Posted on Monday 20th February 2017 at 15:28
REVIEW: Sundara Karma at Albert Hall, Manchester (16/02/17) by Rob Waters.
If I needed a reminder of my disappearing youth, then the hordes of teens patiently sat in the biting cold, determined for a front row position at this sure-to-be knock-out performance, was an apt reminder indeed.
Blaenavon offered up their support (with a lot more gusto than could be expected from a band named after a small Welsh town). They did a great job of warming up the crowd, creating a palpable excitement throughout the whole venue.
Sundara Karma exploded onto stage with ‘A Young Understanding’ – the first song from their recently released debut album ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’. The chorus got the crowd jumping enough to feel the floor shake beneath us.
‘Olympia’ was a lovely song, with a simple but dynamic riff and crooning heartfelt vocals translating excellently into the live format – the same going for ‘Flame’ a powerful and audacious song that showed the band’s tight grip on the audience.
This energy dissipated somewhat with the slow-paced ‘Be Nobody’, a moody and atmospheric song. This energy was quickly recovered with a phenomenal cover of Luther Vandross’ ‘Never Too Much’, a surprising but well-done rendition of an 80’s classic.
‘Lose the Feeling’ and ‘She Said’ followed – the latter inciting everyone to join in with the singing. Huge balloons were released at one point, prompting a massive game of slow-motion volleyball. The band finished up on ‘Loveblood’ a Romeo and Juliet inspired power-ballad, the crowd’s energy once again causing the whole venue to tremble.
As the album name suggests, youth is only ever fun in retrospect, but judging by the reaction from the young and energetic crowd, I beg to differ. Sundara Karma are headline acts at this year’s Dot to Dot Festival, and if their performance at this gig was anything to go by – we’re in for a real treat.