Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
Karnataka have been on a bit of a UK tour since the beginning of April this year and on the 25th of June it was London’s turn to play host to them at the O2 Academy Islington. However, the London date was to be a bit more special than normal as it was billed that the band would be filming their performance for a future live DVD release.
Karnataka – Are a female fronted symphonic progressive rock group, who originally formed in 1998 by founding member Ian Jones (bass). They have four studio albums, the latest being ‘Secrets of Angels’ released in March 2015. With this album being Classic Rock Society Awards ‘album of the year’ and who also awarded them ‘best song’ for the title track, I knew that it was going to be a very good evening of entertainment tonight.
Before the band entered the stage they were introduced by a ‘friend of the band’ who told us that the event was being filmed and for us to sing our loudest and applaud loudly…Well I don’t really think that we needed to be told that as we would be doing that anyway!!..There was no support act tonight but instead the band perform 2 sets.
They opened the night’s performance with ‘Road to Cairo’ from the latest ‘Secrets of Angels’ album and followed this with ‘Poison Ivy’ also from the same album. I have to say sometimes I have a bit of a problem with female fronted groups in that sometimes the singers voice is just too high for me and I just cannot actually hear what they are singing, however Hayley Griffiths’ voice is not one of these and my word can this lady sing, what a super voice she has …(and I could hear what she was singing about!!..).She really does have a superb angelic sounding voice.
With Enrico Pinna (guitar) providing some beautiful sounding mini-solo moments throughout the evening, and with Cagri Tozluoglu (keyboards), Jimmy Pallagrosi (drums) and Ian Jones (bass) all doing their parts with such ease and grace… it really was a pleasure to watch their performance.
They finished their first set with ‘Twist of Fate’ before leaving the stage for a fifteen minute intermission and we were told to go and get some glow sticks from the merch stand as we would be needing them for their second set….They started their second set with ‘The Serpent and the Sea’ from the ‘Gathering Light’ album and this is where we needed to use our glow-sticks to sway in time with the music. It was a bit of fun to do and added to our participation in the night’s performance. They finished the second set with the title track from the new album ‘Secrets of Angels’.
The encore comprised of a super performance of ‘Kashmir’ by Led Zeppelin, where Jimmy had been waiting all night to finish off at the end with a big hit of his new gong that he had behind his drum kit.
I heard one gentleman at the end saying that he had been to over fifty gigs already this year, but this show was definitely his number one show for this year and I do have to say for a show with no effects, no pyro, no back video screen it was one hell of a show and whilst it may not end up being the show of the year for me, it will most definitely be in my top ten I’m sure.
1: Road to Cairo
2: Poison ivy
3: Talk to Me
4: Fairytale Lies
5: Moment in Time
7: Twist of Fate
8: The Serpent and the Sea
9: Because of You
11: Forbidden Dreams
13: Secrets of Angels
14: Kashmir (Led Zeppelin cover)