Credit: Aurora Henni Krogh
02 Academy Brixton, London
October 5 2017
Words: Alison Mack
Just over two-and-a-half years ago, Little Indie posed the rhetorical question on whether Reading's Sundara Karma were possibly the best new band in the UK at the time. Certainly 2017, with the release of debut album 'Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect', and major festival appearances the like of Glastonbury, has seen them looking more like princes of their own making. Tonight at O2 Academy Brixton they arrive for what is their biggest London show so far.
Frontman Oscar 'Lulu' Pollock leads with aplomb, shining vocal depth, and decked with energy. They open - against a stage backdrop of three golden orb circles - with the alluringly poignant ‘Another Word for Beautiful’, before diving head first into a fizzing rendition of ‘A Young Understanding’. From here there's hardly a key-up as a raft of fan-friendly earworms pour from the stage.
Credit: Milly McAlister
The anthemic 'Loveblood' that undoubtedly was the first release to really up the ante for them, and as always, ensures the mosh pit comes alive; 'Run Away', with its line of "Push me away and tell me I'm wonderful" too had the crowd responding, and keep Pollock within the pit for most of 'Flame'. 'Diamond Cutter' from their second EP, and the spine-tingling ‘Vivienne’ fill out the room. 'The Night' delivers in achingly competent guitar riffs, pop hooks, and shimmery synths before the end of the night literally dawns.
The 'Happy Family' encore brings fans out once again and onto shoulders, arms in the air for one last hurrah, before the four minutes of driving guitars and soaring hooks of 'Explore' bring the set to a close. End of one gig maybe, but for Sundara Karma it looks like just the beginning.