Pumarosa / Hare and Hounds, Birmingham | 4th of December

Pumarosa / Hare and Hounds, Birmingham | 4th of December

Pumarosa played to a packed Venue 1 in Hare and Hounds on Monday night, and showed Birmingham their experimental alternative style, nicknamed ‘Industrial Spiritual.’ The loud, lo-fi guitar riffs form the industrial side of things, while frontwoman, Isabel Munoz-Newsome’s ethereal vocals and dance moves made the night a somewhat spiritual experience, especially in the eyes of the fervent crowd.

The night started with support act VÏSTA, who had flown through his short, yet eclectic set before anyone fully realised what was happening. He set up the tracks on his laptop, and then performed a perfectly choreographed routine, with each track flowing into the next as one whole performance art piece. The choreography ranged from abstract movements with this back to the crowd, hunching over with his head in his hands, and spending an entire song jogging on the spot. His eccentric act ended with VÏSTA atop a ladder that seemed to come out of nowhere.

The weirdness and uniqueness of his act was a good set up for Pumarosa’s less weird but still unique performance. The band announced their arrival to the stage with literal fanfare, as their keyboardist played the trumpet while guiding the band through the crowd. The venue was packed and the audience were all in from the start. They began with the single Dragonfly which was atmospheric enough to create a dark but euphoric vibe that would last for the rest of the night.

Pumarosa are clearly a band that love performing live. Although the set ran smoothly and was well rehearsed there was still a raw, vibrant energy that kept the show exciting. Some of their songs even sound better in a live atmosphere, with the intense performance adding a whole new layer to songs like Priestess and Honey. Priestess in particular was a highlight of the night, with Munoz-Newsome inviting everyone to dance as they sang along to the anthemic chorus. Pumarosa’s frontwoman was impressive to watch as she performed with such passion that you couldn’t help but be drawn in. The crowd were completely under her spell, and their enthusiasm was matched only by Munoz-Newsome’s as she danced around the stage.

While most of the songs fit their alternative rock label, there are varied influences that come into play when you hear them live. Funk and disco aspects could be heard in many of the tracks, which made them easy to dance to, not that the crowd needed much encouragement. Highlights included the torch song Lions’ Den, Barefoot and a cover of Hothouse by The Sound which was a pretty big departure from their own sound, but they added poppy vibes which clashed nicely with their usually dark and moody atmosphere. Pumarosa played with a flair and intensity that remained throughout the night, proving that they are a band worth seeing live, because their songs just sound better when you are completely immersed in their unique, atmospheric vibes.

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