There’s no denying that Sundara Karma have some absolute bops in their back catalogue, and from previous experiences, it’s fair to say that live they’re pretty exhilarating with their own brand of indie-pop. After releasing their debut album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ last month, and their soar in popularity over the past year attracting a wider audience, their gig at Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms was an especially measurable one.
Brought along for a few dates on this extensive UK tour, Palm Honey buckled up for a scuzzy and dreamy set, and Will Joseph Cook sounded an awful lot like a guitar-ified copy of The Japanese House crossed with Bombay Bicycle Club, but really did hold the crowd in the palm of his hand. Funny that.
Anyway, bang on 10pm, current hype-machine Sundara Karma emerged on stage to the cheers of the predictably young sold-out crowd, running straight into A Young Understanding, which, in all honesty, did bang, and warmed the crowd up for the arena-ready sound at home in Sundara Karma‘s discography. Dropping the tempo slightly, Olympia nudged its way into the set, before a revival came in the double-hit of Freshbloom and Flame, leaving the room bouncing and filled with energy.
Covering album tracks like Watching From Great Heights, and Vivienne in between Hustle, and a rather funky cover of Luther Vandross’ hit Never Too Much, it was almost hard to distinguish the tracks from being repetitive, or hitting the nail on the indie-pop head. As the set amalgamated with new and old tracks including Indigo Puff, an early single, and Lose The Feeling from their 2017 debut album, the youthful zest of the crowd reached a peak when She Said and Deep Relief spun around the tiny venue.
After sounding off to the euphoric Happy Family, with its jubilant guitar licks and nostalgic feel, Sundara Karma jumped back on stage for a speedy encore. Delivering The Night and Loveblood from their first EP (with The Night re-recorded for the album), the Reading boys had wound the crowd up to boiling point, even if it all got a bit same-y at times. Nevertheless, the response from the sold-out Portsmouth crowd was admirable, as everyone in the room undeniably got their groove on for the stand-out hits Flame and Loveblood.
As exciting Sundara Karma are live, though, the all-too-familiar sound they’ve adopted does beg the question as to what’s next for the quartet, and whether there’s a best-before date on their musical style – I guess we’ll just have to wait and see …
Keep up to date on all things Sundara Karma over here.
Words by Jasmin Robinson