Vh1 & The Humming Tree Present: Blackstratblues & By2Blues

After inching through two and a half hours of traffic (why do I bother even talking about this problem any more in B'lore?), I finally made it to the Humming Tree to catch By2Blues opening the evening for one of my favourite bands from Mumbai, Blackstratblues. This is the third time I'm seeing By2Blues play live. This band is a classic example of how you don't need fancy electronics and (no pun intended) all that jazz to put up a good show. Keeping it simple the band had a healthy mix of covers from Eric Clapton, CCR and other crowd favourites along with some own compositions. The band had Shalini Mohan (from Lagori) accompany them on bass; and set the mood perfectly for Blackstrat Blues to take over the rest of the evening.







Starting off proceedings with The Happy Billy Song, Blackstrat Blues had the crowd screaming out requests from the first note. The audience were privy to some new material including a soft ballad titled Northstar which Warren dedicated to the missus; and a very trippy untitled number whose bass a drum riff were absolutely trippy and addictive. I could probably listen to just those two instruments playing that groove in isolation and not be bored. There was also a tribute to SRV and the band’s take on 12-bar blues (Check out my Instagram feed for a sneak peek)







The band powered through popular hits like Anuva's Sky, Folkish Three and The Universe has a Strange Sense of Humour. Having seen Blackstrat Blues perform for the seventh (or eighth ) time, it's very clear to see that the band have become really comfortable with one another, joking around between songs and having a good time playing with one another. Warren Mendonsa himself has become relatively verbose and spent a good amount of time between songs talking to the audience and sharing stories rather than rushing through the name of the song and the occasional thank you. That being said, he should never sing 'Sultans of Swing'. (An inside joke with the band that I didn't quite follow beyond the fact that it had something to do with a gig in Mumbai with Zero)





Talking about how he was inspired by The Beatles' song Here Comes the Sun, Warren moved into the penultimate song of the evening, Ode to a Sunny day followed by a very smooth transition into Renaissance Mission, the last song for the evening. This was yet another stellar gig from the band. Going by all the new material that was played, I’m looking forward to the next album whenever it’s out. 

Windoze at Bflat

In the post below are some of the pictures I took of Windoze, who played at Bflat in Bengaluru. The band were joined on stage by special guests, Ananth Menon and Vasudev Prabhu from By2Blues, and Sylvester's fellow 'The Stage' contestant, Rupin Pahwa. 

















IndieMarch - Day 2

Day 2 of the IndieMarch festival offered another stellar line-up of bands. I walked in just as All the Fat Children had started their set. They definitely sounded a lot better than when I had seen them live for the first time late last year during the ‘Bangalore plays for Chennai’ gig. Heavy riffs and top notch energy on a sultry afternoon in Bangalore had a few folks reluctantly venture out of the shade of the trees to come up front to the stage. This band surely knows how to entertain a crowd with relatively easy to remember lyrics and familiar riffs. 

All the Fat Children

All the Fat Children
Right after the Fat Children was one of my all-time favourite bands – Parvaaz. The last time I had seen Parvaaz play was at a festival that had less people in the audience than I have toes. This eventually resulted in a lacklustre set. But today was a whole new day and the band delivered one of their best performances despite the sound from the adjacent stage creeping in. Folks present go to listen in to some of their newer material. Everyone who stood with me right on the barricade knew every word to every song (except the new ones) and unabashedly sang along.

Parvaaz

Parvaaz

Parvaaz

Parvaaz

Parvaaz
As I waited for THE band of the evening that I had come out to check, I caught a song from Dualist Enquiry and some from Agam, who seemed to be struggling to keep key and tempo thanks to the noise…yes, noise from the adjacent stage where The Cosmic Dead were playing. I’m not sure what sort of music it was that band played, but it wasn’t pleasing to my ears. Probably the only dark spot in the line-up for me.

