Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hari & Sukhmani opened by Arjun & Friends// Blue Frog// 15th of Nov, 2012

First Question, Have you heard Hari & Sukhmani??
If you have not, slap yourself, murga ban and watch this

                                                      The Music Project: Hari & Sukhmani

Hari & Sukhmani were opened by The Early Set by Arjun Kanungo & Friends.
Arjun Kanungo & Friends    (Photo Courtesy: Raonak Hathiramani)
I was pretty surprised to see Sanju Aguir and Abhishek Kamdar from Devoid on guitars with Arjun on vocals. I was sure its gonna be one hell of a show as they started covering  Mutemath, A Perfect Circle, Massive Attack and Karnivool.
I Loved their Karnivool cover of New Day, A Perfect Circle Cover of Outside and Massive Attack Cover of Teardrop. Although I Would have preferred Jose Gonsalez Version of Teardrop, would have sounded kickass with Arjun's voice and on acoustic by Sanju. Arjun has an amazing voice( It's not surprising that he sings with Asha Bhonsle in her band) and he has got a great sense of humour too. He kept the crowd in splits, with the jokes he was cracking on topics ranging from the overwhelming response he was getting which he dint really expect and Kamdar & his out of tune guitar was the epicentre of rest of the jokes. Overall, it was a really fun set.
You should really check out Arjun Kanungo's music on

Now, I couldn't wait for Hari & Sukhmani, the Chandigarh Duo, the epic electro-folk act. And this is what I got..

Hari & Sukhmani
1. Hari stopped singing mid-sentance in the first song itself and I could still hear his voice. No it wasn't delay or reverb. No, I wasn't high. Read on.

2. The clarity of their sound when they were singing was awesome, and as soon as the song finished & they started interacting with audience, their volume was low, Sukhmani's vocals were muffled which was clear as shit seconds back.

3. The song started with a sarangi intro,  the Sarangi player woke up with a jerk to play, but it was too late. I had already heard the sarangi verse which I dint see him playing.

4. I could hardly hear the acoustic guitar.

If, If this is not what I thought- LIP SYNC IN A LIVE GIG, then there was shit loads of pre-recorded stuff which wasn't appealing to a Live music lover. I hope am mistaken because I love the music they have recreated out of old Punjabi folk songs. I love their studio tracks Madaniya and Challa.

But Bombay is used to likes of Shaair'n'Func, this isn't what I expected from HARI & SUKHMANI.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Live From The Console// October 20th, 2012

Live from The Console is always exciting to watch. October 20th was no less.
Tejas Menon & Dhananjay Basrur

Tejas Menon from Pune started with Cover of Smooth by Rob Thomas and continued the set with his originals Stationary, Ruby. Dhananjay Basrur backed him up on Djembe, Rhythm Guitar and percussion.

Fringe Pop followed them with their funky pop-rock sound which will make you roll in the High. They played Bittersweet, Rockstar, Come Home Again and several other of their Originals, and they were interacting with  the audience too, this time. This is what was missing in Chennai Live Bandhunt. I feel amused by their music every time they play, and their Set felt so complete together with their interaction.

I had seen Akshay Deodhar play a few of Spook's songs long back at Blue Frog. Since that day, I wanted to see Spook, the whole band live. And this was the day, Their third anniversary gig, my lucky day. Spook played their OCs of which I'll decide and Winter Rain were my favorites. Malini Hariharan joined them on stage for Morning Coffee which she ended with lyrics from the epic song "Every Breath you Take".

As always, in this (hopefully brief) dry spell of gigs in Bombay, Live from the Console surely made my day.

Don't miss the next Live from the console gig on November 17th.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Chennai Live Bandhunt 3:Gig Review

Chennai Live Bandhunt is one of the best platforms any band can get in South India. And this year Bandhunt got a lot bigger than it already was, by extending it’s auditions to Bangalore. The Chennai Live Bandhunt final was at the Museum Theatre, probably the best venue anyone could have thought about in the city of Madras(Yes, I still prefer to call it Madras). Chennai Live Bandhunt had given us some really crazy bands, 

Wolf’s Lair, Solder and The Family Cheese. Now it was just a wait to watch the next big bang on 23rd of September.

