We caught up with one of the most exciting indie bands on the scene at the moment, Sundara Karma, at Kendal Calling this year to chat about their summer so far.
Warm Becks, glitter makeovers and a dry sense of humour pretty much sums up the time we spent with Sundara Karma in the midst of months packed with festivals and falafel.
Sundara Karma stormed onto an indie scene dominated by Artic Monkey’s wannabes last year with their sunshine-tinged basslines, captivating live sets and anthemic choruses, stapling themselves as one of the most exciting bands of 2015. Fast-forward to 2016 and the Reading quartet have continued to impress and are racking up an impressive following across social media, with the fangirls already flocking in.
This summer has seen Sundara Karma hit the festival circuit hard from Glastonbury to Reading and Leeds amongst the hidden gems. “Glastonbury was pretty cool. More so the after the show part. We couldn’t really enjoy the festivals we played on the Sunday’s because we had to look after ourselves over the weekend. It’s not so much the hungover part, we just didn’t have a tent. We just didn’t organise it really. Yeah, we’re very unorganised. I was a bit pissed off actually, it would have been a lot of fun. Maybe next year, we’ll go glamping next year.” It wasn’t just the huge festivals though, “Truck was wicked and YNot exceeded expectations. We’ve not been there before and we had falafel after the show which it was really good.” Great falafel is important when the band consists of two vegans, a vegetarian and a pescetarian: “We have hummus and crisps a lot, it’s not really proper food is it? You just end up feeling fat. Fat and disgusting!”
They’re starting to pull in the crowds following raving reviews online and the press tent at Kendal Calling was buzzing in anticipation for their set. “Someone lit a flare at Ynot, that was pretty courageous and Ali nearly got hit by a beer can. I don’t think it was thrown maliciously; I think it was just people like, it was a rowdy show at Ynot, someone got a bit too excited and threw a beer. Lucky it didn’t hit him — I just don’t know how you’d pull that off if you get hit by a beer can, on stage.”
Constantly getting descibred as ‘anthemic’ —“It’s cool isn’t it? it’s a great adjective” — the guys are the best people to ask which is the band to watch this year. “We went to a Father John Misty show in Camden and the support band was Khruangbin and the thing is we enjoyed them, perhaps more than Father John Misty simply because we were sober at that point. And then when Father John Misty came on we’d had like 10 red stripes and we cried and stuff. But luckily we were still sober when Khruangbin came on, or just about.”
If the guys aren’t wowing everyone onstage, they’re bantering on social media, much like the “announcement” of mini documentary, ‘Staring Straight Into The Sun’. “Well it was a joke. I don’t think many people got the joke. We’re quite um, dry with our sense of humour. Sometimes people just don’t get it. This is the classic, like sarcasm’s not really translated well written down. You’ve gotta be there to like, get it.”
When you’ve got over your heartbreak of the fake mini doc, their album ‘Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect’ has also been pushed back until January, but it actually works out better for the guys. “When the album does come out, we can say that it’s the best album of the year, so far.” You can pre-order it now on iTunes.
Their plans for the rest of the year? “Christmas, there’s always Christmas to think about. We can’t use the album as Christmas presents. Or maybe we can. We can’t do little teasers, we could give IOU’s.” Before that though, they are hitting the road with 12 UK dates lined up through September.
Make sure you catch the guys on their tour, you’ll regret it if you don’t- tickets are available here.
16 Sept – Heaven, London
18 Sept – O2 Academy 2, Oxford
19 Sept – Trinity, Bristol
20 Sept – O2 Institute2, Birmingham
21 Sept – Arts Club, Liverpool
22 Sept – O2 Ritz, Manchester
23 Sept – Liquid Room, Edinburgh
24 Sept – Riverside, Newcastle
26 Sept – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
27 Sept – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
28 Sept – Waterfront, Nottingham
29 Sept – The Haunt, Brighton