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AAA Music | 22 April 2024

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Sundara Karma – Live @ The Waterfront

| On 06, Oct 2016

Wednesday 28th September, Norwich

This was one of those gigs where 95% people in the room were younger than me, with the exception of a few older rock diehards taking up room in the corners. Sundara Karma were at the wonderful Waterfront in Norwich to deliver some melodic indie rock to the almost sold-out crowd.

The young and youthful crowd were very lively throughout this show with crowd-surfing limbs flying everywhere even for the warm-up band Joy Room who were by all means good but a little bit Indie-By-Numbers to put it bluntly.

The Waterfront surely has some of the friendliest bouncers around, being smiley and nice to a rowdy teenage audience and safely escorting them off the stage, and then they continue watching the crowd and bopping to the band on stage. A refreshing attitude!

It was near the end of a long tour and this showed in the next band FREAK, who although played well did seem a little static at times although the frontman did lurch towards the ecstatic audience a few times. I was expecting more energy and was a little disappointed as I’d read a few articles that they would be the wildest band you’d experience this year. That said, the sound was great and I really liked the tightness of this three piece from Essex.

Sundara Karma’s band name is Hindu based. In Hinduism and Buddhism, “karma” relates to the sum of a person’s actions in this, and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences. “Sundara” is a Sanskrit term that generally means “beautiful”.

Reading’s Sundara Karma have some great euphoric songs with each one different to the last and would not look out of place on a big rock arena.  To be honest, frontman Oscar Lulu hasn’t got too much stage presence and has little interaction with the crowd. I’m sure he has the charm in their somewhere, with his hair bleached blond and make-up that makes Robert Smith of The Cure look anaemic. Enough of that, they sounded great and the crowd loved them. A real pleasant surprise was a cover of Luther Vandross’s anthem “Never Too Much”, which made the already wild crowd even wilder. The rest of the set was full of great melody and big songs ending the night with their best song “Loveblood”.

Sundara Karma are surely destined for the big time and bigger venues (arenas even). Their album is due out in early 2017 and will be titled “Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect”.

Nige Nudds