The show was opened by Blues Conscience, 1st runners up in Bandhunt 2010 who became one of the premier blues band in India today. As they started fully suited up Blues Act with a song paying tribute to Janis Joplin followed by cover of ‘Five Long Years’ by B.B King, Anek Ahuja lead everyone to their blues. That was followed by their original ‘Morning Afters’. My personal favourite in their set was ‘Kamasutra’, no you can’t have any idea about how awesome that song is until you hear the song live.

Now was definitely the time for the Competition to start off…

Desat was the 1st band to come on stage. The only Metal Band in the Bandhunt finals pulled off some deadly shreds by Victor. They pulled off a quite a deadly metal act. Taking your listeners from their blues to an era of metal can be a hell of a task. But as they covered ‘Ruin’ by Lamb Of God, there stood a row of headbangers before the stage. I could see Prithvi Jerry from Semi-finalist Band Distortion headbanging on his seat. The keyboard melodies sounded crazily devilish with Victor’s solos. They could do more with variations though. The museum theatre boomed with energy with they played Power,Impious Jihad, and Nostalgia.

The next band was Fringe Pop from Bombay(yes, I like to call it Bombay). Call it shy or arrogant, but they don’t like talking much about themselves. They started playing right away. Guys, people need some time to adjust to the sudden changes in genre that was taking place from blues to Metal to funk. Fringe Pop had a very different sound to their band, which gives you an Arctic Monkeys or Whitestripes feel in their music. They had huge problems when it came to sound. The bass was sounding muffled, not sharp enough for the listeners to appreciate Aaron on bass. Shreyas’s vocals sounded like a shrill at times. But as they played their set, people went through a mix of pop, blues and Rock n Roll mood.

Fringe Pop at Chennai Live Bandhunt 3 (Photo Courtesy: Hisham Saifudeen)

It was high time for Chennai’s 1st band to come on stage. Dwhetstone, a Christian Rock Band opened their set with ‘Dark Temptations’. They had Very powerful Drumming. As one of my friends says, he could have kissed his feet. Though their 1st two tracks had similar melodies, they got some seriously amazing response from audience, the best so far. The vocals came out to be really weak when we compare them to the guitars which ripped the stage apart. My favourite track in their set was ‘Breaking Down’ which had some kick-ass Double Bass. They closed their set with ‘Addiction’ with a girl headbanging on the drum solo. How amazing is that!

The News
The News started next. This Bangalorean Band had a very happy, catchy, groovy Blues inspired Rock sound and guess what, they had an acoustic on stage too. As they played their originals, Lucky Summer day, Shell, Happy Happy Sunday and Summertime, I could see everyone in the Museum theatre smiling. It was like, with every chord they played, they were spreading happiness. I still can’t stop humming “I’m going down down”, the lyrics were so freaking catchy. My favourite in their set was ‘Happy Happy Sunday’. Raghav on keys was kick-ass.

Black Letters
Now it was time for some mallu action, Black Letters which hails from all over south India was on stage. They started with their trademark song, kamikaze, which was their official entry for Hard Rock Rising earlier this year. They had a very groovy bass with mind-blowing drumming. If you were there, you could have caught Shashank, drummer of Franks got the Funk and Junkyard groove dancing, which was an surprise additional entertainment everyone enjoyed. After Kamikaze, they played Firebox, Roam, Tomorrow, You say, a dedication to all the beautiful ladies in the house and ended their set with Settle Down. ‘Roam’ was my favourite which is gonna be there in their upcoming album. Yeah Black letters is recording their album with John Thomas as their production engineer now. ‘Roam’ had a very groovy intro which kicked off into a sensational song. Sharath Iyer was amazing on vocals.