Dualist Enquiry
Pangea! There really isn’t anything I can say about this band that hasn’t been said before. Powering through a tight set of all their classic songs including Women can’t Behave on buses to Epson Printer, and closing with Final Flight and a tribute of sorts to Creed with ‘Bread of Shame’. One of my friends who heard the band, and possibly heavy music of this nature for the first time was mesmerized and asked me where he could get their music. Pangea, time for that album we’ve all been waiting for!

Pangea

Pangea

Pangea

Pangea

Pangea

Pangea

Pangea

Post the high-intensity gig by Pangea, I caught the last few songs from Avial, another of my favourite bands. Didn’t miss Nada Nada and Chekele, paisa vasool! I wasn’t too keen on seeing 65 days of Static, the closing act for the festival, purely thanks to my discomfort with most of the post rock/math rock scene. But I am happy I stayed and saw the gig. The band was quite alright and the gig was high on energy. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m a fan, but I wasn’t disappointed.

Avial

Avial

65 Days of Static

65 Days of Static
IndieMarch 2016 offered the best line-up of bands to suit everyone’s indie needs. Barring a few areas around the variety of food and extremely-over priced liquor and mineral water, the gig was top notch and sets the ground for becoming India’s biggest indie gig. And with names like Colour Haze on the roster, it’s a matter of time before this particular music property becomes something of a cult-event. Kudos to the folks from Counter Culture for putting this together.

IndieMarch 2016 - Day 1

IndieMarch was back bigger and better than ever! And Day 1 did not disappoint. I’ll be quite candid in admitting that I was looking forward to Colour Haze play live from the day I bought my tickets. But all the acts in the build up to the stellar set from Haze were fabulous. The F16’s have gotten a lot tighter in terms of their sound and stage presence since the last time I saw them at NH7. A few of the songs were new to me as I’ve not been keenly following the band, but this gig was their best that I’ve seen. Diarchy, one of the new acts I heard at the NH7 Weekender last year didn’t disappoint, barring a broken snare drum which cost them some time and caused some of the folks who were hearing them for the first time to walk away and check out the other acts. Probably a little more focus in terms of occupying such blank spaces could help this two-piece stoner rock outfit with their stage presence, something the likes of Amrit from Live Banned never had a problem with. That entire bit aside, what the band should probably take away was the fact that despite the technical glitch, Stefan Koglek from Colour Haze stayed and watched the band throughout their set.


F 16s

Diarchy

Stefan looks on as Diarchy plays




I caught the last song of AsWeKeepSearching, dressed in black (almost like techno DJs). As the sun set and we waited to check out the Manganiyar Seduction, we caught some of the songs from the gig by Parekh and Singh. At this point, all I can say is interesting sound and I’d like to check out some more songs of theirs before I can (or should) pass judgement. The Manganiyar Seduction, riveting as always, though lacking in terms of the energy that was there in the previous gig of theirs. 

AWKS

AWKS

AWKS

Parekh and Singh

Manganiyar Seduction
The penultimate act for the evening was by one of my favourite indie bands, Skrat. Another systematic high-energy set from the band… it’s almost second nature to them now. I’m yet to see them have an off-day.

Skrat

Skrat

Skrat

Finally, at a little past 8:30 in the evening, the band everyone who was at this festival was waiting to see took stage – Colour Haze. Playing songs from across their arsenal of albums, the band was one of the tightest I’ve seen. (German engineering I guess). Haze powered through an almost 90-minute set that left the crowd wanting more. I still can’t recollect how I came across this band a couple of years ago. And they weren’t on my list of must-see bands as such, but it was an absolute joy to watch them play live.

Colour Haze

Colour Haze

Colour Haze

Colour Haze

Colour Haze


Colour Haze

Blushing Satellite at BFlat Bar, with opening set by Tea & Snacks

I had heard about Blushing Satellite towards the end of 2015, and knowing the credentials of the band members, I was keen to catch the band perform live after checking out their three-piece self-titled EP. As luck would have it, the band played at the BFlat bar this weekend. This was one gig I did not want to miss. The gig started almost an hour late, and opening for Blushing Satellite was Tea and Snacks

The three-piece band comprises of singer-songwriter Mana Contractor, guitarist Vijayganesh Panchandhan with drummer Navneet Rao. The band stuck to their own 'jazz meets pop' version of popular songs from artists like Sting (Roxanne) and Ray Charles (Georgia on my mind). While Mana's vocals lingered around the higher octaves, the part that made me cringe a little bit were the backing vocals that weren't able to match. That being said, the set was enjoyable. Hopefully we'll get to see some original songs from this band before one can pass judgement.

