PLAYING on the Main Stage at Reading Festival is a dream come true for one local band.
Sundara Karma, who hail from Pangbourne, Mortimer and east Reading, played the Festival Republic Stage at the rock and indie festival last year, and the BBC Introducing tent in 2014, but have been promoted to the main stage for this year’s outing, something frontman Oscar Lulu says is something they never imagined.
He said: “Playing the main stage is terrifying, but also really exciting. Reading is one of those festivals we went to as kids and we always said ‘One day we will be on that stage’ but we never thought it would actually happen.”
But at the age of 14 and 15, Oscar’s journey into music was looking rather unlikely as, by his own admission, he hated studying music.
He said: “I liked playing music but on my own terms, I didn’t like studying it at school, I thought it sucked all the fun out of it. My mum would tell stories about me climbing up onto the piano when I was a baby, but I’m not sure how much truth is in that. I certainly started playing when I was very young. Music was always around in my house, my dad wa a DJ so I grew up listening to all different genres.”
It is probably that eclectic upbringing that led to Sundara Karma being compared to the likes of Arcade Fire, Killers and Bruce Springsteen.
Oscar said: “It’s weird being compared to other artists, I try not to listen to things like that, we play what we like to hear and it just seems to work.”
When the band take to the stage on the Saturday of the festival, there are bound to be hundreds of teenagers in the crowd who will be watching and hoping, as Sundara Karma once did, of being in their shoes.
“I’d tell those kids not to rush anything,” Oscar said. “I’d tell them to really think about what kind of music they want to play, and what kind of band they want to be. It’s easy for people to tell you how you should be, but you need to be proud of the music you are making. Play everywhere and just stick with it, it will come together eventually.”
Sundara Karma play the main stage on Saturday, August 27. For more information visit www.sundara-karma.co.uk.
Reading Festival weekend tickets are £205 (plus £8 booking fee), day tickets are £59.50 (plus £7 booking fee). To buy tickets and to see the full line-up so far visit www.readingfestival.com.