The last time Reading quartet Sundara Karma took to the crowds of B’ham was in a support slot for Circa Waves. Now back to headline their own sold out show at The Sunflower Lounge, fans were to expect nothing but an explosive set of exotic, guitar pop.
Heading through the crowd and up onto the stage, the band took their places at the back of the dingy venue. Frontman Oscar Pollock, seemed to embody the image of an iconic frontman with his androgynous and chic style. Dressed in a velvet shirt/dress, with his sleek, long blonde hair draped over his shoulders and his nails painted, he looked as polished as his music is.
Opening with the indie-pop delight that is ‘Freshbloom’ the wait was over for the crowd and as the band kicked into the melodic crooning and sparkling guitar riffs, the crowd too made way for a wave of enthusiasm. The much anticipated appearance of single ‘Flame’, saw the whole room yelling “hold my flame and set alight / hold my fire screaming inside out” over jangling guitars and warm melodies. It’s their biggest track released so far and in the live setting, it clarified why Sundara Karma have the potential to be the next big indie band on the scene.
Old track ’Indigo Puff’, turned out to be a particular crowd pleaser and provided the most intimate moment of the set, as Pollock swooned “you’re the one” over brooding bass thumps and spiralling guitars. With choruses built for arena sized shows, the band’s new track ‘Vivenne’ demonstrated exactly that, as they belted the lyrics to the audience, who belted it back with ten times the force. ‘Run Away’ was all glittering guitars and vivacity, whilst ‘Hustle’ etched a darker tone and created surges of small moshes. But it’s the confidence of the band and how comfortably they engage and connect with the crowd that shows their professionalism, and like bands, such as Peace and Wolf Alice, they seem to be managing to make the link between commercial and edgy; the winning combo for any band who want to stick around.
Before heading into the final two tracks Pollock invited the crowd to continue the party afterwards, remarking ’we hear Snobs is the place to go out around here.’ However, with the weather gloomy and it being a Monday night, I think it was safe to say that the party had reached its height in the venue, with Sundara Karma smothering their fans in sun-drenched harmonies.
The enchanting, tropical sound of ’Waves’ made its appearance towards the latter end of the show. It’s slower and moodier than its peers, which created a perfect and euphoric setting for the tail end of the set. Going out on the fast paced, bouncy pop track that is ‘Loveblood’ from ‘EP I’ it finished on a sweaty high and with fans invading the stage.
With their infectious sounds and catchy choruses, their dedicated fans and their fun-lovingness, and still without an album under their belts, I have no doubts in saying that this is a band that can only rise and rise to better things.