The Tollygunge Club is known for its sporting excellence, on November 6, guests got to see the musical side of its members when the band, Banned from Tolly, took over the stage. Formed seven years ago, the band comprises club members Vidul Prothi on vocals and bass, Rohan Ganguli on lead guitar, Arnab Mukherjee on keyboards, Kaizad A. Rabadi on drums and Abraham Stephanos on guitar and vocals.
Opening their set with We're an American Band, Abraham set the tone for retro classics that were to come later in the evening.
Bikram Singh Arora watches on with drummer Kaizad's daughters, Karina and VivanaAmit Datta
“I think you could dance to this one,” said Arnab, as the band swung into a rendition of She's My Baby. Bikram Singh Arora was one of the first people to approach the dance floor, with daughter Meher. “The bright lights, my lovely baby and the brilliant music made it an evening to remember,” he said.
Members groove to the music on the dance floorAmit Datta
When the band played Brain Damage by Pink Floyd, Sonakshi Mitra and her uncle Pradipta Sen couldn’t resist breaking into an impromptu jig. “The evening was like oxygen for me in the gloomy pandemic, and Tolly Club proved that we shall overcome despite all odds. The band kept our energy levels high,” she said.
The gig coincided with the opening of the new Johnnie Walker bar at the clubAmit Datta
The band kept quipping with each other throughout the evening. As the gig coincided with the opening of the new Johnnie Walker bar at the club, Vidul said, “Please buy alcohol and fuel the economy!” Pulling Arnab’s leg, Abraham joked, “He’s our band’s certified bartender. You can hire him at reasonable rates for mehendis and rokas.”
Retired tennis star Jaidip Mukerjea makes it a point to be at every club eventAmit Datta
Retired tennis star Jaidip Mukerjea could be seen enjoying the vibe. “I love how the club puts up great shows like this regularly, and I make it a point to be here for every big function,” said the Davis Cup finalist.
Kamakshi Rai made the crowd sing along to ‘Hey Jude’Amit Datta
Singer Kamakshi Rai, of Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota and The Voice fame, collaborated with Banned from Tolly for the first time. “It felt great to kick off the gig season at the club after a pandemic-induced hiatus. Banned from Tolly has so much fun on stage, it’s infectious. The highlight of the evening was when the whole audience sang Hey Jude along with me,” said Rai.
Brig. Deep Ahlawat and Col. S. S. Ahlawat dropped by to enjoy the showAmit Datta
Arjuna Awardee Brigadier Deep Ahlawat and Col. S. S. Ahlawat, both of whom represented India at the Asian Games in Equestrian, dropped by to enjoy the music. “I heard these beautiful songs after a long time. Kudos to the band for making this happen,” said Col. Ahlawat.
Actor Shataf Figar with his wife KristinaAmit Datta
Actor Shataf Figar (Shershaah, Made in China) and wife Kristina were thrilled to experience live music again. “I’m happy that life is getting back to normal. It had been ages since we attended a live music concert, because of the pandemic. Great to see that the winters are back, and a huge shout-out to Tolly Club for getting things rolling,” he said.
It was Vidul Prothi’s daughter Laavanya's first time performing with her dadAmit Datta
It was a proud moment for Vidul, as his daughter Laavanya joined him on stage. The Class V student of Modern High School for Girls performed a special rendition of Seven Nation Army, receiving the loudest cheers of the night. “I had never sung with dad before. It was extremely special sharing the stage with him,” she said.
“This event showcased the incredible talent of Tolly members,” said Anil Mukerji, CEO and Managing Member of Tollygunge Club.