POND, Warm Digits: Psych Fest Launch Party, Invisible Wind Factory

By Planet Slop
Sat 02 September, 2017

With Australia’s POND making a Liverpool appearance, Brian Sayle catches them launching this year’s anticipated Psych Fest. 

Liverpool’s International Festival of Psychedelia recently announced a whole month of events in the run up to this years’ event, including POND from Australia who headlined the Launch Party at the Invisible Wind Factory.

The main support came from Warm Digits, but first up was Chris Forsyth & The Solar Motel Band. Introducing the rest of the three piece – Steven Urgo (ex-War On Drugs) on drums and Peter Kerlin on bass – they played an hour long set, finishing with The First Ten Minutes Of Cocksucker Blues from the Rarity Of Experience LP.

Unfortunately for them, the crowd at this early stage of the evening was rather thin and most of those who had made it down early to the Invisible Wind Factory stood at the back. But at least it gave everyone a good view of the fantastic light show spread across three giant panels and a large orb to the left of the stage.

Warm Digits were running around 15 minutes late and came running on to the stage asking if anyone likes “Digestive Biscuits“!! Ive seen these guys before, a two piece from the North East playing electronic krautrock.

The duo set of electronic krautrock included a fantastic trio of tracks from their Wireless World LP, which came out just a couple of weeks ago and is full of guest vocalists. Whilst playing some of these tracks, such as Growth Of Raindrops, images of the guest vocalists (in this case Sarah Cracknell) were projected onto the back wall.

Finally, POND making their first appearance in Liverpool, with frontman Nick Allbrook emerging from the mist, and balancing on one leg, getting he set underway with 30000 Megatons, the opening track on the new LP.

By now the place was so rammed that Allbrook even stopped to comment on it, clearly shocked that they sold out the venue.

Playing Sweep Me Off My Feet for the first time live, they seemed equally as shocked at how many people not only knew the track, but sung along.

The set was a perfect mixture of old and new material. Don’t Look At The Sun off the very first POND LP sounded as fresh and vital as the world premiere of their new single Fire In The Water. In fact they played several tracks for the first time tonight, following it up with several other tracks from the new LP including Colder Than Ice and Edge Of The World.

Nick Allbrook might be rather small in stature, but he has a domineering presence on stage.  He is a semi-contortionist, cutting all kinds of shapes. They were clearly having fun up there. At one point Shiny Joe Ryan mentioned he had been shopping in TK Maxx that afternoon, and pulled on a bright orange bubble jacket he had purchased.

They ended the main set with the title track from The Weather, and returned for an encore of Man It Feels Like Space Again.

It was a memorable gig for both band and audience, and an excellent taste of what is to come at Camp and Furnace for the main Psych Fest in a few weeks’ time.

Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia 2017 takes place between 22nd-24th September at Camp and Furnace, headlined by Songhoy Blues and The Black Angels. Tickets are available now.

Correction: POND have played Liverpool once before as part of Sound City in 2012. 

Pictures by Brian Sayle