Pumarosa / The Cluny, Newcastle | 30th of November

Pumarosa / The Cluny, Newcastle | 30th of November

Alternative band Pumarosa ignited our hearts at The Cluny as the Northern stop for the tour of their debut album, The Witch.

The venue was absolutely packed, and with good reason. Starting at 9:30, the band gave a short but satisfying set. Following more or less the chronological order of songs in their album to give a whole, rounded performance. From a slightly melancholic warm-up that is the song Dragonfly, the crowd had little preparation for the full-throttle track to follow, Honey. This didn’t faze the audience however, the packed venue bounced with each chord double-tap and each ride hit. And just like that, Pumarosa demonstrated what they’re about- an emotive yet technologically controlled sound, powered by eclectic lyrics.

Next up was the title track, an ambient other-worldly exploration that easily could’ve been sampled from a science fiction movie. An epic electronic current of sound, Pumarosa really let their craftsmanship shine with the subtleties of their rhythm sections juxtaposed with various atmospheric effects pedals, and of course lead singer Isabel Munoz-Newsome’s stirring vocal delivery. Although the London five-piece were demonstrative of each member’s individual talent in their own right, Isabel was very much the staple of the night. Her interaction with the audience was constant and natural, not to mention very well-received. Her stage presence was reflective of; and added to; the unique climate crafted through their sound. She was engaging and at times enchanting, all the while being full of emotion-fuelled commitment. She remained very happy and humble however, as did all members when on and off stage.

Deviating a little from the pattern, they next played Barefoot– a clean and palatable track with an upbeat rhythm section and Isabel’s bewitching vocal. When it got to crowd-favourite Priestess however, both the floor and the balcony flourished with excitement. From the apprehension extended by the atmospheric verses exploded the chorus, and with it a lot of pint-spilling among the crowd on the floor. This simple three-chord section could easily cement the track as a modern new-age anthem, and even from my awkward seating due the sheer volume of people I couldn’t help but feel a little excitement myself.

Pumarosa really did Priestess justice and then some, the song is ignited through their live performance. Recovering from which were tracks such as Red and Lion’s Den, staying true to the album’s alluring quality, whilst also throwing in the funkier aspects to their unique sound.

As the night drew to a close and the band started saying their goodbyes, the fired- up crowd barely let Pumarosa step off stage before starting the encore chant. To the current and undoubtedly also new fans’ delight, they swiftly happily obliged, and returned to do a punk cover. And so, the pint-spilling recommenced and the crowd got that satisfactory last bash about to end the night.

Overall, Pumarosa put on a thorough show that could easily be enjoyed across various genres of music lover. Their sound has many instances of light and shade, power and subtlety, and a spacey quality totally unique to themselves. They had quite a task on their hands with how well the album was produced, yet they gave their songs new leases of life and ejected something totally new and evoking in each. I highly recommend seeing Pumarosa for their sheer ability to better great writing with great performance.



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