SUNDARA Karma returned to Manchester to perform their biggest headlining show to date at the Manchester O2 Ritz last night (September 22). Our entertainment reporter Abi White went along to see what the evening had to offer…

With support acts in the form of Joy Room and FREAK, the night was already off to a flying start, with FREAK managing to liven up the crowd prior to the headlining set.

Despite not being able to hear vocals at points in FREAK’s set, the Essex-born trio injected every bit of life into their somewhat ‘loud’ performance, with the singer of the band fuelling the excitement by embarking into the crowd to play guitar.

With the crowd pumped after FREAK’s performance, it was almost time for the Reading four-piece, Sundara Karma, to take to the stage.

After performing in Manchester twice this year, at both their headline tour at Gorilla and Dot to Dot Festival, the band have become notorious for their lively crowds.

As the heavily dominated teenage audience grew, the glitter-covered teenagers could only anticipate what kind of atmosphere was to follow.

The crowd didn’t have to wait long until a shirtless Ozzy Lulu embarked onto the stage, alongside band members, Haydn Ashley (drums), Ally Batty (guitar) and Dom Cordell (bass) before kick-starting their 12-track set with the hypnotising track ‘Indigo Puff.’

A song very relevant to many of the audience, ‘A Young Understanding’ played next, resulting in a pogo-ing effect and being the cause to what would be an evening of many mosh-pits.

The familiar track ‘Run Away’ played next, leaving no time for the lively audience to breathe.

The O2 Ritz had now become a hot box by this point, with humidity hotter than that of a foreign country.

Teenagers flailed around to the catchy choruses the band had showcased, before they proceeded to treat the audience to a new track off their debut album, which is set to arrive early 2017.

The track, ‘Olympia’, acted as a breather for some members of the audience, yet the young crowd still managed to appreciate the new track with yet another mosh-pit.

With front-man, Lulu also telling me earlier in an interview that the band were set to perform a cover on this tour, the crowd spiralled into a pleasantly-surprised funky frenzy, as the band played the Luther Vandross cover of ‘Never Too Much’.

‘She Said’, the band’s latest single played next, and it becomes clear that all of the band’s songs are a perfect representation of many of the audience members’ youth.

The lyrics provide many relatable situations to their fans, such as: “When all the drink has been drunk, when all the flirting has fumbled, then we might ask ourselves; should I have gone to the club?”

Their relatable lyrics, uplifting riffs and catchy choruses are most probably why the band attracts such a youthful, and happy audience.

Whilst in the crowd, it’s really obvious to see that people are really having the time of their lives at their gigs.

‘Deep Relief’, a new song off the upcoming album played next, and was the favoured track of the two new ones played during the evening, before an explosive finale followed.

‘Vivienne’ and ‘The Night’ played next, before the band closed their set with their liveliest track to date, ‘Loveblood.’

Closing their set with three beautifully-crafted tracks, the band really know how to work an audience with their stage presence and their abilities to write uplifting and anthemic tracks one after the other.

By Abi White

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