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.

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. 

Gig Pix: My top ten favourite pics from gigs of 2014

Since 'Top Ten Lists' are the in thing right now, I thought I'd put together my top ten favourite pics taken at gigs in 2014. A big thanks to all the bands who put up brilliant gigs and the folks managing the brilliant light and sound that made the gigs so much better.

10. Fidel from Parvaaz during the launch of their album - Baran, taken at Counter Culture

9. Nolan Lewis from Kryptos during their gig at Counter Culture

8. Dinosaur Pile-up at Indigo

7. Motopony playing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune

6. Warren Mendonsa of Blackstratblues at Counter Culture

5. Ministry of Blues at Counter Culture

4. Luke Sital Singh at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune

3. Tips from Soulmate at Counter Culture

2. Monica Dogra's solo gig at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune

1. Skrat at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Bengaluru

Gig Pix: The launch of Baran, by Parvaaz at Counter Culture, B'lore

Having been a part of their Wishberry campaign, I got my hands on the debut full length album by Bangalore band Parvaaz a few weeks before the official launch. The album titled ‘Baran’ blew my mind. I’ll comment on the album on a later post. I was looking forward to the launch at Counter Culture, it took place on the 6th of September.

The evening began with Vasu Dixit (of Swarathma) who set the ball rolling with Bindumalini, had a fabulous controlled voice. The short acoustic set also had Bindu sing with Kashif on a few Kabir-inspired songs. Vasu was accompanied by fellow-band mate  Sanjeev Nayak, on a few Swarathma tracks and he closed the opening set with the Swarathma hit ‘Topiwalleh’.

Vasu Dixit from Swarathma

Bindumalini

Sanjeev Nayak

Bindumalini with Kashif
Parvaaz started their set with Beparwah from the new album – a perfect song to set the evening in motion. Giving the band solid support on guitar was Anthony Michael Dias from Mad Orange Fireworks. The band then moved on to some of the older stuff like Marika, Aazadi, Dil Khush and others.

Khalid with Michael Anthony Dias

Sachin Banandur

Kashif Iqbal

The crowd was all set and cosy for the rest of the gig with the band resuming playing material from the new album. The band called upon Sanjeev Nayak to help out on Ab ki yeh Subah, from the new album. This was followed by Ramanan Chandramouli and Wilbur Colaco, who came on stage to help on the very daft-punk meets Michael Jackson (the early stuff) song Fitnah. Wilbur continued to play the sax on Ziyankar.

Parvaaz ft. Sanjeev Nayak

Khalid with Ramanan

Fidel D'souza
The band closed the planned set with Roz Roz that morphed into the thirteen minute masterpiece, also the title of the album, Baran. The crowd went nuts and almost rowdily demanded an encore. After a bit of deliberation, the band obliged by playing a completely new song- Mastaan. The launch of Baran was rather epic, right from the whole Wishberry campaign to D-day which had a packed house. The awesome lighting by the folks at Counter Culture was a big added element that made the music sound so much better. 

The one guy who danced right through the gig

Packed house at Counter Culture

Khalid Ahmed
Kudos to the boys from Parvaaz for putting together a great show, and a great album. Do go and buy it online and catch the band in your city. You’ll love it.

Gig Review: Indie March at Counter Culture – Day1

I really needed to get my head out of my office, and the evening at Counter Culture that boasted of 5 popular Indie rock bands doing the circuit was just what the doctor ordered. 

The evening begun with Space Behind the Yellow Room. I really enjoyed their set. This is the second time I am seeing them live and there’s a marked improvement in their stage presence. Devasheesh Sharma was extremely animated and kept the crowd riled up. Good work on vocals and drums by Shoumik Biswas, scope for improvement though. Tight act nonetheless.

Space Behind the Yellow Room

Space Behind the Yellow Room

Space Behind the Yellow Room

Space Behind the Yellow Room

The second band for the evening was the ambient/post rock outfit Until We Last. While the crowd enjoyed their set, I’m personally not a fan of the genre. This is the second time I’m seeing the band, I still don’t get it. Think of it like Tom Hanks in Big. So I’ll leave it at that.

Until We Last

Until We Last

Until We Last

Until We Last

Band number three was The F16s from Chennai who were brilliant. Loved the energy, the crowd did too. I had bought their EP Kaleidoscope some time last year and it was enjoyable. This being the first time I am seeing them, their live performance was something else altogether. Hope to see more of these guys.


The F16s

The F16s

The F16s

The F16s

The penultimate act for the evening was Skrat. I’ve said too many good things about this band. And that continues. Skrat was the most energetic act of the evening and had a packed house. If you saw the gig, you’d never have guessed that these guys have been touring for 3 days straight over India. How much more bada** can you get when your drummer (Tapas) breaks the bass pedal. They even had someone drive a motor cycle into the venue. Kudos as always!

Skrat
Skrat

Skrat

Skrat
Skrat

Amrit from Live Banned watches on

Skrat Crew awaits
The closing act was Parvaaz whose EP I really loved. This is the third time I am seeing the band play live and it was a bit of a letdown. With the energy levels set high by the previous act, I was hoping Parvaaz would blow the roof off. Having seen their gig at NH7 Weekender Pune, which was the best of the 3, I had high expectations. The band chose a mellow lounge type set list which didn’t do much for me.

Parvaaz

Parvaaz

Parvaaz

Parvaaz
Before I end the blog I have to say that I can’t believe the ridiculously high rates being charged by Counter Culture for pitiful servings of average food!!! 300 bucks for cheese balls? Seriously? 100 bucks for a bottle of mineral water? 100 bucks for a bottle of 7 Up? Manager fellows at Counter Culture, not cool at all. (PS: Even Blue Frog in Mumbai is less expensive)

Really?
The evening otherwise was fabulous. Skrat and the F16s blew the roof. I’m looking forward to the rest of the Indie March gigs. Hope you enjoyed the pictures.