Photo: Miguel Feurtado
Village Underground, London
October 24 2016
Words: Jess Sharrock
The East London five-piece seemed completely at home on stage in Shoreditch’s Village Underground venue last night. The sold-out show marked their biggest headline show to date, and they could not have been on better form.
Frontwoman, Isabel Munoz-Newsome took centre stage under an array of purple glowing lights, as her strong, haunting vocals echoed around the cavernous space of the former warehouse as she spins her way through 'Dragonfly', second dance groover single 'Cecile', and 'Honey'. She is a captivating watch, spending a significant amount of time dancing (her previous occupation) and whirling around, channelling a resemblance to a young Kate Bush or Patti Smith.
The Pumarosa sound is killer big with synth driven rhythms layered dexterously over able guitar riffs, and the electronic-indie vibe seems to please the eager crowd. Lyrically, it is just as complex and interesting as the sound itself; from 'Lion’s Den' with "it’s a lion’s den, and they treat you rough” refrain, to the entreaties of 'The Witch': "tell me I’m an animal and without you I’d be lost."
Photo: Jess Sharrock
With no album (as of yet), their set might have been relatively short at just nine songs, but they say it's quality not quantity that counts and with their well-executed, highly visual and entertaining set, no one was complaining. they played the well-known songs including
‘Priestess’, the song that set their musical ball rolling and tastemakers tongues drooling a year ago and which was written about Isabel's choreographer sister, comes at the end of their set, magnificently building up over seven minutes of ominous drones and pulsating rhythms to swirling sax-funk accompaniment - enhanced by a back screen of figures replicated the singer's movements. With a close-out on 'Snake', a crowd was left bewitched and charmed as if an hypnotic spell had been cast.
Pumarosa have already taken the music world by storm, and if tonight is anything to go by, they have no intention of letting up as they gear up to end one year, and embark on 2017 which must surely see their debut album emerge.