Wednesday, August 05, 2015

For The Love Of Gigs!!

Coming from Calcutta, being a musician, weekends meant plenty of live gigs, jams etc. Now I am in Pune where weekends mean only drinking and clubbing. There are no live bands, live music places on weekends in Pune. Everything is over by Thursday at all pubs, cafes etc. Cover bands, tribute shows, stand up comedy, open mics,karaoke, you name it and it happens from Monday through Thursday. Friday night onwards people are sloshed and dancing to the same beats over and over again.

In the midst of all the drunken clubbing scene of weekends, Classic Rock Coffee Company in Koregaon Park has taken an initiative to host one band or act in a month on a Saturday which is actually a great relief to people like me who just cant get sloshed and dance to the same beats every weekend. Its just been two months that they have started and I have been to both acts. Inside the pub/cafe they have actually made a small amphitheater and a stage with lights and sound for bands which is way better than most of other places in Pune.

They started with hosting Indian Ocean at the end of June. The small amphitheater was packed to capacity or maybe more, cheering and singing with the band as they played their songs and made jokes on stage. The overall sound was pretty decent, the band started on time and played a pretty long set. Everyone was having a good time onstage as well as off stage. The pub even threw in free dinner and food for all the guests along with the band's performance which actually deserves a thumbs up. We just showed up to watch the band perform live and then made our way back home.

The second act at July end was Indian rock band Parikrama. Parikrama Live was much awaited. The last time I had watched them live was in Nazrul Manch, Kolkata, at some college fest. Being a newbie to music, Parikrama was amazing then!!! But I am digressing.

I expected CRCC to deliver like they had with Indian Ocean. I was disappointed.Bookmyshow said 6PM, Facebook said 7 PM, hoardings said 6 PM again; we reached at 6PM to avoid missing out in case it started at 6 PM. We had to wait till 815 PM,sitting through various fun-games(that reminded me of team events in office)concocted by the management to keep the audience entertained(Please note:In a rock show, the people in the audience will understand what's going on and just a simple message saying the band will start a bit late due to  a few issues is wayyyyy better than calling up people on stage and making them dance/do pushups just to make sure the organizers' names aren't tainted in any way).

So...... The sound check wasn't done, the band didn't seem interested anymore, there were problems with the guitar output, the band had to get ready etc etc. Parikrama started at around 815 PM and by 10 PM they were done.  We were thoroughly disappointed. Maybe they had intended to do more songs but because of all the delay,had lost interest in doing so. I get their point of view;it's pretty natural if you have opened for giants like Iron Maiden. The sound was bad, guitar solos got lost between backing guitars, the bass stopped working somewhere in the middle of the show, couldn't hear vocals a lot of times which were overpowered by other instruments.

But whatever Parikrama performed was a relief to weekend-gig-stricken people like me. The best part was the cover of Teenage Wasteland that they did. I have never heard any band playing this track live. Being one of my all time favourites, I was pretty damn surprised to hear the opening notes of the song when it started. Personally, I did not like the acoustic cover of But It Rained Nitin and Sonam did but Open Skies, Vaporize and Am I Dreaming made up for the song.The band ended with the ACDC song Highway to Hell and left a lingering mix of satisfaction and dissatisfaction within.

Kudos to CRCC for taking this initiative in Pune. Apart from hosting bands on weekends they are doing Open Mics, Tribute Nights, Karaoke Nights which obviously fall on weekdays again but no matter;they are hosting Karsh Kale and the MIDIval Punditz at the end of the month of August,2015. Here's to hoping other places in the city follow suit regarding weekend live gigs. Cheers!!

Arrival

I am sitting at the International Arrivals section of Dulles airport right now and watching people. Reunions are always special.Different ...