Tag Archives: review

LIVE REVIEW: SUNDARA KARMA AT O2 SHEPHERD’S BUSH LONDON

Sundara Karma’s debut album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect’ emerged earlier this year; a confident and somewhat spectacular first album. Now their biggest gig to date faced them at the London venue, Shepherds Bush Empire, the stage beckoning them.

The night began with the psychedelic-rock four-piece, ‘Palm Honey’. A buzz was original created around this band after they supported YAK, yet they seem to be going from strength to strength, landing some of their own gigs later this year, as well as a confirmed festival appearance at Blissfields 2017.

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Following this, the wonderful ‘Will Joseph Cook’. His catchy, pop sound with some undoubtedly indie elements filled the room with a vibrant atmosphere, ultimately leading to a little boogie from many. His latest single ‘Beach (I Wanna Make You Mine)’ was released just days before his support to Sundara Karma, and was an instant hit amongst the crowd, with the slow build of sound at the beginning, acclimatising into an impressive hook that, although slightly repetitive in its usage of the title’s parentheses, is infectious.

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Then came the main event: Sundara Karma.

The hyped-up crowd didn’t have to wait long until Ozzy Lulu embarked onto the stage, alongside fellow band members, Haydn Ashley (drums), Ally Batty (guitar) and Dom Cordell (bass) before kick-starting their 15-track set.

Opening with ‘A Young Understanding’ hailed a great response from the crowd, as this well-loved track appeared originally in 2016, before its secondary release on their debut album.

‘Flame’ and ‘Watching From Great Heights’ were performed shortly after, two of my favourite tracks. The feeling as the crowd chanted back, “Hold my flame and set alight / Hold my fire screaming inside / Hold my flame and set alight / Hold my fire screaming inside out”, was honestly electric, and something I daresay I’ll never forget.

Although all their tracks were played with such energy and enthusiasm, and appreciated by all, I have to say their performance of ‘She Said’ was outstanding.

It was at this point that it became evident to me that their relatable lyrics, uplifting riffs and catchy choruses were essential in attracting the youthful, happy audience that they had. It becomes clear that many of the band’s songs are a perfect representation of lots of the audience members’ youth, allowing them to resonate and connect fully with their music.

The energy and enthusiasm inside the venue was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. This band, with their youthful optimism and their infectious music, bring plenty new to the table, and I am hopeful that they have more to share with us in the future.

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Sundara Karma are booked for an impressive array of festivals this summer, making it hard to miss them! Check them out at:

  • Dot to Dot
  • Barn on the Farm
  • Blissfields
  • Truck Festival
  • Y Not Festival
  • Reading and Leads

Find out more at: http://www.sundara-karma.co.uk/

 

Written by Harriet / @yellowdaffodilx

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Six good things that happened in 2016

Last year wasn’t great, but don’t let that overshadow the revitalisation we saw in the indie music scene.

To say last year was a weird one would be, well, an understatement.  It’s hard to talk about the year past without jumping on the ‘that’s so 2016’ bandwagon, but in terms of inconceivable political victories and mind numbing celebrity deaths it is hard not to.

After all, this was the year Trump came to power and the year Britain voted to leave the European Union. It’s the year which bowed down to ‘social media influencers,’ inciting them as role models and provided them with their own Netflix series; it’s also the year a silverback gorilla was killed which fuelled the fire for increased ‘meme culture’ and ridiculous hashtags. 2016 also saw T in the Park announce it was, after 21 years, ‘taking a break’ and the Oscars had a slight race issue when a grand total of zero black actors were nominated.

However, with all that in mind, it is important to highlight that last year wasn’t a complete down and out. In fact, in terms of indie music, 2016 actually produced some of the best comebacks, new albums and live performances for decades.

So just in time for the beginning of a new year, we’ve counted down the good things to happen in 2016 from an indie music perspective, completed in the spirit of Auld Lang Syne.

1.      Firstly, The 1975 bestowed their ‘difficult second album’ upon the world which propelled the Manchester lads to worldwide critical acclaim and a UK arena tour. The band famously promoted their album with a string of pink neon storyboards of song titles from the tail end of 2015 until its actual release date. From there; they have went from strength to strength; with headline festival slots and sold out performances both in Europe and across the pond in America. They have become quite simply the band of the year with I like it when you sleep for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it winning the Q award for best album.

2.      The Stone Roses returned with an admittedly underwhelming new song, but that’s not the point; they’re back. The veterans hadn’t released any new music in over twenty years so this was a huge deal for Roses fans and music in general. Their first release ‘All for one’ only has a mere 59 words in it, however, those words are intended to demonstrate the unity they have with each other; a metaphorical ‘water under the bridge’ to the years where they didn’t record or perform together.

