Festival preview: Sundara Karma at Leeds Festival

Sundara Karma
Sundara Karma
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The biggest festival in the north of England is once again looming on this month’s calendar, and with a line-up including Courteeners, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Biffy Clyro, it promises not to disappoint.

Leeds Festival’s 2016 line-up is one of its most eclectic yet, and one of the hottest breakthrough acts to take to the main stage for this year’s festivities is indie quartet, Sundara Karma. Their single Loveblood has been receiving endless airplay on BBC Radio 1, and the critics have been raving about this four-piece for well over a year, comparing them to the likes of U2 and Bruce Springsteen. This year, they have been given the prestigious slot of opening the final day of Leeds Festival on the main stage.

Sundara Karma seemed to spring up overnight, but as lead singer Oscar Lulu points out, this is far from being the case: “We’ve been together six years, nearly seven years now, actually. We all met through school, Haydn (the drummer) and I have known each other since we were eight and were even in bands with each other way back then.”

Playing Reading and Leeds Festivals are pretty substantial achievements for any band, but it holds a particularly special place in Sundara Karma’s hearts as the band actually originate from Reading. As Lulu puts it: “It means a bunch to us. We would go to the festival as punters when we were younger and joke to each other about playing there someday – the fact that we are playing the main stage this year is almost too much to comprehend.”

Summer may be over soon after Leeds Festival, but the work is just beginning for this band. Once festival season reaches its end, Sundara Karma are embarking on a nationwide-headline tour, and will be calling at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds in September. Lulu says they are more than ready to take on this string of dates. “(We are) very up for it. We love touring and it’s great spending each night in a different city, we’ve almost been to all the dark corners England has to offer and have fallen even more in love with the country and its people. There will always be a few outrageous debauched stories of drunken sloppiness, so I’m looking forward to the next handful of tales.”

The band’s chosen name is a very poetic and mystical curio, surely it must have some deep meaning. “It means Cheerios in Japanese.”

It’s a really nice mix of styles. We’ve got some straight indie bands, some ska bands, some punk bands, a lot of folk music as well. It’s a similar to the kind of bands that come and play at our gigs.

Sundara Karma play on the main stage at Leeds Festival on Sunday August 28. For details visit www.leedsfestival.com

Louise Distras. Picture: Neil Chapman

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