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 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: Dinosaur Pile Up at Indigo Bar, B'lore

Dinosaur Pile Up - One of my new favourite bands. I caught the last two songs of their set at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune and was blown away. The energy of the crowd was something else. I was very fortunate they played a few days later at the Indigo Bar here in Bengaluru. I was also fortunate to have a friend who met them in Pune introduce me to the band. They are some of the nicest blokes around. Excellent gig that evening.

Gibson Through The Lens, Vivanta by Taj

I was really stoked to be invited to check out this particular exhibition considering my passion for all things rock music. And for someone trying to hone their skills with a camera, Thanksgiving came early. As part of their 120th anniversary celebrations, Gibson guitars partnered with Vivanta by Taj to put together this unique music-related photo exhibition that displayed pictures of iconic music artists with their Gibson guitars. 

Aptly titled Gibson Through a Lens, the exhibition showcased sixty classic photos of guitar heroes like Jimmy Page, Slash, Tommy Iommi, Pete Townshend Angus Young and many more icons of rock music who have wielded Gibson guitars and have made the sound their signature.Put together by music photography archivist - Dave Brolan, Gibson Through the Lens showcases the work of thirty of the world’s most respected rock photographers including Ross Halfin, Neal Preston, Baron Wolman and the late Jim Marshall. 

On till the 2nd of December, I sincerely urge every rock music and photography enthusiast to go and check out the exhibition. The pictures that have been captured cover some iconic moments in rock history including Jimmy Page’s performance of Stairway to Heaven with the iconic double necked guitar, Slash’s early pictures from Guns’n’Roses, The Sex Pistols trying out a tune before their gig, Kurt Cobain jumping into the pool with his guitar after the famous Nevermind cover shoot and more. This is definitely something one should not miss. Every photo captures spectacular moments and says so much.

Also on display were some special guitars from Gibson. It took everything I had not to steal a beautiful red coloured Gibson SG that was designed specifically for the 120th anniversary of the brand. A big part of me secretly wished they would be giving it away, but alas. Besides pictures, the evening had Galeej Gurus perform a tight acoustic set.

Gibson Through the Lens is a rather unique exhibition that I have attended. Conveniently located at the Vivanta by Taj on MG Road, the exhibition is on till the 2nd of December. Don’t miss it.