Pond – not the Australian band, currently making waves – but the Portland Grunge/Alternative band, who got together in 1991 and broke up in 1998. And during that time released some 3 albums and over a half-dozen eps. In 1992 they played at the New Music Seminar in New York on June of 1992 and became an instant hit in Britain via raves from the British press. Seems Shoegaze and Grunge were soul-mates (to a degree).
So tonight’s session for John Peel is more or less a byproduct of that visit, spurred on by anticipation in the UK. Pond consisted of Charlie Campbell, guitar and vocals – Chris Brady, bass and vocals and Dave Triebwasser – drums.
Like so many bands, and the 90s were no different than any other time or genre – a lot of music went unnoticed or ignored or simply overlooked and lost in the shuffle. Pond has been considered by many to be one of the grossly overlooked bands during this critical period in Rock, and rightly so. Certainly, it was no one’s fault – Sub Pop (their label) was very much behind them – the press were behind them – they had fans; they loved them in the UK. The only thing that eluded them was mainstream and chart success, which is a bellwether for a band’s longevity.
So after 7 years Pond broke up. They did reunite very briefly, in 2010 to do a show to commemorate the closing of Portland nightclub Satyricon – and then called it a day for good.
Aside from their studio recorded material, precious little exists of them in a live context (at least as far as I know), and this Peel session may be the only example of their live work. Another reason to appreciate the efforts of John Peel and the pioneering folks at the BBC, lo those many years ago. In many cases (more than anyone would care to guess), the Peel sessions are the only example of a band in a live context. And for that reason, all of these sessions are vital artifacts of music history. But no doubt, you know that.
Preaching to the choir . . . .just crank it up and listen.