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Concert alert! Jiverz, a new Kolkata band in service of retro rock

This six-member group of old-timers and young talent promises to let it roll this Saturday at Skinny Mo’s

My Kolkata Web Desk | Published 09.06.22, 04:32 PM
Jiverz will perform on Saturday, June 11, at Skinny Mo’s.

Jiverz will perform on Saturday, June 11, at Skinny Mo’s.

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For the city of Kolkata, steeped in histories of all kinds, especially music, the idea of a new band is always welcome. And if in its fruition, the result is something like Jiverz, a covers band dedicated to what it calls retro rock, it is likely to find itself a dedicated audience yearning to listen to those songs of not so long ago that have been edged out of the city's live performances with the passage of time.

Their inaugural concert is scheduled for Saturday, June 11, at Skinny Mo's, a cafe of interesting continental delights attached to a neat performance space on its top floor. 

"We are playing these songs on popular demand," says Sayan Mukherji, a musician, chess player and a former VP with a German multinational, who has put together the group that boasts of a father-son duo on guitar and drums, a young wizard on the keys and a bachelor in computer applications as the primary vocalist. Adding flair to the ensemble is a percussionist with a wide array of jingles and jangles that he weaves in-between flourishes on the congas. Singing duties are shared by the others too which add variety to their performance that includes a delectable selection of tracks of the energetic '80s — Dire Straits, Sade and Santana gel well with George Michael, Alannah Myles and the Rolling Stones. 

Tilak Kundu is on drums. Just don't hold it against him that he sounds a bit like JJ Cale while rendering backing vocals. He has seen it all, played it all as the drummer of Hellfire, a one-time busy rock band of the city, before which he did duty behind the kit at Trincas. "I was among the first group of musicians with a monthly salary that formed the core band of the landmark Park Street restaurant." His son, Kushal (Tony), is on guitar, deploying a certain Mark Knopfler's signature style of the "finger crawl" as he plucks and pinches the strings, working up and down the fretboard with casual elegance. He is a 2010 India's Got Talent find and member of Bolpur Bluez, a fusion band his brother Kunal helms.

WHEN: 8pm, Saturday, 11 June. WHERE: Skinny Mo’s.

WHEN: 8pm, Saturday, 11 June. WHERE: Skinny Mo’s.

Renfred Anderson, also from a musical family — his father is Merwyn Anderson of Kolors — is on keyboards, providing the much-needed wall of sound for tunes to shine on. Kaushik Sen is the conguero whose forte is clearly a light minimalist touch with telling spaces punctuating beats.

Mukerji, for whom piano is the preferred instrument for composing, plays bass, a role he performed with authority and aplomb while with Harvest during his Xavier’s days and more recently with JellyBellies. Diya Bhattacharya is doing most of the singing, confidently pulling off Sade, Ben E King and Roberta Flack, her range fine-tuned during her days in Mumbai where she was a regular performer every Sunday at the Gymkhana.

The Telegraph Online Music Desk was privy to a rehearsal at Mukerji's practice pad a few days before Gig Day (it helped that the reporter on assignment was a junior schoolmate of the band leader). There, while playing together, the uneven age graph of the band members mattered little. As long as the music was being played right. And it was. Tight.

Last updated on 09.06.22, 07:35 PM
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