Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surat, rocking chhe!

Too hectic a schedule, great sound, not so great accommodation, new songs and a whole lotta laughter marked the hectic Prayag gig in Surat on February 14. The huge poster in Citylights area of the diamond city declared “Prayag, straight from Mumbai.” 

And it was bang on target, because we drove into Gujarat without even a pit stop for breakfast. We were sleep-starved – Sumit, who stays up all night every Friday in office, went without sleep for 48 hours, the rest of us got barely an hour’s sleep and Viru came straight from Bangalore, where he had a gig – hungry and desperately needed some rest, but the organizers would have none of it. We were shepherded to a radio station where Sumit was handed a guitar -- he swears it was played last by Akbar the great -- for a radio interview. 

After that we were taken to an apology for a hotel for a quick shower and then straight to sound check. Thankfully, the sound was great.

And the real heroes of the Surat gig were Alex D’Souza, our new sound engineer, and Amish Shah, who joined us on rhythm guitar and backing vocals duties. Amish plays with Mumbai-based Hindi rock band Talaash, and he was a revelation! With just a day’s hasty run through, he pulled off all the songs with √©lan, and got the crowd roaring in appreciation with his fluent Gujarati. And we also did some songs on the spot onstage, just because he knew them. We’re not letting go of him in a hurry!

And another star was photographer par excellence Anisha Crasto, who makes us look so good through her magical camera eye.

The gig was of course the usual Prayag affair, with about 500 Surtis rocking along, demanding that we never stop.

We also had a great time after the gig at Amish’s friend Russell’s house, where we were treated to Surat-style Pav Bhaji and a lot of fun.

We love you, Surat, and would love to be back. Just please keep in mind we are human beings, not machines, and need some rest.

Oh and we also had a great time checking out the misspelt signboards: 2 ‘bad’ AC rooms and 2nd foolr are just two examples.

Next up is Pune, where we are playing at Cummins’ College on February 20. See you there!

Here are a few pictures for you:

Amish saved the day - and in style!

Now this was a first even for us...

For once, he didn't look light-starved

Those who actually did most of the singing that evening :)

Next Gig: Cummins College of Engineering for Women, Pune (20th Feb; 6:30 PM)



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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bollywood rock, Kala Ghoda, and Us

We woke up February 8 morning to find Prayag listed as “Bollywood rock” in The Times of India’s schedule of the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival
We had thought we would play an all-original set at the prestigious arts festival, which supposedly celebrates the eclectic.
Thoroughly disillusioned, we played seven of our own songs, Raaste, Aa Paas Aa, Daud, Waat, Bas Karo, Naya Savera, Kal Akele, and three songs which would classify as Bollywood rock – Rock on, Roo Ba Roo and Socha Hai.

It was a scorcher of a gig, because the sun was beating down at us like it too disliked any band that went under the excuse of Bollywood rock. Nevertheless we battled on, rattling off songs we had written about riots, misguided youth and lucid dreams (Naya Savera), the rat race (Daud), the Mumbai life (Waat), terrorism and government response (Bas Karo) and so on and so forth to what we must say was a surprisingly appreciative crowd.

They cheered more for our originals than the Bollywood rock numbers!

Anisha as usual, took some great photographs of the band, Pranab jumped around despite the heat (must be all the gymming he does), Sumit unleashed his hidden blues harp talent, and we were really touched by the gesture of so many people who saw our gig and came up to tell us that they had tears in their eyes listening to our songs like Bas Karo.

Meanwhile, Bachi Karkaria, a venerable editor of The Times of India, the venerable sponsors of the festival, chose to write about the band that played after us. The all-cover band was lauded for playing “modern” songs like Summer of 69.
So much for originality and the arts!

Like always, we leave you with some pictures of the gig:

V Man!

They call him the "Prayag Foundation"

Psychedelia! (?) Well later he told me he was about to faint on stage due to the heat :)


p.s: We are all set to rock Surat on February 14, and Pune on February 20. Watch this space...

p.p.s: Most important, We are very very glad to announce a new member in the Prayag extended family – Alex D’Souza, who’s been working his magic on the sound console for the last two Prayag gigs. You rock, Alex, and Dil Maange More! 

Oh and one more thing. We would like to thank Nicole & Manjula of the Kala Ghoda Festival, who really went out of their way to help us in every way they could.
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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Prayag Live @ IES Grounds

Pathetic sound, a super-charged audience, cops acting like pricks in between, yet a memorable gig - this was Prayag Live @ IES Grounds, Bandra last weekend. Here are a few pictures:

The Inner Him! Lol.

Naveen in action with his new Parker Fly

The man's got some tint there

Our 'Feel' man on-the-job! Mesmerised everyone!

Now that the sound ain't good enough, you guys do the singing...

End it with some power to everyone!

We can't wait to play at the Kala Ghoda Festival this Sunday. Don't miss it. We got some surprises :)


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