Ray-Ban Never Hide Sounds: Gig Report

12 Dec


I am all for paid advertising or partnering with certain websites/blogs to spread the word about your event. But when that particular website writes a totally farcical article, it really disappoints me. Because normally these guys write honest articles and spread the word about Indian Independent Music. But on this occasion, this particular article was nothing but a PR exercise without any truth or credibility. Anyway, this post was not to engage in random article bashing. But to tell how things actually were at the Ray-Ban gig. So for that I need to explain how things were thought to be and how they were in reality.

Okay first a little heads-up about the event. 15 bands were shorlisted from 188+ bands based on the demo they submitted. These 15 bands were then shortlisted to 5 based on audience votes and jury opinions and the final 5 bands would play with Pentagram and Something Relevant at the Bandra Fort Amphitheatre. Also each band would get Rs 50,000 worth of music gear from Furtados. The final 5 were as follows – Blek, Little Babooshka’s Grind(LBG), Fire Exit, Digital Suicide and The Lightyears Explode 

In this article I would just quote what was mentioned in the “other” article and how I actually saw things at the gig. Let’s call the other article as Paid Review(PR)

The event started, as is customary, almost two hours late. First up on stage was Blek. Blek (formerly known as Blech) is a three piece punk/alternative band from Mumbai.

PR – ” With people still coming in, Blek gave a really good performance, easily one of the best of the night”

Our take – It was a performance that was lacking of energy or any vibe. None of the people in the audience really seemed to fancy their music. Personally I feel Blek is one of the over-rated bands out there. Their music is decent but I think the vocals do screw it up. It falls into a category where you are neither head bobbing to their songs nor getting entranced by it. I had a similar feeling at their previous gig at Blue Frog. 

**

Next up was LBG from Chennai. LBG is rock band from Chennai that was formed in 1995 as a progressive metal outfit. Even they admitted that they found it weird to compete in this competition when the aim was to disover new up-coming bands.

PR – LBG had the best stage presence with the vocalist even singing through a megaphone!

Our take – This we agree with. LBG consists of 5 grown up guys who actually had a good presence about them. Them came in army jackets, riot helmets etc. The vocalist was totally mental with his antics and dancing but it did grab the attention of the audience. Their music was actually quite good but again I felt the vocalist was a bit off-key. I wouldn’t judge them on just one performance and would listen to more of their music before making a call

Every band was given their Rs 50,000 voucher by some celebs who were invited to the event. Among them were Raageshwari, Anushka Manchanda, Shibani Kashyap, Nishka Lulla etc. The event was hosted by Luke Kenny who did a fantastic job of engaging the audience and was witty and funny with his lines.

**

After LBG, Digital Suicide took the stage. Digital Suicide is an alternative rock band all the way from Guwahati whose music has influences of progressive, grunge, punk and pop. They define their sound as Tribal Electro Pop Rock. This 3 piece band add atmospheric and ambient textures to their songs which lend a nice dimension to their pop sensibilities.

PR – Digital Suicide, seemed to be having a bad-day at the gig, playing alternative rock and not too much of stage presence.

Our take – Playing alternative rock translates to having a bad day at the office? Now where did that come in the picture. As for not too much of stage presence, they didn’t need any theatrics. Their music got the loudest cheers from the audience who were totally blown away by their music. Please go do check out this band and their live performances. They are a band to watch out for. Listen to their music here.

And if you don’t agree with me, just read this comment on that PR – “What were you smoking dude? Digital Suicide had one of the best sets of the night. Me and my friends were right upfront and loved their stage presence.are you sure you were at the same show?”

**

Then came Fire Exit. Fire Exit is a 5 member band from Delhi and one of the few bands to have a female vocalist. I first heard their track ‘MML’ in 2008 and was quite impressed more so by the vocalist than the rest of the band.

PR – “With a good progressive sound, they played a set of 3 tracks, which was quite enjoyable”

Our take – Yes their music is enjoyable but that’s about it. The tabla at times sticks out like a sore limb because the music doesn’t give it a chance to blend in. They do try a bit too hard with the fusion thing. Also most of their songs, though they say every song is unique in its sound, are hard to differentiate from one other. They just seem too similar and repetitive. Fire Exit have a very good vocalist but their music doesn’t do justice to the voice. Maybe it’s time to rethink how they want to take this forward.

**

Last on stage were Mumbai band, The Lightyears Explode, a trio who play old school garage punk. Their music is best heard on loud. Even better try to hear them live. The CD doesn’t do them justice.

PR – “The Lightyears Explode, the crowds favorite, played a great live punk act & tore the place apart.”

Our take – This we agree with totally. I was right in front and they literally went mental on stage with Saurabh on vocals take a customary fall on stage (thrice I’ve seen them, thrice he fell). Aaron with his his energetic drumming and Shalom keeping it tight on bass, these guys are the band to watch out for. Totally my current favourite band. Check out their songs– The Weapon, Hannah, She Probably Still Is and Garam Dharam. Oh and they also do a nice cover of “Ina Mina Dika”.

**

This concluded the performance by the 5 bands. Next on stage came Something Relevant, who were playing without their vocalist Aazin Painter. They played a short set of about 3 song that had the crowd grooving to their tunes. All the songs were sung by their bassist, Stuart. Then even had a song which was based on mosquitoes!

Pentragram took a long time to set up as Shiraz was having trouble with his drums. But finally when they started, all madness ensued. For the first time I guess,  Pentagram started off with a cover of Greenday’s ‘Basketcase’. And for their penultimate song they got most of the members of the participating bands to come on stage and sing with them. And they did end their set with encore favourite ‘Voice’.

It was a superb gig with diverse music and loads of people turning up to listen to the bands. Hope more events like these are held in future.

P.S. It was kind of spoilt by one ‘celeb’ (dunno his name) who came on the stage and proclaimed Luke Kenny to be the God of Indian Rock who even knew the underwear colour of musicians. Too much hyperbole no?

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4 Responses to “Ray-Ban Never Hide Sounds: Gig Report”

  1. Sosha December 12, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    Considering your dislike for PR, I hope you never pick up a copy of Bombay Times. If you know what I mean ; )

    • Kunal December 12, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      I stopped reading BT a long time ago. Hindustan Times makes more sense to me. Though I still like to browse through TOI, old habits die hard you see 🙂

      • Sosha December 12, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

        Forget HT. Read Mumbai Mirror! 😀

      • Amey Kanse December 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

        Don’t lie, Kunal.

        Kunal is also known for buying the Mid Day newspaper and gazing for long hours at page no. 3.

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