It’s a stellar lineup at the expansive Alexandra Palace tonight, with up and coming Berkshire band Sundara Karma, Liverpool indie rockers Circa Waves and Irish heavyweights Two Door Cinema Club in tow, ready to play a mammoth show at one of the capital’s biggest venues.
First, Reading four-piece Sundara Karma – who recently sold out a UK tour that included a date at the iconic Shepherd’s Bush Empire – wow with a scintillating set. Opening with the ever-infectious ‘A Young Understanding’, the band quickly rouse the crowd with powerful riffs, earworming refrains and undeniable stage presence. Lyrics about the anxiety of growing up, mortality and life’s purpose are screamed back at them with a level of energy that defies their place on the bill. It’s something that’s most evident on highlight ‘She Said’, an anthem overspilling with hooks that features impressive drum work and a charismatic delivery from singer Oscar Pollock.
Circa Waves’ debut album ‘Young Chasers’ was so exceptional that any future efforts will inevitably lead to comparisons between old and new. The Liverpool quartet’s brand new single ‘Wake Up’ impresses this evening, but naturally the biggest reception is saved for their early work. First album lead single ‘T-Shirt Weather’ – the track that pushed them into the nation’s pop psyche – is rightly their finale tonight, providing a summery antidote to the bitterly cold weather outside. Looking around at the raving mosh pits and packed room, they are every bit worthy of their own headline slot here.
Tonight, however, this honour is bestowed upon Northern Irish trio Two Door Cinema Club, who launch into a setlist dominated with material from the album that put them on the map.
The fired up crowd are driven into a frenzy courtesy of four of their biggest songs from their debut LP, before the incredible break-up anthem ‘Changing of The Seasons’ and one of the finest moment of their third album ‘Bad Decisions’ leave their devoted fans in awe.
They slow things down mid-set, before picking up the pace again with standout hits ‘Something Good Can Work‘ and ‘Are We Ready? (Wreck)‘, which make for the perfect transition into curtain call ‘What You Know’. Their final song never fails to rouse and this evening these three minutes of indie pop bliss whip the audience into uncontrollable hysteria.
It’s a giddy conclusion to a set that moves seamlessly through their vibrant back catalogue – one that proves Two Door Cinema Club‘s merit as future headliners of the UK’s biggest festivals.