Tea & Snacks

Tea & Snacks

It was a short break before Blushing Satellite took the stage with the usually reserved and serious Ramanan Chandramouli requesting folks to try and truly experience the music rather than spend time on their cellphones or talking among each other The band immediately got down to business playing songs like Flow, Rhythm and You before closing the set with songs off their debut self-titled EP with Finders, Arul and one of my favourite tracks - Maya

Blushing Satellite

Blushing Satellite


Arjun Ramdas

An audience with some of the best musicians of B'lore looking on

Blushing Satellite are a tight band that need to loosen up. Executing song after song like clockwork, barring a few technical glitches in between, all the members of the band are extremely serious on stage. But if that's what it takes to put together the kind of music they've made - so be it. The music of the band doesn't fall into any strict genre and grabs at elements of jazz, electronica, grunge and much more. Blushing Satellite are clearly out here to bring a completely new sound to the scene. You'll either love it or not at first listen. 

Karthik Basker

Deepak Raghu

Ramanan Chandramouli

Comprised of Karthik Basker on vocals, Arjun Ramdas on bass, Deepak Raghu on drums and guitarist Ramanan Chandramouli, Blushing Satellite came together in May 2015 and have been making quite the mark for themselves in the independent circuit. The highlight for me was the absolutely impressive work on the bass by Arjun. Overall, it's a joy to see a band bring a new sound and style to the scene, and that too one that makes you want to go back for seconds. Do catch the band at their next gig happening later this week on the 12th of February at The Humming Tree.

PS: Please do not use the pictures on this blog without authorization from yours truly

Control Alt Delete 9.0 - Nine bands, one great evening

I'm writing this post after almost a fortnight after the gig happened, but better late than never. The renowned DIY gig Control Alt Delete moved cities to Bangalore for its ninth version. Held at The Humming Tree in Bangalore on the 16th of January, Control ALT Delete 9.0 gave audiences what I personally believe was the best line-up I've seen at an indie gig in quite some time. Upping the ante from last year and brought together nine bands for what was a spectacular evening of indie music.

When the gig began at 5 pm, the venue was already packed with over a 100 people, and this number just grew through the evening till eventually the venue could take no more people. Unlike a lot of other gigs, the audience didn’t comprise of just the usual gig junkies like yours truly or friends of the bands playing who leave once the gig was done. I found myself next to a trio of women who didn’t know any of the bands, but stood rooted front and center from start to finish, very enthusiastically asking me about the band and the songs they were playing. 

This was the crowd at 5 pm for the first act of the day. Sriram TT from Skrat and Tails on Fire is a total scenester checking out all the bands with the crowd.
The first band up on stage was Bangalore's only band on the roster, RushLed. Relatively new to the circuit, the band had original numbers to present. A clear case of nerves was evident throughout the performance but kudos to the band for standing and delivering. This act was followed up by the Chennai rock outfit - The Broadway Addicts. Presenting material from the debut, No Act along with old-school punk from bands like the Stooges, this three-piece outfit really got the evening rolling. A lot of folks who I spoke to agreed that while the band sounded great, the long silent intervals between songs where the vocalist was either drinking water or saying something utterly pointless was a tad annoying. Great sound nonetheless.

Rushled

Rushled

Rushled

The Broadway Addicts

The Broadway Addicts

The Broadway Addicts

The Broadway Addicts

I'm not the biggest fan of the post-rock genre and very few bands have put together material that makes me want to listen to it over and over again. Unfortunately, the third band of the evening Mushroom Lake isn't one of those bands. Unfortunately, most of the band sat down or stood rooted to the spot. It was evident that after the cracker of a set from the previous band, this was the band a lot of people chose to step out for a smoke, take their loo breaks or grab something to eat. The music didn’t do enough to match the mood that had been set in the evening. Bringing the house down was the high-energy riot-inducing band Punk on Toast who got the mosh pit going for the evening. Staying true to the punk rock theme of being angry, with everyone from the BJP to Salman Khan, Punk on Toast had everyone screaming and head banging. 

