ONE year on from Sundara Karma’s first interview with Quays News, our entertainment reporter Abi White caught up with front man, Oscar Lulu, prior to their Manchester gig to see what kind of year the band had experienced…

Last speaking to the band at the small venue of the Soup Kitchen in the Northern Quarter and now speaking to Lulu at the O2 Ritz, that speaks for itself in how much the band have progressed in the last year.

“It’s been pretty wild!” Lulu began. “It’s been quite a step up in terms of it being a lot more busy for us I guess, the shows are a lot bigger and we’re not finding ourselves as bored as we used to be.”

However, this isn’t the first return to Manchester the band have had since our previous encounter.

They were also on the bill for Dot to Dot Festival and played a headline show at Gorilla.

“Gorilla was sick, absolutely mad! Every time we come back to Manchester it feels like we’ve stepped up a bit,” he added.

Alongside covering Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester, the band also covered a handful of festivals over the summer period, and Lulu told us of their highlights…

“Reading was so fun – Reading and Leeds was just great because we were on the main stage, it was so surreal!

“…But I got attacked by a wasp on stage at Leeds!”

He continued: “Glastonbury was so good too. We’d never been before and it was our first time and we partied pretty hard on the Sunday.

“We didn’t get our s**t together the whole weekend so we packed it all into one day, and I can confidently say we partied our socks off!” he laughed.

Secret Garden Party, YNOT Festival, Kendal Calling and Summer Well Festival in Romania were also hosts to the band this summer.

“We met The Neighbourhood at Summer Well and we were so drunk and I can’t really remember it… They we’re like “you guys are so British, you’re so drunk!”

“We probably embarrassed ourselves that night,” Lulu added, “but it was such a good night!”

With the festival season over, Lulu and the band’s focus is now purely on their autumn tour.

“We started off a few days ago in London at Heaven, which was such a wicked show…probably one of my favourites of all time,” he began.

“I think it was the best performance wise because the set list on this tour is one of the best we’ve ever had.”

With Lulu describing it as one of their best sets, I asked which songs he thought would go down particularly well at the Manchester gig.

“Loveblood is always a crowd pleaser, I think it’s to do with the fact that we always play it last too.

“We’re also playing a cover this tour (Luther Vandross – Never Too Much) and people have been going crazy for it and we love it too!”

Also playing two songs off their upcoming debut album in 2017, “Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect,” the anticipation of the album was discussed at great length…

“We’ve found a sound I think, it’s a collection of songs that we’ve all had since we were 14-years-old and we haven’t put a great deal of thought into it,” he explained.

“It’s not because we’re complacent about it, we just didn’t want to force anything. Debuts are supposed to point in a general direction, so we’re giving ourselves a lot more room to grow still.

“The less involved you can be when creating some songs, the better they become, just from my own experience.” He explained.

With an autumn tour and a debut album on the cards early 2017, we took time to reflect back on our last chat, where Haydn (drummer) was looking for love through Tinder.

“He has found love, but not through Tinder!” Lulu told.

“Unfortunately people won’t be getting free tickets to our shows through Tinder anymore though!” he laughed.

The band also told me at our last interview that they wouldn’t “party so hard” in 2016… but did they stick to that?

“Erm, was this at the Soup Kitchen?” Lulu appeared surprised.

“Well, we didn’t really stick to that,” he laughed, “since that show we have probably partied even harder, but now I think we might actually be at that stage where we will knuckle down!”

“Maybe in a few months time we can have another interview and we can say yeah, but now all I can say is we will try as hard as we can,” he joked.

And with a highly anticipated debut approaching and a 10/10 tour, it would be rude not to party, really…

By Abi White

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