Live Review: Sundara Karma at Newcastle Student Union

Sundara Karma gave an electric performance at Venue!

Editorial Team
21st November 2023
Image Credit: Sam Norman
Sundara Karma had their first gig of the Better Luck Next Time tour at Newcastle University Student Union on 20 November, and crowds poured out to belt their indie rock and pop bangers.

Attendees were treated to two opening acts; the first, Ten Eighty Trees, an alternative rock band that gave the crowd an energetic performance to warm up. Following, Cat Ryan took to the stage to a quickly filling up Venue. The Courier managed to speak with lead singer Mary of Cat Ryan following their performance, the current Masters student at Newcastle University spoke of the excitement when asked to open for Sundara Karma last month, but also the chaos of juggling live performance and studying -- "I literally came straight here from a seminar." Cat Ryan gave a stellar performance, hyping up the crowd with hits of theirs like 'Mannerism.'

Sundara Karma shocked the crowd as they entered to the Barbie World remix to kick off the set - an unexpected yet entertaining surprise!

The band opened the set with their electrifying classic 'She Said' which hyped up an already excited crowd for their set. This was followed by a string of newer tracks from their Better Luck Next Time album, including 'Baby Blue,' 'Miss Again,' 'Pain + Pleasure,' and 'Friends of Mine.'

Weaved in between the tracks was the classic Ufilas Alphabet track 'Illusions.' The opening seconds of the track with the ad libs "yes, but what should I do?" instantly hyped up the crowd for the track.

A run of old nostalgic hits 'A Young Understanding,' 'Loveblood' and 'Olympia' gave a reminder to the crowd of what might have drawn them to the band in the first place. And later performances of hits 'Explore' and 'Greenhands' only reaffirmed this.

The band found a pleasant balance of blending the older classics fans wanted to belt out, whilst also introducing the Newcastle attendance to newer tracks. Closing their main set on 'One Last Night on this Earth' followed by recent track 'Sounds Good to Me' created a bubbling anticipation for the encore. As someone who attended the 2019 Ufilas Alphabet tour, I stood firm that topping the closing song of 'One Last Night on this Earth' back then would be a difficult challenge. Whilst I don't believe they may have topped it, the atmosphere created more than forged an amazing response from the Newcastle crowd.

Sundara returned for their encore with the title track of the new album Better Luck Next Time before finally finishing on the iconic hit 'Flame.' The band led an energetic performance for the crowd and it's fair to say the Newcastle audience will be eagerly awaiting their return!

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