Ulubari jives to roadside rock show - Entire neighbourhood celebrates New Year's eve as band belts out hit numbers

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By Staff Reporter
  • Published 1.01.04
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Jan. 1: There was no second opinion that the show was something entirely new to the city.

Away from the elite hotspots where the creme de la creme of the city boogied into the New Year, an entire neighbourhood last night bid farewell to 2003, rock style.

Taking a leaf out of roadside New Year-eve celebrations in the nation’s capital, a rock music show, christened Rock ’mania, was organised at the Boxing Club in Ulubari’s Kacharibasti to welcome the New Year in a spirit akin to that of posh clubs and hotels. But there was a twist to the revelry.

Going by the overwhelming response to the show, it is all set for a repeat next year. Local band Voodoo Child belted out all the hit rock numbers as the neighbourhood men and women, young and old, swayed, jived and rocked. “It was so novel and enjoyable that there was not one long face, though some must have felt that the music was too loud,” said R. Boro, a 30-year-old businessman.

Sushila Rani, an elderly woman, was not complaining either. She tapped her foot and clapped her hands to the music that reverberated in the chilly December night. “I don’t understand the lyrics. But it has got a fantastic rhythm and lovely to sway to. Something new, like a New Year.”

The show, organised by local cultural group, The Eagles, began at 10.30 pm and went on till 2 am, well past the witching hour. At a few minutes to midnight, the Voodoo Child stopped their music to ring in the New Year with fireworks, cheers, wishes and the beat of drums.

“We are performing as bands do at parties. This is not exactly a rock show but a way of helping routine-weary people let their hair down and enjoy a few hours of dancing and fun on New Year eve,” said David Goldsmith, vocalist and lead singer of the band. Needless to add, his entire family was present at the show to cheer the band on.

Besides Goldsmith, the Voodoo Child comprises Rittique Phukan on drums and vocal, Ricky Singh on base guitar and Ambarish Saikia on the lead guitar.

The crowd rocked and rolled as the band sang one hit after another — Hotel California, Summer of 69, I Want To Be Free, Pretty Woman, Black Magic Woman, The Heat Is On, Cocaine — and as the show progressed it became clear that the band had struck the right chord.

“New Year special rock shows have perhaps never been held. This will introduce a trend and we can expect more neighbourhood bashes,” said Babloo, spokesperson for The Eagles.