat befuddled. But Oran Môr is a church, right?
Wrong. So the gig wasn't actually in Oran Môr but below in a standard gig venue which has nothing particular about it. This was depressing, but not nearly as depressing as the support band Younghusband manage to make me feel. Thankfully it wasn't so busy and the young crowd were too preoccupied ordering drinks before the actual show ' Man It feels Like Space Again ' started. Eventually, after much waiting, Pond came on stage and changed everything.
The band set up and blasted straight into 'Waiting Around For Grace'. Right away I had the feeling it was going to be a night to remember. As the set progressed into the night the greater it became and the crowd duly received them with a euphoric high that only the greatest of live bands can gift. It was a chaotic; but by all means a good chaotic. By the time the band covered Brian Eno's ‘Baby's on Fire’ so too was the actual crowd. Everybody was on fire. Parts of the crowd began to rush forward desperate to reach the front of the stage, others just danced and enjoyed the music, but importantly everybody contributed to the energy. The set ended with a rendition of the dreamy 'Man It Feels Like Space Again' and the crowd headed home happy in the knowledge that Pond are back to their best and in my opinion also their best line-up.
Tonight it was clear to see that Pond are not only successful because they are good performers, but because they are good entertainers as well. They tell jokes about the rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow, share old memories of previous tours and singer Jay Watson even invited the crowd out for a drink;
"I'm looking forward to a nice glass of whisky after the show with you, I've been drinking cheap whisky with lemonade all night".
Despite the sad realisation that Oran Môr means a beautifully stunning church or a bleak underground basement, you can’t help but cheers Pond for a truly outstanding performance, despite the venue. So Oran Môr in future be more precise. And Pond, a simple but grateful "cheers"!
Pond, Glasgow, Oran Môr(ish), 9/10.