Mushroom Lake

Mushroom Lake

Punk on Toast

Punk on Toast

Punk on Toast
Following them was Aswekeepsearching who're all the rage in the post-rock scene right now. What sets the band apart from a lot of their peers in the genre is aggressiveness and heavy drumming (which is why I like this band) which is sorely missing with bands who tend to have long-winding seemingly never ending repetitive notes being played. The crowd was treated to a special guest appearance from Sunneith Revankar of Bhayanak Maut fame (all hail!!!) on AWKS closing number B-303. Making his Bangalore debut, Achint Thakkar's self-titled act played his version of alternative-electronic music from his debut album Shalimar. While a lot of the purists frowned on the excessive dependency on backing tracks and samples, they ignored the good work being done on the bass and violins. All this didn't stop Achint from putting together a set that had everyone in the house dancing away. I thoroughly enjoyed the groove and was dancing myself. (Shocking! Do not tell my friends that I dance, I'll never hear the end of it)

Aswekeepsearching

Aswekeepsearching

Aswekeepsearching

Sunneith from Bhayanak Maut helping out Aswekeepsearching on a B-303

Achint

Achint
Bringing in some old school waltz and jazz influenced music was Delhi rocker's Peter Cat Recording Company. who played a lot of songs from their older material. They were followed by the other Delhi-based band of the evening - Superfuzz. While I had heard some of their music post them winning Channel V Launchpad way back in 2007, I had never seen the band play live. So expectations were high. What started out with new old-school garage rock tunes such as 'Future Baby Mama', the band soon moved into a disco-esque vibe (very reminiscent of the kind of music Ganesh Talkies are doing) with ' Message from the Stars', and got the entire venue dancing away. Bands like Superfuzz and Achint proved that live acts can still get people to dance and go crazy. (PS: I danced to this band's music also)

PCRC

Superfuzz

Superfuzz

Superfuzz

Superfuzz
The closing act for the evening was from one of my favourite bands, Skrat. Kicking off with my favourite, 'Shake it off', the band powered through their wildest set ever with stuff from both their previous albums and introduced audiences to 'Wake up', a song that would feature on their next album, Bison, out some time this year. The crowd had gone chaotic with mosh pits and other bands crowd surfing and bringing back all the rowdy scenes of live acts we've grown up seeing in the bygone era of MTV. I did have to tolerate the girls next to me gushing over front man Sriram TT. Otherwise, it was among Skrat's top three best gigs I've been to.

Skrat

Skrat

Skrat

Skrat

Skrat

Skrat
Control Alt Delete 9.0 is the finest example of "where there is a will, there is a way"! And a big slap in the face of all these new acts who complain that there's no "scene" in India and that EDM has taken away the crowds. The independent music movement is still alive and kicking, and sometimes moshing. All you need is good music, and people will come to listen to you. The nine bands that played this evening at a gig that had absolutely no corporate sponsorship is an ode to that. Kudos to the organizers and the bands!

Note: All the pictures are my property, so don't use it without prior permission.


Gig Review - Thermal and a Quarter, opening act - Mad Orange Firework, Blue Frog, B'lore

You read it right, Bangalore finally has a Blue Frog. The venues in Mumbai and Pune are known to be the hotbeds of live music acts and introduce audiences to new bands and artists. This particular Friday at the Blue Frog saw it’s first ‘Rock act’ take the stage. The evening featured Bangalore’s veterans – Thermal and a Quarter, with the opening act by Mad Orange Fireworks.

Mad Orange Fireworks
Mad Orange Fireworks is one of the few bands in Bangalore, whose gig I have never managed to catch. While I’ve seen Michael Dias play solo, I’ve actually never seen the band play live. This three-piece act got off to a slightly slow start and the audience seemed to be getting restless. While the sound itself was not bad, and I do enjoy listening to their album, something was amiss in this gig. If I had to guess, I would say it was probably the set list. 

