I got hooked on Karnataka a couple of years ago when they played as a support act at the Summers End festival. As happened to at least three bands I discovered that year, they promptly imploded. In the spirit of Steve Austin (or dolly), they've been rebuilt. And so I toddled along to their gig on Friday in Leicester.
Hayley, the new vocalist, is brilliant. Power, passion, and technically seems to absolutely nail it. I'm not a huge fan of female-vox as they can get a bit screechy (I'm all about delicate). But she's perfectly in tune, and didn't push her voice to painful limits.
Gathering Light material and older stuff sounded fab, really gutsy.
Guitarist was on fire for the older stuff
Sadly the Y theatre was too big for the number of punters, although having a doors time of 830 and the band turning up onstage at 840 seem to have caught some people out as more turned up about 20 minutes in.
There did seem a number of people upstairs, and most were buying CDs so hopefully not too damaging for the band.
Guitarist seemed out of tune, I'm all for bending notes, but the plan there is for them to resolve correctly - this seemed more of a problem for the new tracks, so maybe it's a work in progress.
The new tracks, they didn't grab me. Bits of the new stuff later in the set seemed better, but none had the hooks of Gathering Light. At times it all seemed a little AOR, not bad, just not grabbing me.
Sound was muddy and unbalanced. And this wasn't just me, ended up talking to a couple of other people who made the same comment. Ian's bass was very muddy, which was unfortunate as all the cool runs in their music got lost. Keys were also very low in the mix. To a certain extent
Overall, an enjoyable gig. I'll probably get the new album when it comes out (2013) to see how things improve in the studio. I was disappointed by the new material, but hey I'm more than happy to wander down for a gig. I'd recommend going along to the rest of the tour...details here.
And a sample :