Harshenn from The F16s
The F16s, an amazing Chennai Rock band, takes you back to the golden era of Indie music. They had formed very recently, only to reach the Chennai Bandhunt auditions to get all the judges raving about them. They started off pretty great but had problems with sound, got slightly out of tune. But they had an amazing track called Avalanche which you should definitely hear. If they could have just forgot they were in the finals and played as they had played in the auditions, it would have been a whole different story. They also played a song paying tribute to Martin Luther King. The F16s is one of the crazy sounding bands I have heard out in Chennai, but it wasn’t their day.

It was time for the wild card entry of the day, Rightu Vidu, which was the Only Tamil band in the Bandhunt Finals. They played their own version of ‘Rukkumani’ an A.R.Rehman classic. As Harish and Rohit sang together, it takes you to another dimension with some trippy percussions and keys. They weren’t that tight, but sounded decent.

The Family Cheese:
cause we love that breakfast
As the seven finalists finished their sets, last year’s winners, The Family Cheese who have moved to Mumbai now, had come back to Chennai to show us some love.  They started with the trademark smile on the face of Homi baba on the Bass. They had Conrad reeves from Swarnabhoomi Academy of music as an addition to their regular line-up just for the show. As Apoorv a.k.a Lala opened the set with his guitar intro, no one needed any booze or  *ahem* to trip anymore. As Conrad and Lala shared lead guitars and Homi being always kick-ass on bass(In Live from the Console, Bombay, he played his bass with a water bottle; how cool is that), Yohan went crazy on the tempo. Lala’s solos had awsome carnatic influence to his solos. As they started off ‘You and I are’, Lala’s guitar strap came off. But he was still playing the guitar as he struggled to put the strap back on. Yohan closed their set with a Drum solo.

The show was headlined by judges of bandhunt finale, who played a mesmerizing set with Yuri Martin Juarez Yllesces and Conrad Reeves on Guitars, Arthur Kell on Bass, Ayman Bouilida on Drums and Joel Thihlman on Piano.

The Chennai Live Bandhunt finale was judged by Yuri Martin Juarez Yllesces, Arthur Kell, Paul Jacob and Sudheen Prabhakar.
Its was an amazing show. It was heavenly to witness the best musicians across south playing in the museum theatre in Chennai, a city that doesn’t get a lot of live music.

The News from Bangalore stood 1st, followed by Dwhetstone, 1st runners up and Black letters, 2nd runners up. 
Dwhetstone from Chennai, 1st Runners Up

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Life is a Struggle

Every day I wake up with a sore eye to see sun unfolding yet another day for me. I know its another beautiful day, I will learn something new, everybody will add a new experience to their memories today.

But when I see people getting out of their places, I see them fighting to keep it going on, with a sarcastic laughter to satisfy their souls, thirsty for happiness in its true sense. I open up the newspaper and see the sad plight of Kashmiris on the front page.

We call Kashmir as a part of India, a peaceful country, the biggest democratic constituency, The people’s country; where innumerable people die every day. I see pictures of tears on the disheartened faces of women and children lying in the valley waiting for their men or their Death; whichever comes earlier. I bleed with them. I feel homeless whenever I see houses of the God’s home being blown off ruthlessly. I cry for them because for most of my life, I have pledged them as my brothers and sisters, as my family every morning.

When I turn the pages of the newspaper, my heart is filled with vengeance. I see my country being bled by corruption. I see the disastrous image of India put forth by Common Wealth Games. Rs.77000, 00, 00,000 flowed down the lanes of gullies in these seven years since India had bid for CWG 2010 in 2003 and where these gullies did end up to; maybe a few luxurious mansions in Dubai and Japan, maybe stripper parties in many Delhi hotel rooms, maybe many Swiss bank accounts yet to be uncovered by the intelligence, maybe they are long gone deep in the pockets of the Satan. And what could this silly Rs. 77000 crores could do; Maybe it could have helped some of the homeless dwellers( who were driven out of Delhi during CWG) find homes, a place they could return late at night for a peaceful sleep; maybe it could have come down to Bandra, Panvel or some other cities and do some good to the innumerable slum rehabilitation and infrastructure projects lying around being delayed since decades under the butt of some more devils( Corrupt officials); maybe it could have gone to a few farmers and stopped them from suicide or saved them from starving to death; maybe it could have connected a few villages to the rest of the country who are still fighting for their basic necessities when India wants to fight for being tagged as the “ Developed country”; maybe it could have done some good to the poor, starved, and the unfortunates but who cares for them until the Satan enjoys the Power to run the “ GOLDEN BIRD”.