Mad Orange Fireworks

Mad Orange Fireworks

Mad Orange Fireworks

A venue like Blue Frog demands that one comes darting out of the stable, but Mad Orange Fireworks seemed to have gotten themselves off to a slow trot instead. The dedicated fan base was in awe and the band itself was tight and sounded pretty close to the album. Having heard their sound, I’m going to write this gig off as a slow-night with a tough-crowd. I look forward to the next gig to see if it was just a question of stars not aligning and what not, because no one gets as far as Mad Orange Fireworks has by sounding poor. More up tempo numbers the next time at the start maybe?

Mad Orange Fireworks

Putting aside some technical trouble with the monitors, Thermal and Quarter came blazing out the stable and kicked off their set with Like Me from their latest album. Almost immediately, the crowd were upfront and grooving to the music. The band went on to play a whole bunch of songs from  their repertoire of albums and some excellent covers.

TAAQ

TAAQ

TAAQ

Despite having his electronics go a bit wonky on MEDs, Bruce Lee Mani powered on to get everyone grooving in the house. The Daft Punk covers were fabulous and literally got everyone in the house dancing and head banging. There were also some very neat covers by Steely Dan and JJ Cale. The band also called on Tony Das to help out on guitars and powered on with Paper Puli, Meter-mele-one and a half , How Can I get your groove and Drunk.

TAAQ

TAAQ

TAAQ

The crowd really lost it when Bruce and Tony decide to have a bit of a duel on the lead bits. Overall, it was another stellar gig by TAAQ. The great part about having a ton of original compositions and super covers under one’s belt is that you can play around with the set list a fair bit and always have something new to show. TAAQ did just that; and despite the extended deadlines for venues to stay open on weekends, the crowd wanted more of the band.

Gig Review: Skrat and As we keep searching, 2 Stroke Tour @ Indigo Live

I’ll be quite honest in admitting that I was at this gig, the 2 Stroke Tour, predominantly to see Skrat who are one of my favourite Indian bands. There has been a lot of noise about the post-rock outfit from Ahmedabad, ‘As we keep searching’ (AWKS), who opened the gig for Skrat. Call it old school mentality but I’m not a big fan of the post-rock genre in general. I find the licks to be a bit repetitive in nature and is not something I would listen to by itself. I do however find most post-rock sounds to be well-suited for background scores of good modern cinema. That being said, AWKS didn’t do anything to change my opinion of the genre.

AWKS
The band does have high energy and has garnered a small fan base that will keep growing with the popularity of the genre in India. A Rolling Stone article named Bangalore as the unofficial capital of post-rock in India. This sort of held true with the near full house that had turned up for the gig and were head banging away. The sound of the band is a lot heavier than a lot of the other bands in this space. I attribute a lot of that to the drumming which was precise and heavy, and was the one big positive I would take away from this particular gig. 

AWKS

AWKS
I would have to call out one thing that did not sit well with me, which was the band’s post-rock cover of Avial’s  Aranda. Personally, to me it was definitely a chapter in the book of ‘How not play covers’. That aside, I’m neutral on the sound of the band overall, but a big thumbs up for the drumming.

AWKS
Skrat – need I say more? This particular gig of Skrat was the last gig of their 2Stroke tour with As We Keep Searching who was the opening act. Besides that, this was the last gig in the city with Satish Narayanan on bass for Skrat. Sats has decided to part ways with the band and move to Canada to pursue the great Indian dream of doing an MBA abroad. Almost all the regulars in the Bangalore scene had turned up for this gig. 

Skrat

Skrat

As always, Skrat delivered a high energy performance with the crowd going nuts and mosh pits erupting towards the end. Playing a healthy mix from all their albums so far, the band once again brought down the house. There really isn’t anything I can say that hasn’t been said before.

Skrat

Skrat

Skrat


We’re all looking forward to whom would replace Sats on bass and wish them all the best in continuing the Skrat journey. A big thanks and best wishes to Sats for all the gigs.

