Tuesday, August 19, 2008
For a while now, Prayag has been toying with the idea of starting a blog. But given that the professional ‘writer’ in the band is a notoriously lazy bastard, the idea has been eating dust.
So finally we have decided to write it as a collaborative effort.
Of course, the immediate trigger is our last gig at the NM College festival, Umang 2008, in Mumbai, on Saturday, August 16, a day after the 61st anniversary of India’s independence.
A fresh line-up and some new songs meant that we had a blast in the 40 minutes we were onstage.
Yes, Mukut Chakravarti joins us on keys for the foreseeable future, and his infectious energy rubbed off on the band as we played four and a half songs; two of our own and two and a half ‘crowd-pleasers.’ The half being a rocked out rendition of RD Burman’s Jaaneja dovetailed into the back of Strings’ Duur. We also played our original Naya Savera (words and music by Swapnil, our bassman) for the first time ever live, and it was exhilarating. The other original we played, Raaste, went down great with the crowd as always, with Viru’s powerhouse drums driving many a ‘head-banger’.
Pranab, our singer, had a severe encounter with a fierce dosa the night before, and had spent all of the night and most of the morning battling it out in (water)loo. But for those 40 minutes, he forgot his illness and transformed into the machinehead of the band that he is. He ran into the crowd -- which seemed pleased with us, judging by the reaction to our set-starter, a cover of Rock On – and across the stage as if nothing had happened.
After the gig, he returned to his (water)loo.
There were three bands in an evening billed as a ‘tribute to Indian rock’. There was Wehem, from Pune, who started off proceedings high on enthusiasm and not so high on experience, and the delightful Shor Bazaar. It’s good to see Hindi bands writing intelligent – and diverse, because Shor Bazaar’s decidedly punk attitude is as far from our sound as you can get -- Hindi songs.
A note of thanks is a must for the Umang 2008 team. Nirav, Akanksha & Team, thanks for all the help. Stupendous effort, and great organization, all you guys. You made us feel good, and we hope our music made you feel good.
Pratik, thanks for telling us that playing 2nd at Umang is the best option and actually getting us that slot. It helped for sure. We appreciate that.
The sound people, we thought, were excellent too. And believe us, there’s nothing that can turn a show into a nightmare faster than bad sound. Sumit, the nitpicker who is also our guitar man, found his amp wired the wrong way and they changed it in a jiffy.
We’ll say ciao for now, and if you want, you can check the videos of Rock On and Raaste (just Google Prayag Umang) live at Umang 2008, though the handycam as usual plays havoc with the sound.
We’ll be back as soon as we have something coherent to say.
p.s: Incidentally, after the Umang show, someone scribbled on our website’s guest book, and said that we should have done covers of Slayer, Lamb of God and others. Sure, dude, we say; we’ll do that as soon as we form a death metal outfit :-)
OK enough, here are a couple of no-AV-quality-at-all videos from the gig:
Rock On cover:
We leave you with this beautiful collage of the Umang gig shot & created by our friend Anisha. A BIG THANKS to her.
Enjoyy and come back for more laterzz!