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By The city now has a talent hunt for bands playing originals rather than oldies. Subhajit Banerjee counts down to the blast-off called Boom-Bass-Stick
  • Published 23.07.05

This is no Fame Gurukul. But for aspiring rock bands in the city looking for that elusive opportunity to showcase their talent, it could well be the road to recognition.

Boom-Bass-Stick: The Band Hunt, presented by The Telegraph Metro and Someplace Else (SPE), is looking for the best live band in town. And the chosen one will win a contract to play at the Mecca of live music in Calcutta, Someplace Else (SPE).

The event is part of SPE’s 11th anniversary celebrations, to be held in August. “The idea is to promote music in all its forms and bring new blood in,” says a spokesperson for SPE.

The pub at The Park plays host to bands like Orient Express, Krosswindz, Hip Pocket, Span, Saturday Night Blue’s Band and Cassini’s Division every night. Musicians from beyond city limits and national boundaries stop over occasionally for jam sessions.

For Boom-Bass-Stick, aspiring bands will have to submit their application by July 31. This would include their profile, details of the kind of music they play and a CD of demo tracks. A panel of judges, including veterans like Anjan Dutt and Nondon Bagchi, will then shortlist eight bands.

An audition, scheduled for August 10, will decide the winner.

Just what would the judges be looking for? “I personally would look for a band that’s interested in playing live music rather than recording albums,” says Anjan Dutt. “I would also see whether they are interested in playing different kinds of music.”

Most bands are playing the same standards these days, feels Dutt. “These are great tunes from great musicians, but how long can you keep playing the same old 70s and 80s rock?”

The musician-actor who takes the stage once a month at SPE is also looking forward to contestants playing original music. “It’s true that people come and ask for the hits, but you need a band to drive the original compositions as well.”

Regulars at SPE feel it would be a great opportunity for bands looking for a break. “We see young musicians coming in and seeing us perform. They really soak in the sound and try to learn how live music is played,” offers Bikramjit Banerjee of Krosswindz. The band started its SPE stint in 2001 with an acoustic line-up but switched to electric when the music demanded it.

But to really make it big, bands have to come out of their “comfort zones”, warns Dutt. “There are terrific musicians but they’re playing the same music. They have to change that.”

Someplace Else’s anniversary celebrations include a lot of other music-related events. Gary Lawyer performs with Hip Pocket on August 6, saxophonist Carl Clement guests with Skinny Alley on August 9, music composers Ehsaan and Loy come together on August 20 and fusion band Indian Ocean wraps up the rock revelry on August 27.