Gig Review: Agam, at HRC B'lore

Last Thursday saw the Carnatic-progressive Rock outfit Agam play at the Hard Rock Cafe in Bangalore. I've been a big fan of the band and their music from the very first listen. More importantly, so is my mother owing to her passion for Carnatic music. She was upfront and center when Agam played at another venue in the city and is a big fan of theirs. Unfortunately, she couldn't make it to this gig. I was looking forward to some 'mother-son-bonding-over-rock-music' time.

When I reached the venue, there was a long line of people waiting outside that went around the corner of the HRC building. The last time I saw such a crowd for a gig was when Indian Ocean played here about four years ago. After purchasing a rather over-priced beer ( Rs.500+ for a Corona), I managed to find a spot in the jam-packed gig area. 




The band started almost on the dot as scheduled with Brahma's Dance and moved on to other crowd favourites. The band also gave us a preview into some of their new material and played two of the crowd favourite covers with Dil Se and Aaromale. The gig ended with their Coke Studio hit Malhar Jam. The energy in the crowd was great and this helped the band really improve their performances. Everyone in the band have become far more confident on stage as a unit and as individuals. The sound at the HRC has always been unpredictable, and was a bit of a let down this time considering I've heard Agam at other venues play a similar set list and sound way better. The sound of the drums was off and flat at times. HRC also needs to get some better lighting which has pretty much been the same ever since they've opened.






A good performance, but nowhere close to the last gig of theirs I had been to at Counter Culture. That was the best gig where the sound, light, the audience and everything else worked in the bands favour. Eagerly awaiting Agam's next album.


Gig Pix: Bryden-Parth at Starbucks

As part of a Starbucks event to promote musicians, I was invited to cover Bryden-Parth. For those of you who dont know about them, Bryden Lewis was the guitarist for the Raghu Dixit Project (Until a month ago) and is currently the guitarist with Slain, while Parth Chandiramani is the flautist for the Raghu Dixit Project. Both these musicians have come together to create a stripped down act (currently accompanied by Joel Rozario from Solder on percussion) where they’re currently focussing on creating medleys of popular songs ranging from the Backstreet Boys to Avicii. 

This act was formed as a stress buster from the other more intense mainstream gigs that they individually work on and is aimed at giving them an avenue to write original material. The choice of going with a stripped-down approach was to focus more on having fun. Bryden commented,” With this approach we’re doing multiple things like Parth going beyond the flute to play keys and saxophone. And I’m looking after vocals which are a big challenge for me. This gives us room to push ourselves.”





While original music is the intent, the band’s set list right now focuses on covers. As the band explained, the reason for starting off with this was easy because they were playing these songs at parties for friends and family in any case. While the band did not rule out an album, their current focus is to write more original material. “Given everyone’s packed schedules, we’re not sure on a date for the album. Right now, this is just a big stress buster for us.” said Parth. 



This particular gig had a special guest from Mumbai– Siddarth Basrur. Anyone who has been in the indie scene knows the vocal range of Siddarth. I’ve personally been a big fan of his since his Goddess Gagged days and cannot wait to see what he brings to the party with Scribe. As someone who still has dreams of being a rock journalist, this gig is something that would go into a memoir for sure. After performing a couple of songs from his other act – Last remaining light, Siddarth and the band sang Stay from his Chasing Rain album. We suddenly had a flash choir join him. This turned out to be his proposal to his long-time girlfriend. I’ve only seen such things in the movies; this was the first time I’ve actually seen this live. She said yes.




The audience at the gig was made up mostly of friends, family and faces familiar to the band. It’ll be interesting to see if they do take this particular act on the road with some original material



Gig Pix: Ode to the Blues 2015, Counter Culture (Pt.3 of 3)

The penultimate act for the evening featured a very interesting performance by Madou Sidiki Diabte from Mali. Madou played a very interesting instrument called the Kora which had some 21 strings, all played by using just two fingers on either hand. While it was musically very soothing after heavy-ish gigs, I'm not too sure how it fit into the blues theme. But then again, I might just be being overly critical.



