Almost two months after the release of their debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect and only a fortnight after concluding a support slot for Two Door Cinema Club on their sold-out tour, indie four-piece Sundara Karma returned to London to play the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. With the show selling out weeks before and fans queuing from 10am, it’s clear that they have already developed a loyal and dedicated fan base since bursting on to the scene last year.
Opening with single A Young Understanding, the show started on a high with the crowd’s voices almost drowning out frontman Oscar Pollock. This high energy from both the band and the fans continued throughout the set, peaking during songs She Said and Flame – both singles from the album. It suggested that their lyrics particularly resonate with the younger generation, as the venue was filled with glitter-covered teenage girls who knew every word – particularly the case for new single, Happy Days, which provoked a very emotional reaction as eyeliner and mascara ran down faces.
All this was not lost on the band, who expressed their gratitude to their fans many times in between songs. During hit single Vivienne, Pollock came off the stage on to the barrier and held hands with as many people as he could. They even brought their own large balloons that were thrown into the crowd; often ending up back on stage, they made the small venue feel more like a festival.
Finishing with energetic single Loveblood – and plenty more balloons and a confetti cannon that covered everything and everyone in blue and white paper – Sundara Karma proved that a small venue doesn’t necessarily have to mean a small show. As most of the crowd will attest, youth can indeed be plenty of fun – and not just in retrospect.
Words & photos: Tabetha Parrick