Sundara Karma – Live at Brixton O2 Academy

Reading four-piece Sundara Karma played their biggest ever headline show on 5th October to a delirious crowd at Brixton O2 Academy. Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Oscar Pollock, drummer Haydn Evans, bassist Dom Cordell, and guitarist Ally Baty, the indie pop/rock band has been making music since the tender age of fourteen.

With support from Willie J. Healey and The Magic Gang, the quartet kicked off their gig with gothic number ‘Another Word for Beautiful’, before launching into the more upbeat crowd pleasers ‘A Young Understanding’ and ‘Loveblood’.

The evening saw the band play the entire ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ album, intertwined with a few old favourites such as ‘Flame’, ‘Run Away’ and ‘In the Night’; much to the delight of their captivated fans, who sang along with Pollock word for word on almost every track. The androgynous frontman even jumped into the crowd during ‘Vivienne’.

“Is heaven such a fine thing?” Pollock sang on ‘Olympia’, bathed in the blue luminescence of the stage, which shifted to red as the gig progressed, three white orbs glowing behind him. 

Ending their set with ‘Explore’, Drummer Haydn Evans cast his sticks into the crowd before the band exited the stage to a fittingly roaring applause.

Sundara Karma’s lyrics might be about the trials and tribulations of youth, but their evolved sound offsets their young years. Filled with entrancing guitar riffs and soaring vocals, a live show with them is not to be missed.

Words Aimee Phillips

Happy Mondays to play a series of December shows

In recent years, we’ve seen some excellent Britpop performances and revivals, so it seemed appropriate when The Stone Roses announced their reformation and we could welcome back another great British musical movement – the Madchester scene. Now, it’s the turn of  the Happy Mondays to bask in the glow of nostalgia and adoration.

This December, the seminal Factory Records band will be playing two shows at Camden Roundhouse, supported by fellow Mancunians 808 State. Happy Mondays will return with the definitive lineup of Bez, Gary Whelan, Mark Day, Paul Davies, Paul Ryder, Rowetta and Shaun Ryder. If you’ve always wanted to get sweaty to a soundtrack of ‘Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyache’, then you’re in luck and will finally be able to party like it’s 1989. Bonus points to any dedicated ravers who can get their hands on a Thermowear t-shirt or – better still – actually own an original one. Nice one, our kid!

Tickets for The Roundhouse shows on December 19th and December 20th are still available, and extra dates have just been added for Brighton Centre and Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse as well.