Pumarosa at the Village Underground, Shoreditch, 24 October 2016

Pumarosa. The great space of Village Underground. Dramatically lit. Singer and guitarist is Isabel Munoz-Newsome. Second song was “Cecile”. The awesomeness of “Lion’s Den”. The dance beat of “Priestess”. A big sound, feels like a band destined for great things. There’s Siouxsie, PJ Harvey, Patti Smith, Wolf Alice in there. But that extra dance sensibility. I like the rockers best as it happens but their range could be a strength.


Last night Jon and I continued our follow up of festival highlights, Latitude this time, with Pumarosa at the Village Underground in Shoreditch. I’d not been there before, but what great space! An old warehouse presumably. A high ceiling, with skylights which must give it an airy feel during the day. The walls of bare brick, speakers hanging from high girders. Simple and spacious, perfect for some imaginative lighting.


And Pumarosa had that. Simple but dramatic. Singer and guitarist Isabel Munoz-Newsome has a bit of presence and the setting complemented that. She was looking a bit Goth last night (though dressed in white) until she let her hair down for the encore, so it all came together. The lights, the music, the presentation.

At Latitude, Pumarosa were first on the Sunrise Arena stage on the Saturday, my favourite spot In the Woods. But even in the early afternoon, their songs had a bit of that presence. An intriguing mix of guitars and dance beats. Indie and electro. Couldn’t help seeing a bit of Wolf Alice in them (and Ellie Rowsell in Isabel), but also plenty of Patti Smith and PJ Harvey. With those added dance sounds. A modern mix.

And last night, with an atmospheric setting, I was really impressed. It felt like they’d come on quite a bit since the summer. They had what I think of as a big sound. It filled the space. It was dynamic, confident, ambitious. I felt that I was watching a band destined for great things.


And in Isabel, they have a charismatic lead, who can sing, plays a rocking guitar, and enjoys a few dance moves. Indie yes, but then a bit more.


There’s no album yet, just a few singles, “Cecelia”, “Honey” and “Priestess”. “Cecilia” was one of the openers. Has a great melody and a Duran-Duran-meets-U2 guitar. “Priestess” was late in the show and is a bit of a dance beat epic live. But the highlight for me was “Lion’s Den”, a powerful, dark anthem that reminded me a bit of Savages as well as Patti Smith. Jon was getting Siouxsie and the Banshees too. Some combination! This was the song – “Priestess” too – that made me think, this band are going places.

It was all over in just under an hour, including encore. Quality, not quantity, at this stage. And enough to make their album, whenever it comes out, one I’ll be checking out with a lot of interest.

A big future beckons for Pumarosa.

Some more photos. Blurry, because when you are anywhere but the front the lights and movement make it so. But they still give a feel.









About John S

I'm blogging about the things I love: music, sport, culture, London, with some photos to illustrate aspects of our wonderful city. I’ve written a novel called “The Decision”, a futuristic political thriller, and first of a trilogy. I’m also the author of a book on music since the 1970s called “ I Was There - A Musical Journey” and a volume of poetry about youth, “Growin’ Up - Snapshots/ Fragments”. All available on Amazon and Kindle.
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6 Responses to Pumarosa at the Village Underground, Shoreditch, 24 October 2016

  1. Dood says:

    Interesting stuff, John. Your review tempted me to sample them on iTunes, and you’re right – it’s quite a compelling sound.

    Only those singles are available, as you say, but I was also getting PJ on one track, and Siouxsie on another. They’re well-crafted songs, and Isabel seems to have charisma. I agree that they could do well.

  2. dc says:

    Sounds good – I shall check out. Lots of bold predictions of future success for most of the bands you’ve seen recently John!

  3. Must check. And that venue looks very interesting.

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