The final act for the evening was one of my favourite bands, Soulmate. As always stellar performance from Rudy on guitar and a mesmerizing vocal act by Tipriti who is one of my fav Indian female vocalists. They were joined by Rick Payne and Madou towards the end of the set for a very interesting jam session that made me really enjoy how Madou's Kora blended in with Rudy's electric guitar and Rick's acoustic guitar. It was the perfect end to an evening of blues.

It's going to a tough task to top this year's OTTB by the folks at Counter Culture, but I'm sure they're up to the challenge.












Gig Pix: Ode to the Blues 2015, Counter Culture (Pt.2 of 3)

Back to the outside acoustic stage, we had a clean set by our two esteemed foreign guests. Rick Payne started off the set with his version of the Rolling Stones classic 'Because I used to love her'. Three songs in and he was joined by Steve Treble. The duo put on on a very neat acoustic set that to me was one of the high points of this year's festival.





Next up on the main stage were Bengaluru veterans, Ministry of Blues. I was a bit disappointed with their set because it seemed very similar to the set from last year's edition. Tight gig nonetheless, but nothing really new that brought the wow factor.






Post a brief acoustic set by By2 Blues, we had stalwarts of Bengaluru's blues scene, Chronic Blues Circus take the main stage. They were accompanied by Steve Treble on lead guitars who kept profusely sweating and complaining between killer riffs about how his strings kept getting detuned due to the weather.








Gig Pix: Ode to the Blues 2015, Counter Culture (Pt.1 of 3)

The Ode to the Blues was back this year at Counter Culture with a bigger line up. While the number of people seemed to be way more than the venue could handle, there was absolutely no trouble whatsoever.

I arrived a little late. The first act I caught was The Hoodoo Gas. I've seen videos of them before, and have seen lead vocalist and guitarist Ananth Menon play with other acts. Here are some pics from the tight gig they pulled off.







The next act on the acoustic stage was White Mug. While I've heard of them before, I've never seen them perform live. While the acoustic set wasn't strictly a blues set but more of an alt rock set, Mathew on vocals was quite lively and kept the crowd going.





Back on the main stage, we had Windoze who put up a tight set with a very memorable rendition of the James Brown classic ' I feel good'. 









Gig Review: Pepsi MTV Indies Featuring Parvaaz, Prateek Kuhad and Opposite Sex at the Humming Tree (Pt.2 of 2)

The final band for the evening was Parvaaz. I am extremely proud of this band, they're one of those bands that has matured so fabulously and are growing with every gig. It’s evident that the more shows they’re doing, the more they learn and improve their performance and sound.  I remember seeing the band play a few years ago and Khalid (lead vocals and rhythm guitar) came across as this very shy and reserved person. This evening’s gig has shown how fabulously he’s grown as a front man. He’s freer and more comfortable on stage and handles the audience fabulously. I won’t even start to write about how fabulous his voice is. There was this one point where the vocal mic went kaput, but Khalid shrugged it off and got to get the audience to sing along. I don’t think anyone even noticed and felt it was a part of the act. 





Kashif and Fidel are absolutely rock solid on guitar and bass respectively and have become a lot more confident with their presence on stage. From their earlier gigs where they were more or less rooted to the spot, they’ve learnt to use the real estate on the stage and get the crowd going. Sachin on the drums was brilliant as always. There was a point when Khalid introduced him to the audience and everyone went ‘Sachiiiiiiin….Sachin….’  One of the high points was this little nifty bass and drum piece by Fidel and Sachin that got everyone really crazy.




The band played the title track from their latest album Baran and mixed it up with some of the older material from their previous EP with Marika and Itne Arse ke Baad and more songs. We also got to listen to some of the new material that the band has been working on in the studio. They’ve truly embraced the psychedelic vibe. One of the new songs sounded like something Gilmour would have written.



I always go back delighted from a Parvaaz. The way the band and the individual members are growing, they’re on their way to become a monumental part of India’s rock scene (if not already) and of India’s rock history.