The Roses, went on to release a second new track ‘Beautiful thing’ which was met with a higher critical acclaim, however, it was their captivating live performances in Manchester and T in the Park that they would most likely be remembered. In September they released tickets to their UK stadium tour; which predictably sold out in hours and only stands as proof that the desire for lemon tasting music is still as high as it was in 1994 when the boys left us.

3.      The Courteeners finally received the credit they deserve and were awarded with an arena tour for their new album Mapping the rendezvous, which peaked at number four in the official album charts. The lads set every festival they played over the summer alight, and Liam’s famous: “Every single one of ya’s” during Not Nineteen Forever has become somewhat of a cult following in itself.

4.      Blossoms, well, blossomed. Last year the boys’ self entitled album was the best-selling debut album of 2016 and they became a true force to be reckoned with in the music scene. Their lead single ‘Charlemagne’ became an indie classic and the boys can only be excited for what they have set their selves up for this year.

5.      Catfish and the Bottlemen released their second album and subsequently travelled on tour to promote it. The album included the new classics ‘7’ and ‘Soundcheck’; the record also provided the people of Glasgow with an anthem dedicated to their home city; which naturally went down an absolute treat in their gig at the SECC.

6.      Finally, Jake Bugg returned after two years out of the limelight with his third studio album On My One. The Nottingham star brought out singles ‘Gimme the love’ and ‘On my One’ during the summer to a welcomed reception by fans, he also performed at many festivals; including T in the park where he surprised the crowd by bringing out Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer, Chad Smith, to play Slumville Sunrise.

Follow me on twitter @bdoncook

 

Shut Me Out – The Clause

The Clause are a 4 piece indie rock band from Birmingham, made up of Pearce Mcmenamin, Niall Fennell, Jonny Fyfee and Liam Deakin.

Inspired by the likes of Catfish and the Bottlemen, The Kooks and Arctic Monkeys, they have developed a substantial following on Twitter, and in the last few days have released their debut single Shut Me Out which has sparked excitement throughout social media. The single gained over 1,000 listens on Soundcloud in just two days.

This track reminds me largely of Catfish & The Bottlemen, however certainly has an original sound to it, and fits right in with the indie rock scene at this moment in time. From the guitar playing, to the drumming, accompanied by the distinctive tone of the vocalist, it really is indie rock at its best!

The band have got two gigs coming up, one on February 6th at the 02 Academy Islington, and another on March 4th supporting The Taskers at The Rainbow in Birmingham.

From the response the track has got already, I can tell it is going to be a big success, and The Clause are definitely a band you should listen out for!

 

The Balcony – Catfish and the Bottlemen

Release Date: 12th September 2014

Rating: 8/10

Let’s go way back to August 2013, Catfish and the Bottlemen were seen performing on the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festival. Almost 2 years on and they’re still growing, playing at numerous festivals in the upcoming weeks, having a sold out UK tour, and apparently also having lots more content which they are planning on releasing in the coming months.

Influenced by the likes of The Beatles and Oasis, Catfish and the Bottlemen are a four piece, fronted by Van McCann, formed in Llandudno in 2007. Their debut album ‘The Balcony’, was released in September 2014, and reached number 10 in the UK charts.

Homesick, their first single was released in 2013. It was written by Van, evidently talking about the strain of being away from his girlfriend whilst he was touring.  Then there is ‘Kathleen’, inevitably the bands most popular/well known song, hitting number 11 in the UK Indie Chart. The band also have become close friends with actor Ewan McGregor, he featured in the music video for ‘Hourglass’ another of the 11 songs on this album, it’s one of the slower more acoustic ones.  ‘The Balcony’ also consists of other songs such as ’26’, ‘fallout’ and ‘Rango’ which was written about Van trying to win back an ex-girlfriend, are we seeing a trend here? Many of the songs were written when Van was still in his teens. Van has even said many of the songs on the album are ‘from all over the place really’.

The song ‘Kathleen’ uses lyrics such as “I gotta give it to you, you give me problems when you are not in the mood.”, the lyrics in ‘Homesick’ include, “I said, ‘i’m only looking out for you,’ she said, ‘it’s obvious that’s a lie'”. These are all lyrics you can almost hear the large crowds at their concerts singing along with. Catfish and the Bottlemen have evidently written lyrics that an audience will love, and also enable them relate to the mood of which the band are portraying especially when performing them live.

Tyrants is the final song on the album, and they have clearly put their all into this track. Not only is it the last song, but it is also the longest of all 11 tracks on the album at a length of 4 minutes and 41 seconds. It starts off quite slowly and then gets louder with the use of guitars and banging of drums, giving the song a dramatic opening. The song gets  increasingly  louder and more intense over the duration, until the end when it just completely cuts off. This leaves you wanting more, and I certainly can’t wait to hear more from this band.