Dominos Vobiscum, Pilgrims! 🙂
Let’s be honest: Many of us would rarely, if ever, associate Indians with Heavy Metal and rock music. Thanks to New Age Hippies, the spaced-out times of the 60s and the explosion of all things ‘Bollywood’ in recent years, our common association with music and India involves the Sitar (Thank you very much, Ravi Shankar ji & George Harrison!), tabla, classical vocal singing ladies wearing regal saris’ with a stringed orchestra. Let’s not also forget the obligatory singing and dancing with all the colours of the rainbow! Yep, that’s practically the gist of it.
So when you hear an Indian band or collaboration that happens to be influenced by heavy Metal, Rock, Jazz and all the other genres of music you seldom connect with the India Diaspora, you begin to ask yourself, “Can they even pull it off?” Well, actually, they can. Apparently, Heavy Metal is big business in India, and cousin, Business is a-boomin!
Since I had this evening free, the missus asked whether I’d like to come down to a showcase event hosted at the Gibson Guitars Studios. I was told that a band calling themselves ‘Shaa-ir & Func’ would be performing & are worth checking out. Now, I had already seen one half of the duo, ‘Func’ (Randolph), who was part of a rock band in India called Pentagram, so I had certain expectations:
So when Monica Dogra (‘Shaa’ir’, which means poet) came on stage, my first judgemental thought was, “Oh, Lord! I hope she’s not another version of Natasha Khan” (She from Bat for Lashes):
You can understand why that was my first impression! My assestment couldn’t be further from the truth. Talk about charisma; the whole band had an alchemy to their performance that more established bands would wish for! What’s more impressive is the amalgamation of their Indian heritage with other musical influences. Nice!
Anand Subaya, on the bass guitar, is a real nice guy. A big shame I couldn’t get a really good shot of him:
I really, really need to get the set list of future gigs. I have no idea what the tracks they played were, but hey, ping down to their Myspace account, or better still, check one of their youtube performances here.
Well, it’s going midnight, so way past my bed-time. Pax, pilgrims!