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Review: Spring King and Sundara Karma at The Shelter

Sundara Karma

by Angela Brooks

Can I just get it out of the way and say this: BBC Introducing did an incredible job with this lineup. All three acts, Spring King, Sundara Karma and Izzy Bizu, exceeded my expectations. Izzy Bizu led off the night by blowing everybody away with her soft, yet powerful voice. Spring King took the stage after her short set.

Spring King brought something to the table I haven’t seen lately: their lead singer, Tarek Musa, is also the drummer! Does anybody understand how incredibly difficult that is!? I was seriously impressed at how he didn’t miss a single beat or a lyric. Their album Tell Me If You Like To, was released on June 10th this year. That same month, Spring King became the first band to be played on Apple’s Beats 1 with Zane Lowe, a well-deserved break for their career.

Spring King are a 4-piece that hails from Manchester. They opened their set with “Better Man,” a fast-paced jam that included vocals from the whole band that gave us a glimpse of what was to come. They played their second song “Detroit,” for the first time in Detroit, which they mentioned they were all excited about. Spring King ended their only 30-minute set with “Rectifier”. It was the easiest song to lose your shit to. I did my best to start a mosh pit, but nobody else was into it. At the merch table, I tried to buy their album but they were sold out, so they gave me a shirt for free instead. Such great guys! I can’t wait for my next chance to see them play.

sundara karma
That damn pole…

The final act of the night was the long-haired 4-piece based out of Reading, England, Sundara Karma. I didn’t think lead singer Oscar Lulu could replicate his fluctuating vocals from the few songs I had heard before the show… Oh, but he did. Lulu’s voice reminds me of Freddie Mercury (highest of praise) or Eric Nally but with his own twist. It’s hard to describe, but it works brilliantly. He got to showcase his vocal range during the song “Flame,” which I thought was the best performance of the night.

With their debut album, Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect, not even out until January (!!!!) I was pleasantly surprised by how many people were singing along to all the lyrics. Sundara Karma only played six songs, but it was just enough to give us everything we wanted AND leave us wanting more. Their final song, “Loveblood,” was a different vibe than the rest of their set, but we loved it all the same. It has over a million plays on Spotify, and it’s easy to see why. It was the perfect song to conclude the night. Seeing Spring King and Sundara Karma play live in Detroit has made me a diehard fan of both of them. They need to tour again together. Seriously. There’s no doubt in my mind that anyone who sees their live show would fall in love with them as quickly as I have.

SETLISTS

Spring King:
Better Man
Detroit
City
They’re Coming After You
Mumma
Who Are You?
Tell Me If You Like To
Rectifier

Sundara Karma:
A Young Understanding
Olympia
Fleshbloom
Flame
She Said
Happy Family
Loveblood

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