|Pink Noise in performance at Someplace Else on Friday. Picture by Rashbehari Das; some members of Plan B at a rehearsal
Familiar people, unfamiliar strains. With few fresh faces emerging in the local music scene ' and fewer opting for music as a full-time career ' mix and match has been the mantra for English bands trying to explore newer sounds. Here's a look at two 'new' bands, one of which debuted at Someplace Else on Saturday while the other is scheduled to perform for the first time in the city on May 13.
Skinny Alley with a different drummer ' that's what Pink Noise really is. With Jayshree Singh on vocals, Gyan Singh on bass and Amyt Dutta on guitar, only Jeffrey Rikh is missing in action. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Pink Noise features Jayshree and Gyan's 19-year-old son Jivraj on drums. 'Though he was always into music and constantly surrounded by us, Jivesh had never shown an interest in picking up any particular instrument. That changed sometime early last year, when he sat down behind a drum set and decided to be a drummer,' said Jayshree, ahead of Friday's gig.
When Amyt dropped in at the Singhs' for Skinny Alley rehearsals, Jivesh would sit in and soon his parents joined the jam. 'The sound has more jazz and improvisation leanings and soon we had some originals in the bag,' recounted Jayshree. Pink Noise ' named after a company formed by Jayshree and Amyt sometime back to create jingles ' debuted in Delhi on March 24.
Jivesh attributes his sudden decision to an 'overload' of great music: 'Last year, around January, there were a bunch of jazz and rock gigs in the city. That kind of made things happen for me.'
Pink Noise likes to play '80 per cent original music' with some covers of Skinny Alley and artistes like John Coltrane, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix, but in its 'own unique way'.
This line-up sports a vocalist and bassist from Krosswindz, a drummer from Skinny Alley, some other veteran musicians and a singer who has recently made a comeback to music. 'For quite some time, I wanted to do my own stuff,' said guitarist Sumith Ramachandran, the man behind Plan B. 'It's difficult to get like-minded people and with this band I've been very fortunate.'
Others in the band include Rila and Rajiv on vocals, Dominique on keyboards, Osi on bass and Jeffrey Rikh on drums. With Plan B being conceived only a month back these are very early days, agree band members. 'It's just a baby now and we don't want to rush anything,' offered Ramachandran.
Coming up, a few shows in the city, starting with Someplace Else on May 13. Keeping the pub appearance in mind, Plan B is currently concentrating on a wide range of covers ' from the Beatles to contemporary alternative. 'Eventually we would play all originals' but they would be something that people can digest,' Ramachandran added.
Rehearsals are on full-swing.
RAIMA SEN sits pretty in Bolly and Tolly
Things are looking up for the elder granddaughter of Suchitra Sen who is taking one cautious step at a time in Bollywood. Raima Sen has bagged the female lead in Mani Shankar's spy thriller Mukhbir, co-starring Suniel Shetty, Sameer Dattani and Om Puri. Mani Shankar is the maker of films like 16 December, Rudraksh and Tango Charlie.
On Friday, Raima wrapped up the dubbing for Anjan Dutt's The Bong Connection at the Black Magic studio (picture by Aranya Sen).
'I think Mukhbir means informer. It's the story of a young spy and I play the romantic lead opposite Sameer. It's my first solo in Bollywood and I am very excited,' gushes Raima, most of whose earlier Hindi projects have been crowded with a clutch of stars (remember Parineeta and Dus).
'I will be shooting a song with Sameer to Saroj Khan's choreography in Hyderabad this weekend,' she adds, with quite a few Bolly and Tolly releases lined up this summer.
To start with, there's Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya, Rituparno Ghosh's Khela, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury's Anuranon, Anjan's The Bong Connection and the Farhan Akhtar-produced Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd.
'I am very impressed with the rushes of Bong Connection. It's such a relief to look like myself on screen after playing a challenged girl in Eklavya and a 30-year-old woman in Anuranon,' says Raima.
In Bong Connection, she plays Sheela, a Calcutta-based Bengali girl blending the traditional and trendy.