After the booming success of their debut album ‘Youth Is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’ it’s about time for Sundara Karma to celebrate. Accompanied by friends Palm Honey and Will Joseph Cook, Portsmouth’s Wedgewood Rooms is the scene for a very glamourous Wednesday night.
The stage set-up, sprawling with balloons and the faint sound of noughties pop music playing, is a giant icing-filled cake away from being a children’s party. Entering the stage to Gwen Stefani’s ‘Hollaback Girl’, Sundara’s endlessly charismatic stage presence comes to life.
A frontman like Oscar Lulu is hard to find. Someone who is radiant both in terms of his stage presence and his physical appearance, Lulu makes the stage his playground- hips swaying in a way that could put Jarvis Cocker to shame, the passion for his own words is expressed in every way possible.
Sundara Karma’s homage to classic pop music continues as they play ‘one of their favourite songs of all time’. Although many of the audience members are too young to recognise the iconic opening of Luther Vandross’ 1981 hit ‘Never Too Much’, Sundara make it transferable. By the first chorus, the youngsters are convinced, waving and grooving in appreciation.
At every great gig there is a moment where the frontman steps away from the mic and allows the crowd to sing the words for them. The enthusiastic two-way rendition of ‘Flame’ is loud, energetic and dominating. Crowd pleaser ‘She Said’ also inspires a similar response , the audience fully immersing themselves in the passion whirling around the room.
Words by Hayley Millross