Rains, travel and music

12 Aug

Pic courtesy of Keegan Crasto

Having your best friend come back from living the high life in Chicago means that she will insist on you taking her to gigs in Bombay and discover new bands. I promised her the most awesome gigs featuring Blackstratblues, Scribe and so on but alas none of them seemed to be playing. So when I came across an event RSVP featuring The Colour Compound, who had played at ‘Live from the Console’ last month, I convinced her to come and check out a new band. So there we were going to Hard Rock Cafe on a rainy Thursday evening.

 

Because the gig was going to start at 8.30, I had planned to leave from office, which is at Saki Naka(this area deserves a dedicated blog), at around 7pm. But ended up leaving at around 7.20. I then drove my bike in a way that was a mixture of inspired driving and recklessness and reached Bandra at 7.45 pm, took a train to Lower Parel and got a cab outside the station by 8.15. Now the thing is I had been to Hard Rock once before and I remembered the way vaguely. We then proceeded to roam around in a big circle in the cab and it turns out that HRC was just about a minute’s walk away from where we got the cab!! Half running cause I was scared of missing the start of the set, as had happened last time when we had gone to watch Something Relevant, I managed to get in around 8.45 pm. But then as IST dictates the band didn’t start playing till almost 10. My friends and I then scoured the menu to see what we could order that wouldn’t permanently damage our bank balances. 10 mins after the food arrived, ‘The Colour Compound’ start playing.

I am not really going to do a gig review, because firstly I don’t think I have the expertise for it, secondly the band didn’t give out the names of all their songs before they started playing them and thirdly we had to leave at around 11.30 pm when the gig had still not gotten over. I will mention a list of songs they played at the end of this article (at least the ones they named before playing). First things first, the two vocalists, Bradley and Rohan are both pretty good singers. But personally I feel Bradley is a better singer. Plus he has quite a different voice, somewhat like Brandon Boyd’s (Incubus are an inspiration for this band). Aditya on Drums and Adil on bass both played a pretty solid set. One girl was apparently fawning all over the drummer, shouting ‘I love yous’ when Rohan (i think) had to tell her to be patient :P.

Anyway back to the music. The music of  ‘The Colour Compound (TCC) is a mixture of pop rock/ alternative. But I also feel some of their songs had some jazz influences which can be very foot tapping and easy to like. I can’t quite remember which songs, but some had these really amazing guitar solos in between. Plus a minute of more of just the music and no vocals. But a problem that exists is that it is quite difficult to differentiate between songs as all of them sound similar. Maybe listening to them frequently would make it easier but right now the songs sound similar to me. Their music has influences of the bands they quote to like (Incubus, Matchbox 20 etc) but not once does their music sound derivative. But it has that particular sound associated with Indian indie. They played a very fine live gig and I would definitely go for their gig again or go buy their CD.

Now the bad part. Which is kind of applicable to all the bands. So I am going to write these in bullets.

  • Yes you might be a popular band and the groupies know all the lyrics to your songs. But for every 100 people who turn up for your gig, there are 10 people who are going to be hearing you for the first time. So please introduce the band at the start of your set and not at the end.
  • TELL THE NAME OF EVERY SONG YOU PLAY!! Maybe a back story as to what the song is about, why the particular name etc
  • Interact with the audience. Tell them about the band a bit. I read up on the band I am going to see, but many people may be at the wrong place at the right time. So tell them something about each band member, or how at the last show they smoked pot and went on stage. Something
  • Just maybe in between you play a cover. And give it a twist. Even Blackstratblues does that. They covered Cream’s ‘Stepping Out’  last time they played at Valhalla. It helps to break the monotony. People are used to familiar things and a cover of the band they like may well make them listen to your next song that more closely.

To be fair, HRC can sometimes be, not such a good venue to play. Because many people actually come there to eat or hang out.  Which is something I noticed at the gig. There was this couple talking through all the loud music, a group of adolescent girls busy taking pics and family that seemed engrossed in food. All this can very well act as a turn off for the band who are there to entertain us. At the end of one song, there was not even the mandatory applause. How do you expect the band to interact with the audience then?  I think the least we, as the audience, can do is give them a proper listen when they are playing. That’s the least they deserve.

Some of the songs played that night –

  1. Let’s not fight anymore
  2. Miracles and magic – Listen
  3. Keep it together – A personal favourite
  4. Why
  5. Rearrange
  6. Can’t afford to cry – Definitely listen
  7. Special
  8. Just another deja vu

– ♫ Transit (Adam and the Fish eyed Poets)

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Kunal Pawar has officially forgotten how to get to the west side of Bandra. Between getting to all the Central stations and eating at not-so-expensive with his best friends, he manages to keep track of football transfers and release of Kanye West/Jay-Z’s new album He will be at the Mehboob Studios this Saturday to watch Siddharth Basrur

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