I get sick and turn another page; I see the rampage of increasing prices of the cereals and vegetables. It does take my attention and all my curiosity. I studied that India is an agricultural country with 70% of its population working their days and nights farming all the delicacies. What I fail to understand is that if we have 70% of population, i.e. 79, 79, 75,452 people to be exact according to 2008 census in agriculture and still we can’t suffice our agricultural needs, India has to be a fat nation indeed.

I turn pages and see families brutally murdered, mothers and sisters raped, children starved, students killing themselves, men burned, soldiers shot dead and This is India, the country I am proud of; The country that the Englishmen and Portuguese sailors died to reach.

I can’t take anymore and decide to throw the newspaper away in the stack of innumerable pages of crime and shame and no more I see the sun unfolding another beautiful day. Today again thousands of people would see light no more and again thousands would be reading about them, restless and helpless.

Now, I get out of my place, I see the mirror, I see myself fighting to keep it going on, with a sarcastic smile to satisfy my soul.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"BlooDy EngiNeeRs Day"

It was 15th of September a couple of days back and since morning I started getting text messages wishing me “HAPPY ENGINEERS DAY”. Though Engineering to me is as good as a Bull running towards you, and you dressed all in RED, an unavoidable Tragic Accident, but this day did get me to think Who is an Engineer, What the hell is Engineering?......

Mr. Oxford Dictionary says, “Engineer is a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures”

If I was restless before, now I was like an atom bomb, ready to explode. I have lived two years in this hell of engineering world and I am capable of doing none of these today. I can’t design, can't build or maintain anything stable on this earth. Engineering is like a graveyard. Nobody knows what they are getting into until they are already trapped.

There are many things I came to know after I entered Engineering, would like to share some, kinda create awareness:

All creativity and innovation will be curbed from within you and there goes the 1st step of engineering, To Design. The system gradually kills your desire to innovate and then to think. They are orthodox killers working in the open.

You are forced to see the innumerable magical machines, which once stood to be wonders of the world in front of you, through the eyes of some God damn couple of lecturers whose only reason to teach us being their failure in employment world.

It is a heinous crime to be either fashion conscious, or maybe just to sit with a girl on the same bench in front of these narrow minded low level self proclaimed geniuses, huh.

Five point someone said Today’s colleges are not preparing engineers, they are preparing machines, machines to satisfy the hunger of the dark alley of industrial revolution. Couldn't agree more with the phrase.

Is this what they are celebrating!

Is this what they call Engineering, to design, build a wonder!

Maybe not....not in my world....they need to go back in time and discover the real teachers who used to love students, who loved teaching and bring back engineering as it was in the past, to create something out of nothing....... and get MAGICAL WONDERS!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


The word explains exactly how life becomes for you sometimes.
When you start searching for the life you always dreamt of, sometimes after a while you lose yourself into a place that is unknown, that is unexplainable, and that is no more than oblivion.

That is the toughest part of following your dream which you were never prepared for. The innumerable books and dreams never prepared you for that terrifying agony of being in the middle of everything with your hands empty, not knowing what to do next for the sake of who you want to be and knowing you can never be same again as you were sometime back when you just started. You have come a long way since you started and you know you are never gonna turn back, you will work your ass off for all the fairy tales to come true and believe that it’s gonna happen to you. You just pray that either something happens as soon as you can take it or its better if a lightning bolt strikes you.

I might not have put the words right in many places but if you are ever playing the cards of life I am now, you will know that the words are never in their right places because the words always are COLOURBLIND.