Sundara Karma Live: A Cathartic Experience

It is fairly impossible for me to put into words just exactly what I experienced last night, but I’m going to try. Over the past few months, one band has come to mean more to me than I can say. That band is Sundara Karma. There has never been another band that I connected to on such an emotional level. When I can’t find the words, Sundara Karma find them for me. And last night, I finally got to see them perform.

The British rockers played to a packed room at Songbyrd Café in Washington, DC. The stage was lit by a backdrop of string lights, giving the appearance of a starry night. When Sundara Karma took the stage, I was overcome with a sense of elation. I was finally hearing the songs I love so dearly being performed live. Oscar’s unique voice rang throughout the room as he belted out the lyrics to the opening song, “A Young Understanding.” It was hard to see little other than the members’ silhouettes moving in the darkness, but I didn’t care. To be quite honest, I kept my eyes closed for the majority of the set, just letting the music wash over me and getting lost in the sensation of it. The crowd cheered loudly when Oscar led the band into “Flame,” fans singing along to the familiar tune. The highlight of the set for me was the performance of “Happy Family,” my favorite song. Tears came to my eyes as Oscar delivered the poignant lyrics with incredible emotion. The band closed their set with “Loveblood,” a tale of starcrossed lovers. 

As the band played their final note, I knew that this had been the best show I had ever witnessed. For me, it was nothing short of cathartic. Even though their set only consisted of eight songs, it left me on cloud nine, all of the stresses of the day gone. Oscar Lulu has the ability to pack more meaning into a three-minute song than other artists could ever dream of putting into an entire album, making Sundara Karma’s music my greatest comfort in life. Seeing them live only amplified that. If you ever have the chance to see them, just do it. You will not regret it.

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Gig Review: Joe Dolman

Featured Image via Joe Dolman

From singing Ed Sheeran covers on YouTube to taking on his own material, Joe Dolman is doing what he loves to do and that is very evident from his music.

Joe is in his final year at uni and is currently balancing his time between this UK tour which ends tonight in Sheffield and writing his dissertation at service stations.

I heard about Joe Dolman through Mandy who was sadly unable to make it to Joe’s London date. Luckily for me, however, his penultimate gig was in Leeds….shot gun there!

The gig which was due to take place at the Milo wine bar changed venue at the last minute due to unforeseen circumstances to the Fox and Newt. Fortunately as I was running early anyway I managed to hop on over to the other side of town with plenty of time to spare.

Lauren Rycroft was the first act of the evening and her gorgeously angelic vocals mixed beautifully with melancholy poetic lyrics.

Tiger Twins brought a rock element to the evening with an enthusiastic and hilarious set. Indeed their tale about being told that they were playing a gig at Milo that night was one of the comedic highlights of the evening.

Joe Dolman’s acoustic set included favourites such as “Learning To Fly” and “Addicted To You” as well as new song “Nervous” and I loved his ‘crisp’ vocals, gentle instrumental hooks and beautiful lyrics.

The low-point of the evening was actually the highlight as Joe experienced some technical problems with the speakers and the sound guys were called on to fix things. Cue the impromptu mashup-covers of Smash Mouth and Busted as well as story time from Tiger Twins.

Show Review: Bad Suns at the Underground

This past Sunday, Bad Suns returned to Charlotte, NC to grace the stage of one of Charlotte’s newest venues, the Underground. After waiting several hours in the cold, everyone was extremely relieved to be let into the venue. As the show was sold out, the venue was packed wall to wall with fans young and old.

From Indian Lakes opened the show, getting the crowd warmed up for the main event. Their set was followed by what can only be described as trance-like music, making Bad Suns’ entrance that much more explosive.

It’s been a pleasure to see Bad Suns continue to top themselves, constantly improving their live show. This one was easily the best performance I’ve seen from them. They opened with the title track from their latest album, “Disappear Here,” and Christo’s vocals were barely audible over the screams of the crowd. 

Bad Suns certainly know how to entertain a crowd, whether playing older fan favorites such as “Cardiac Arrest” and “We Move Like The Ocean” or newer tracks like “Daft Pretty Boys” and “Patience.” Every song was met with enthusiasm. Christo came into the crowd during “Sleep Paralysis,” leaving me clinging to the barricade as screaming girls tried to make their way to him. He stood on the barricade right beside me during “Rearview,” stepping on my elbow a few times and leaving me with some pretty brusies (not that I’m complaining). 

They closed the night with what is arguably their best live song, and one of my personal favorites, “Salt.” Christo reached out to the crowd one final time before making his retreat. Miles threw his drumsticks out and I was lucky enough to catch one of them. They left a crowd full of satisfied fans, just like they always do.

As I stood in the merch queue, I began to really think about their shows. From the beginning, these boys have been something special to me. For me, their shows have never been about their looks or trying to touch Christo or any of the superficial things that draw some people to their shows. It’s always been about the music. I’ll be quite honest and say that I keep my eyes closed during the majority of their shows. I just want to shut the world out and get lost in the music, and their shows are one of the few things that give me that escape. I leave their shows totally stress-free, something I can rarely ever say. For that, I will always be grateful to them. If you’ve never seen Bad Suns live before, it’s something you just have to experience for yourself. I’ll be anxiously waiting for the next time I am lucky enough to see Bad Suns again. 

Check out some of my favorite photos l took of their set Sunday night below.

Gig Review: Zach Lount

Featured Image via Twitter

On the 7th and 8th of March Zach Lount, front man of King No One, performed an acoustic solo piano (and guitar) set and I would be lying if I said that it didn’t bring tears to my eyes.

This was the first time that Zach had done this type of solo gig (although as I went on the second night, it was technically the second) and his nervous banter was evidence of this, yet the seasoned showman needn’t have worried as the room was full of die-hard King No One fans who were lapping up his every word.

The set included beautifully stripped back, acoustic versions of some of King No One’s best loved tracks including “Say My Name,” “Millennium” and the latest single “Antichrist.”

When it was released, “Antichrist” actually overtook Ed Sheeran’s entire new album on Spotify’s top 50 viral chart!

The acoustic tracks performed on either piano or guitar as they were originally conceived highlighted the rich musicality and profound lyrics. It was a huge privilege to hear my favourite KNO songs in this form…now there’s one to tell the grandkids!

Another highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the as of yet unreleased single “Supernova.”

Indie rockers King No One are one of the biggest ticket-selling emerging artists in the UK right now, having sold out many of their gigs on their two UK tours in 2016.  KNO take to the the road once again at the end of March.

The Hunna Prove They’ve “Still Got Blood” In DC

The Hunna, an up-and-coming band from the UK, recently embarked on their very first North American tour. One of the first stops was Washington, DC at DC9 on June 14th. Not knowing what to expect from this young band, the anticipation was high in the crowd. Would The Hunna live up to the hype around them?

Starting with the fan favorite single “You and Me” and ending with a new track to be released on their debut album, The Hunna wowed the crowd from start to finish. It is truly amazing to see a band perform with such raw energy to such a small room. I imagine they would perform with that energy whether they were playing to a room of twenty or to a sold-out arena.

Even after the show ended, The Hunna were gracious enough to meet all of their fans. If there is one thing that will help this band go far (and trust me, they WILL go far), it is the fact that there are amazing people behind the outstanding music. They were just as nice as anyone could hope for them to be. They left fans with the promise to return later in the year.

Check out the rest of their North American tour dates and make sure to catch them if they’re coming near you! Get tickets here.

The Hunna Tour

Image via The Hunna

You can pre-order their debut album 100, to be released August 26th, here.

The Hunna 100

Image via The Hunna