Brixton marked the final night of Sundara Karma’s April tour – and what a night it was. All five members took to the stage but no-one could take their eyes off Oscar “Lulu” Pollock. The lead singer donned padded shoulders, flared arms, a leather leotard and knee-high boots. Beautifully Bowie-esque – a look which the late Starman would’ve been proud of in his birthplace of Brixton.

Confetti cannons exploded into the crowd for ‘Higher States’ – setting the tone for what was to be an outstanding evening of creativity, drama and foremost, of fun. The stage décor was admittedly odd – giant hanging lamp shades gave cheap-Indian restaurant vibes, whilst a bleak mountain backdrop felt offset from the album’s vibrancy.

None of this mattered though, because the Reading band themselves were on form. Oscar’s voice resonated better than on any record. From bellowing bass to angelic highs – every note had power.

sundara-karma

The rest of the band were subdued but perhaps this was the vibe they were going for – besides, with Oscar’s presence, there was no room for more extravagance. They played each track in immaculate timing, (shout out to Haydyn Evans’ percussive power) and created the perfect balance of old and new. They flowed seamlessly between EP tracks and into Ulfilas’ Alphabet, their latest album release from last month. Refreshingly, we were not kept waiting for the big hitters, and the performance of ‘Flame’ and highlight, ‘Explore’ were welcomed early in the set.

“Has anybody not danced yet?” Oscar asked his crowd. A huge age range came to the band – some members of the older generation going for it more than anyone. For the few that hadn’t been dancing, they certainly were now – as the band performed ‘She Said’, the sing-a-long anthem.

The lighting was dramatic, most notably during their 2018 single ‘Illusions’ which made for an audibly and visually compelling show. The old theatre was the perfect venue for such a bold exhibition of creativity.

The band went out with the same bang they came in with as confetti dusted the crowd once more for, ‘One Last Night On This Earth’.

Each second of the set burst with energy, and Sundara Karma smashed any expectations. Three dates have now been added to their tour in May. You’d be a fool to miss it.  

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April Curtin

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