Ready to rock you
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- Published 28.05.09
Meet the bands you will hear at Vodafone in association with t2 presents Elektrik Kool Rock Revue I on May 30 at GD Birla Sabhagar, 6pm onwards
Around since: 2006. Each member with varied backgrounds and influences came together to churn out a “toothpaste-fresh” sound.
Members: Ananda Sen on guitar and vocals, Avinash Chordia on drums, Nitin Mani on bass and Rohan Ganguli on guitar, harmonica and vocals.
Musical style and genre: Varies from song to song, but essentially rock that ranges from post-punk alternative music to blues and rock’’roll. The band’s set-list includes mellow songs as well as aggressive ones — but be sure never to find a happy song in The Supersonics’ repertoire. “Our songs lean towards the negative. They talk about the negativities of day-to-day human life,” says Ananda. Their acoustic numbers are arranged with unusual sounds of the mandolin and the djembe, livening up the tunes. An old-school band with a contemporary feel, The Supersonics do not stick to any particular genre.
First album: Maby Baking, a 10-song Saregama release that should be out in July. Produced by Miti Adhikari, a London-based producer/recording engineer who has worked with the likes of The Pixies, Nirvana and Manic Street Preachers, the songs talk about a bit of everything: life, women, getting high and personal loss.
Career highlights: Performing at the Kolkata Rock Festival, organised by the band itself to promote original music. The Supersonics have played in different cities as part of the Pubrock festival and Rocktoberfest and have also performed at the Hard Rock Cafe and Blue Frog in Mumbai. Their single In Memory Of was featured in the Must-Have Download section of Rolling Stone’s India edition last year, along with a spot among the top 10 artistes to watch out for in the country.
Watch out for: Policemen and Nice Guys, from their yet-to-be-released album and also up on the band’s website, www.thesupersonics.net. The Supersonics will also embark on a tour of all the metros following the launch of Maby Baking.
bertie da silva and orphic hat
Around since: August 2008. The singer-songwriter-professor stepped out of musical hibernation to play with old friends before getting together with some of his old students to form his own line-up.
Members: Bertie da Silva on vocals, harmonica and guitar, Willy Walters on bass guitar, Jonathan Ram Gopal on keyboards, Anindyo Paul on vocals and Amlan Jyoti Singh on drums.
Musical style and genre: In-your-face rock that features both the acoustic and electric sets of Bertie’s music, with a strong lyrical content. The verses are as important to the songs as the music, as Bertie describes it. “It’s something more personal than confessional. It’s about things that I watch around me that slyly creep into my songs,” explains Bertie about his metaphorical writing that tells stories of falling in love, heartbreak and dying.
First album: The band feels it is still too premature to come up with an album right away. Spreading their music and collecting an audience is priority before going all out with an album.
Career highlights: Bertie, 52, was around till the late 80s, performing sold-out shows in concert halls with old friends Mel, Fuzz and Cyrus Tata. A mix of covers and originals in country rock comprised his repertoire, till he vanished from the scene. He returned with a much-lauded set of rock originals last winter.
Watch out for: DVDs of their concert last November will be up for grabs at the Elektrik Kool Rock Revue I concert on May 30. Audio CDs of the November show are also available in all music stores across the city. A solo concert in August at GD Birla Sabhagar is on the cards.
FIVE LITTLE INDIANS (fli)
Around since: 2007 when some old bandmates and a few of their contemporaries got together.
Members: Neel Adhikari on vocals and guitar, Allan Ao on guitars and backing vocals, Arka Das on drums and percussion, Sayak Bandyopadhyay on vocals and percussion and Sanket Bhattacharya on bass.
Musical style: FLI are reluctant to be boxed into a particular genre — and their sound reflects that reluctance. With their feet firmly planted in rock, the band’s heavy sound blends with its usage of classical vocals and acoustic textures to create a unique space. “It’s about finding a comfort zone and that’s why it’s very diverse,” says Allan. “Our song subjects are usually whatever’s right in our faces when we’re writing; from claustrophobia to cross-eyed horses and everything in between,” says Neel.
First album: The boys are in the midst of recording a new batch of original tunes. “Our set is growing everyday and we’ve managed to shortlist around 20 songs that we plan on recording. Material for an album should be ready by the end of this year,” says Neel.
Career highlights: The band debuted at the Eastwind Festival, Delhi, in 2008. FLI has since performed at a number of events including the Calcutta leg of the RSJ Pubrock Fest and interFACE, an international dance festival in 2008 and the eastern zone finals of Campus Rock Idols in 2009. Their single Screaming At The Sun saw a world-wide release as part of the album Stupidditties 2, a compilation of “Indian un-metal music” supported by Counter Culture Records. Apart from being featured for their original work, their first single Happy Birthday was picked as a Must-Have Download by Rolling Stone magazine in November 2008.
Watch out for: Two new songs — Go Back In Time and You Make My World Turn To Lead On — on FLI’s MySpace page, http://myspace.com/fivelittleindians.
Here’s what the music community feels about Elektrik Kool Rock Revue I
Tabla player, world percussionist
“I have always stood for original music and to see people talking about it and doing something about it is good news. To see Bertie at the helm of things is also a pleasure. He was my professor and I belonged to his first batch. I remember urging him later when he came to my house once to carry on with his music. I’m also curious to listen to Five Little Indians. I’ve heard their stuff on a CD, would be nice to hear them live. The best music I feel happens on stage in an auditorium. It’s also about being respectful to the music, whatever form it may be. And when it’s original, it’s even better.”
Guitarist; Pink Noise and Skinny Alley
“This concert and movement is the best thing to happen in many, many years. When we started performing, we’d play in concert halls where people would come to listen to us play and enjoy themselves — unlike the way it is in pubs where people are busy discussing their lives and family over a drink. It’s the best situation for a musician to have the right kind of attention from a serious audience.
“The crowds also need to tune into this kind of a concert. It’s absolutely important to carry on with this attempt and I’m 200 per cent with them.”
Former manager, Cassini’s Division
“I would definitely like to attend the concert and support it. Firstly, it’s original music that is being played so it'll be a change to listen to some new music. Secondly, it’s the quality of musicians. The bands doing their original stuff have been around for a while and they don’t produce music just for the sake of it. I have the patience to sit through a concert where time or a closed auditorium doesn’t matter as long as the music is good. It’s inspiring!”
vikramjit “tuki” banerjee
“It’s a great concept to have a concert dedicated to original music on such a large scale. It might have happened earlier but not a lengthy concert like this, with three bands playing. This should open the floodgates for more bands and musicians who want to do original music. It’s a new beginning and a great one for Calcutta. Krosswindz will be performing in the next Rock Revue chapter and I’m looking forward to that also. A lot of places that are finicky about letting bands do their original stuff should become more open if this trend carries on.”