Gig Review: Pumarosa @ Gorilla
Hot off the back of their debut album ‘The Witch’, London five-piece Pumarosa rolled into Manchester to play at one of the sweatiest and most intimate venues in town… Gorilla. They’re a band that has a real intensity and in front-woman Isobel Munoz-Newsome, the 4-piece have a talented songwriter and a magnetic live performance to boot.
Listening to an ‘indie band’ that actually challenges serious issues such as gender and sexuality is refreshing and they should be commended for it – they’re a prime example of why there should be more female-led bands about, and hopefully seeing bands fronted by such demanding women should spark more into the male-dominated industry. Pumarosa are re-writing the rules of what an ‘indie band’ should be which, in turn, makes them a lot more interesting than most bands under the enormous umbrella.
Musically, you can’t quite pin them down. There are moments when Pumarosa are funky and then there are moments when they are grunge-y. There are moments when Munoz-Newsome’s voice is almost operatic, and then there are moments when it’s punk-y. With so many musical twists and turns, as an audience member Pumarosa really take all of your attention with little effort – having genres and styles jotted about makes for a mesmerising performance as the band constantly keep you guessing. A stand-out from the gig came by way of their track ‘Honey’, reminding me of Skying-era The Horrors taken to another more melodic level.
It goes without saying that Pumarosa are a very cool band, there’s absolutely no getting away from that. Most indie bands I’ve seen about recently seem to be somewhat introvert on stage. However, Pumarosa have the confidence to attack each of their songs – they hold their own amongst the crowd and really dominate the stage. It was impressive to see just how accomplished the band are considering they’ve only released their debut album earlier this year.
As far as their live set goes, hopefully Pumarosa are set for a big run of UK festivals next year – if you get the chance to catch the band then I’d recommend grasping that opportunity with both hands. And as far as debut albums go, ‘The Witch’ is one of the most eclectic and interesting of the year. If anything is to be said about the future of Pumarosa, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how they evolve and build on their sound in the coming years – from a first encounter, I’m expecting big things.