Live Review: Sundara Karma – Liverpool

Sundara Karma

sundara karma copyright gaz jonesThe Magnet, Liverpool, November 4th 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

Photos: Gaz Jones

The Night Café hit off from the starting blocks hard, but a few blasts of feedback encouraged the band to calm down a touch. Whilst they never sound frenzied, there is a tight sharpness to their playing which hints at a well rehearsed sound. Inspiration seems to come from the early days of Britpop when shoegaze had been eased out of sounds but before the avalanche of brass sections, rhyming dictionaries and Oi Oi Oi ladness. The feedback sadly made regular appearances as the set progressed but those issues will be ironed out by gigging more rather than just rehearsing. With a sound this easily accessible and mature though there will not be a shortage of offers to play, I would advise them to take them up and keep doing what they do.

 

Leeds’ based Vitamin were next on the bill with a set of indie with synth backing tape which was more suited to the younger members of the audience in the main. Sounding and looking like a British band who would appear in Home and Away or Neighbours (examples The Wombats, Lily Allen), they provided a confident live performance even if the sound was pretty much not to my taste. New release Lights continued that vibe, but a track, Miss You, from their most recent EP pulled me out of my entertained apathy as the beats hit home harder and louder. Vitamin have a sound that will appeal to many music fans including several in the crowd who looked very excited by them. There is an easy listening simplicity to their sound which many bands would not be able to create. In terms of performance, frontman Jared Laville dominates proceedings completely. I was unsure by this as I am certain that dominance propels them but it does leave the live show looking a bit like a singer with session musicians. If Vitamin are to progress to the levels they have potential for then it needs to be a collective effort rather than all focused on one person, but as they have grown up together rather than been put together to utilise the talents of one person I am confident that the band will shine.

 

sundara karma copyright gaz jonesWith lead singer, Oscar Lulu, looking like Glam rock era Iggy Pop as he took up his position front and centre on the stage, it felt like Sundara Karma were providing a step up for the audience from the bands who had warmed up for them. With an unexpected power and potency to their sound in this small venue, it felt like the band were playing at the right location for this point in their career. With Flame sounding straight out of an A&R wet dream with a mix of accessibility and rawness, it showed why Sundara Karma have so much hype about them at present and the end of the song was greeted with roars of appreciation. New song, Lovingly, continued the theme as the band suddenly seemed much older than nineteen. Beside Oscar, Ally and Dom on guitar and bass looked enthused and energised and provided a composed backing that radiated belief that the stage was theirs. Overall the band have a style, image and entertaining swagger which I think would be ideal at festivals like Isle of Wight and V in the forthcoming years. Oscar’s comfort in stopping the set in order to sort out a minor squabble between two fans near the front will definitely hold them in good stead; and the tunes they can lay down will have many, many music fans heeding their suggestion of “don’t be afraid of dancing”. Vivienne sounded brilliantly shackled as though when the band move on to the bigger venues, it is going to be unleashed in a deafening, celebratory fashion. Finishing off on band and fan favourite, Loveblood, Sundara Karma sent musical fireworks out across the audience causing the fans to climb up and join them on stage. It suited the night and the future as you get the feeling that whatever happens next it will be Sundara Karma and their fans getting there together.

 

Watch the video for Prisons to Purify featuring Marika Hackman by Sundara Karma here:

 

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  1. […] The band agreed to it I think out of sympathy for the pitiful tone in my voice, but this favour to us changed everything. Everybody had bits to do, a phone call to make, a face to wash, some texts to read or a cigarette to smoke and then we reconvened in the doorway. What had happened in those two minutes baffled me, but the change in the whole band was massive. All of a sudden everybody was filled with life and as we walked to McKenzie’s Whiskey Bar it felt like we had been invited into the lives of some very close friends. Afterwards it was explained to me that the biggest drain on the band when touring is the quiet times. And when all of the band are having a quiet time together it intensifies. So making them move to another location broke the brooding spell (I’m taking a part credit for the fantastic gig later that night too). […]

    Like

  2. […] The band agreed to it I think out of sympathy for the pitiful tone in my voice, but this favour to us changed everything. Everybody had bits to do, a phone call to make, a face to wash, some texts to read or a cigarette to smoke and then we reconvened in the doorway. What had happened in those two minutes baffled me, but the change in the whole band was massive. All of a sudden everybody was filled with life and as we walked to McKenzie’s Whiskey Bar it felt like we had been invited into the lives of some very close friends. Afterwards it was explained to me that the biggest drain on the band when touring is the quiet times. And when all of the band are having a quiet time together it intensifies. So making them move to another location broke the brooding spell (I’m taking a part credit for the fantastic gig later that night too). […]

    Like



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