- Sundara Karma played Coventry’s Empire on October 4th
- The band played a succession of sing-along anthems
- Support came from Wille J Healey and The Magic Gang
With a successful debut, a constantly growing following, and becoming a staple festival crowd-pleaser, Sundara Karma have had a massive couple of years. And it shows, purely from seeing the mile-long queue outside the Coventry Empire on the chilly October night. The crowd buzzed with anticipation as they squeezed into the sold-out venue.
Willie J Healey kicked off proceedings. Crunchy guitars bellowed through the venue and the thunderous melodies were met with a relative amount of enthusiasm as many moshed away. The sound had a distinct boisterous feel to it that slammed into you like a strong punch.
Willie J Healey
Up next were The Magic Gang that many in the audience proved to be familiar with, even resulting in singing along and bouncing as if the floor were rubber. Retro riffs and gleeful tunes made them a sugary sweet delight to preface the headliners.
The Magic Gang
Sundara Karma took to the stage following a dreamy psychedelic instrumental track that played for 20 minutes whilst the stage was readied. Opening with the brooding ‘Another Word for Beautiful’, Oscar’s vocals were deep and ghostly paired with a creeping baseline. No time was wasted launching straight into the hits surprisingly early in the set as ‘A Young Understanding’ prompted a mass frenzy in the crowd. Many sang along to the catchy, anthemic chorus and threw themselves across the room to the irresistibly danceable riffs. Similar results were found with the spiraling melody of ‘Loveblood’ and the enigmatic ‘Flame’.
Confidence dripped from the band members as they relentlessly blasted out song after song, every single one met with hysteria like reactions from the crowd. It felt as if they had the entire room in the palm of their hand just off of the performed material. Charismatic personalities or witty banter weren’t needed to keep the show entertaining, nor any glitzy visuals. One of the most touching things was to see how the audience connected with the music. Everywhere you looked people sang their heart out, embraced with friends and punched the air whilst swaying on someone’s shoulders. Seen particularly in the electrifying ‘Vivienne’ and the thudding infectious ‘Happy Family’. The room overflowed with a positive happy-go-lucky atmosphere, as nobody felt self-conscious of letting themselves goes.
From their enigmatic performance, it is clear Sundara Karma are sure to be solidified as a classic staple indie band in years to come. Their ability to create music, which captivates audiences so strongly, is commendable. Expect to see them concurring massive stages very soon.
Photographs by Stephanie Evans