Music Reviews

Sundara Karma Review: Brixton Academy

Sundara Karma Review: Brixton Academy

As soon as Sundara Karma released their resounding debut album ‘Youth is Only Fun in Retrospect’ in January this year, it seemed inevitable that the Reading based four-piece would take to the stage at London’s Brixton Academy for a headline slot.

Push came to shove and the band got the billing they deserved – their biggest headline show of their career to date, no less – but you could be forgiven for thinking that others maybe hadn’t got the message. Standing tickets are still available on the night, while the seating area hasn’t been opened up due to a lack of interest, making for a somewhat strange atmosphere down in the stalls.

Undeterred however, the band soon demonstrate just why they were given the opportunity to headline the iconic 5000 capacity venue – and the crowd respond accordingly by showing that while they may be comparatively small in numbers, they make up for that in rowdiness and sheer volume.

As soon as the opening chords of setlist opener ‘Another Word for Beautiful’ ring out, enough noise is whipped up to make you believe the venue has sold out twice over. Once that’s done and dusted and the band steam straight into ‘A Young Understanding’, the fiercely loyal audience make it feel like it’s been sold out three times over.
Seemingly feeding off this, it doesn’t take long for frontman Ollie Pollock to acquaint himself with the crowd, stepping down from the stage and throwing himself in amongst the diehards on several occasions, while the band start to seriously crank through the gears with ‘Flame’ – arguably the track of the night – ‘Olympia’ and ‘She Said’, all of which prompt rapturous reactions from the crowd.

After announcing they’d be doing an encore in the strangest way possible, (“we’re just gonna take a break”, Pollock announces after ‘The Night’) the band return with the epic ‘Happy Families’ and the frankly excellent ‘Explore’ to round off proceedings, and call time on what was an exemplary performance by a band rapidly propelling upwards.
If this performance is anything to go by, this won’t be the first and only time Sundara Karma headline Brixton – and if their rise continues as expected, those seats upstairs will be jam packed with fans, rather than being empty.

By Christian Brown

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