Sundara Karma are one of the UK’s most talented indie bands around on the scene right now, so it was a pleasure to go and catch their gig at the Albert Hall in Manchester last Thursday evening. This four-piece band formed in Reading when they were only 14 years old, which makes me feel rather old as this time seven years ago I was still a 20 year old university student! Needless to say, despite feeling like a senior member of the audience, it was exciting to finally hear their debut album “Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect” performed live at a sold out show.
This debut album cultivates all those feelings you have as a youngster, perhaps while going through your formative years. But, even at 27 it’s just so easy to listen to. Nevertheless, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this gig even after listening to this album plenty of times. I was also unfortunate enough to miss their set at Y Not Festival in 2016 (but not this year, I’ll be sure to see them again this time around).
The opening track of their live set was “A Young Understanding”, one of the first Sundara Karma songs I heard while browsing Spotify last year. This was a superb show opener to rally up the crowd. This was followed by what has been described in an interview with Clash Magazine as ‘maybe all-round our favourite track as a band’, “Olympia”. Its shimmering guitars, raw vocals and punchy chorus stood out brilliantly.
Sundara Karma continued the set with further stand-out singles and tracks such as “Flame”, “She Said”, “Vivienne” and of course “Happy Family”. Sundara Karma are probably right in their recent Facebook post claiming “Jesus would’ve been a fan of balloons” because the roof of the Albert Hall was raised even more when their big balloons entered the crowd!
As the gig came to an end, Sundara Karma performed an unlikely yet blistering cover of “Never Too Much” originally sang by Luther Vandross, a song that you just can’t help but dance to. The final song of the set was “Loveblood”, all hands went up in the air and mobile phone cameras were all taken out quickly to capture photos and videos. This last song is one of the band’s most well-known singles, and it’s that kind of colourful, vibrant indie track that stays in your head long after the gig has ended.
The Albert Hall was a superb venue choice for Sundara Karma, the music sounded excellent and the entire show was memorable, but most of all it left you feeling good when you walked out. Sundara Karma will be performing at various festivals this summer, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them again.
A Young Understanding
Watching From Great Heights
Lose The Feeling
Never Too Much (Luther Vandross Cover)
Listen to “Loveblood” by Sundara Karma on their official YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDLWI3VQb40
Image credit @sundarakarma official Twitter – https://twitter.com/sundarakarma