The City of Joy… (where everyone is called Ajoy or Bijoy)
Someplace Else… (sameplace we played a year or two ago)
Food that goes ‘bong!’ when you h-eat eet…
What a good time it was. Arrived in Cal, er, Kol, around noon, whisked off to The Park, on Park Street (wonder if they have park-ing there). The new lobby was rather disorienting, our memories tending towards warmth and wood and brown and our senses reeling with cool steel and excess of purple. Well, whatever works! Soundcheck 3ish, so we hustle to our ‘rrheums’ (Clouseau anyone?), stuff ourselves at a buffet and rendezvous at Else; Some Place, that!
For those who came in late, SPE is a small, tunnel-like bar, decked out in woody British fashion with green Chesterfield sofas, prints on the walls – you know the deal. Great little vibe, and the bands that have sweated in there across the last 14 years play in a tiny, cave-like stage at one end. Legions of drummers, I’m sure, have complained about being stuffed into the back of that stage with literally no way out but through their kits. Sound reinforcement was courtesy a small dark Bengoli who displayed amazing resourcefulness, fixing niggling PA issues with teeth, bits of wire, and a deadpan expression. The guitar amp was one of those Marshall 250 DFXs. Don’t like ‘em much, but the option was a Johnson keyboard amp. What? You haven’t heard of Johnson? What rock have you been hiding under? Rzhude gets a nice (nice!) Hartke head+cabinet, spanking new and cranking some gazillion watts. NO fair! The Mapex kit is nice, well kept.
Our engineer, Niranjan, gets everything working the way he likes, and we do a pretty good soundcheck, trying out all the brand new tracks – Sold, Ordinary Affair (both with Rajeev-ritten words), Grab Me, Surrender, Won’t Stop… Yuppo, there’s quite a bunch of new material we’re road-testing at the moment. Post soundcheck there’s an interview with two of the local dailies, and must say we’re not about to write another Paper Puli for these guys – they were quite cool.
Spend the next few hours cooling our heels in the rrheums – the gig starts at about 10:30pm you see. Being from fair Bengaluru, you’ll realize that we’re all usually tucked in safe and warm by then – 11pm is ‘shutter close’ time. This place rocks till 5 am. How positively backward, I say. Barbarians and philistines, no less.
Walk down to the gig and meet the folks from Pink Noise – Jayshree, Gyan, Amyt and Jivraj. Great to see them – they’re definitely the musical royalty from around here, so we’d better play well! Start around 10:40 with a rather sloowww version of This Is It, quite unintentional – that’s how the jam panned out! Went into usual favourites Holy Jose, and Look at Me before getting into the brand new Surrender. All going down well so far – the Cal, sorry Kol, crowd is giving us good vibes. I won’t go into the whole set list (scanned image attached), but I will mention that the new songs went down rather well, and when you ask a crowd “You want us to play covers?” and everyone goes “NOOOO”, you know you’re on to a good thing. Thought we’d wrap up with Paper Puli and Simply Be, but they kept us playing with two encores, which ended up being Hoedown and our mangled version of Wonderwall.
Nice gig, great vibes overall, and all happy happy. Why can’t we have a place like this in B’lore. Why can’t we have 20 such places around the darn country.
Rest of TAAQ heads back Sunday morning, after typically debauched after-gig excess. Stayed back a day.. but that’s another story.
Mr. Slickthief, (aka Sinchan, Suchin etc) has some pics and vids – let’s see how soon they get here.