Interview: Nick Allbrook from Pond
Big Sky Wire: Covering Taman Shud
Big Sky Wire is a regular Coastalwatch column produced by Michele Lockwood & Andrew Kidman. This week, Andrew Kidman speaks to Pond and Tame Impala musician, Nick Allbrook, about their shared love for Taman Shud.
Over the last year bands from around the world have been writing new material for the up coming film Spirit of Akasha – a new film and soundtrack celebrating forty years of Morning of the Earth. Part of the project is the bands covering one of the original songs off the Morning of the Earth soundtrack. Western Australian band, Pond got onto the project early and jumped on Taman Shud’s classic flute track Bali Waters. I recently spoke to Nick Allbrook about his love of Taman Shud and how it all came about.
Andrew Kidman: When I spoke to your manager, Jodie Regan she said that when she gave the Spirit of Akasha project to you that you already knew about Morning of the Earth, she said that your Dad had given the music to you when you were younger.
Nick Allbrook: Yeah, my Dad turned me onto Taman Shud and I tried to research it a bit more and Morning of the Earth came up and then I tried to listen to all the other shit.
How old were you when you got a hold of that stuff?
I guess 17 or something.
How old are you now?
Yeah I was kind of amazed you knew about Shud.
I have all their albums now, but I can never get them on vinyl, it’s impossible, they only pressed a couple of hundred of the first one, I think, Goolutionites. They did re-releases and I got that but not on vinyl.
It was really cool how you got the recordings for Spirit of Akasha back to us so quickly.
Yeah… we were in kind of the perfect place to do it really. It was the perfect time ‘cause we’d just come off tour, when you come off tour it’s kind of weird going back into a proper domestic existence, and all we really do is record anyway, and I didn’t really have a place to live and I needed something to do that didn’t involved being in a real bedroom, so it all just slotted in perfectly. I was so excited about it.
When your cover of Bali Waters came through it just blew my mind. I had no idea really what you guys did. Just the treatment of it with the keyboards and stuff, it really echoed the original from Morning of the Earth but it was new.
I was pretty happy with it. (Laughs) I’m glad you like it.
Was your father a surfer? Is that how he got into that music?
No. (laughs) He was just an avid consumer of rock ‘n’ roll, and he loved the shit out of Taman Shud.
It’s an incredible band when you go back and go through what they did.
It’s fucking insane. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard them, when he first gave them to me. I felt like there’s a band like that, that has this sort of precision and heavy melodic beauty in every country, in every time, there’s always one, I was right into this band called Dungen from Sweden and then there was Traffic as well from England and Taman Shud filled in the Australian quota of the soft, melodic psychedelic rock band. With the Australian stuff I more listen to The Saints and a lot of New Zealand post punk type of stuff, Flying Nun and The Moles. But the stuff that I’ve listened to from that seventies, hippie era just kicks ass — Taman Shud, is the only band that I’ve gotten disgustingly obsessed with but.
Yeah Tim Gaze was 15 when he was in Taman Shud, he’s actually going to make some new music for the new film.
Next time you see Tim Gaze tell him he’s a bad ass. (Laughs).
He’s still got chops.
I bet he does, he’s a flash guitarist.
Lindsey’s Bjerr the other guy in Taman Shud‘s been working on these really kind of raw punk garage songs that are just epic.
Really. Am I allowed to listen to them?
I can ask them. What I’ve heard are just garage demos but it’s incredible
I’m a bit partial to my garage punk.
Thanks for taking the time to do those songs.
Thank you for thinking of us.
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For more about Andrew Kidman's film celebrating 40 years of Morning of The Earth, head to the Spirit of Akasha blog here.
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