Sundara Karma + Freak + The Night Cafe @ o2 Institute, 20th September 2016

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Reading-based quartet Sundara Karma returned to Birmingham to headline at the O2 Institute last Tuesday. Brumlive’s Dan Earl was there.

First up this evening are Liverpool’s The Night Cafe, in support of Sundara Karma at the O2 Institute 2. Acting as a teaser for their own headline show at The Sunflower Lounge later in the year, the band do a good job of warming the crowd up with their indie jingles reminiscent of Mystery Jets. Playing music heavily led by pop guitar riffs, the band have a clear knack for song writing whilst also clearly wearing their influences of their sleeves.


When Freak take to the stage and throughout their set you could be confused for thinking the band were headlining this evening, if it wasn’t for the giant Sundara Karma banner adorning the stage behind them. If looking at online statistics you could be confused for thinking the supports were in fact chosen the wrong way around, however the energy and joy that Freak bring to the stage is an obvious choice as why they were chosen as main support. With a sound best described as a truly punk Electric Six, the band send the audience crazy with songs from début release ‘What Happened?’.


After recent making their début appearance on the main stage at Reading & Leeds, tonight sees Sundara Karma as part of their biggest headline tour in anticipation of the release of their debut album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ at the beginning of next year. Hailing from Reading, the indie rock band have released a number of well received EP’s and gained significant Radio One plays over their past few singles. It’s surprising to see the venue only ¾’s full this evening considering the hype that is currently surrounding the band, however upon the release of their record it’s expected that the band will successfully make the jump to bigger venues and reach a wider audience.


Opening with ‘Indigo Puff’, the band took the opportunity to not only please fans with cuts from past EPs but also preview new tracks such as ‘Olympia’ and ‘Deep Relief’. Tracks such as ‘A Young Understanding’, ‘Love Blood’ and ‘She Said’ shows the great potential that the band has and their ability to connect with their fans. There’s also a highly effective cover of Luther Vandross’s Never Too Much thrown in for good measure. Keeping crowd interaction to a minimum, this doesn’t stop the crowd singing and dancing throughout the evening, whilst by the end of the evening there isn’t a soul in the venue not tapping their foot at least.

Review: Dan Earl

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