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Nostalgia was, without a doubt, the theme of the evening on 19th March 2017 as Bengaluru prepared to witness the British rock band – The Dire Straits (minus Mark Knopfler). Now dubbed ‘The Dire Straits Experience’, the band features two of the original members – Chris White on saxophone, percussion and vocals, and Chris Whitten on drums. The band also has Terence Reis attempting to fill the gargantuan boots of guitarist and vocalist Mark Knopfler. A long-standing initiative by Seagram’s 100 Pipers Music CDs, bringing to life their message ‘Be remembered for good’, the 2017 edition of ‘Play For A Cause’ focused on providing sustainable drinking water to villagers in Rajasthan. A part of the ticket sales proceeds was earmarked…

May 10, 2016

Skrat at The Moon and Six Pence, Chennai

By - on 10/05/2016 at 7:21 pm

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Whenever there is news about a Skrat gig, there’s always a ripple of excitement among music-lovers in India. When a Facebook event notification popped up about a gig featuring these badasses at The Moon and Six Pence (MASP) Chennai, there was a huge buzz in the city! Skrat always has something new to offer during every show and what went down that night was particularly exhilarating because they hadn’t performed in their home city in a long time and the locals missed the band – it was clear that the feelings were mutual. The Moon and Six Pence is known for its barn-like, Irish stage space, where the trio fit in like pieces of a puzzle. The minute the amps…

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Of the many ways of ringing in a good weekend, watching one of my favourite live bands perform an acoustic set at a venue touted as among Delhi’s best for quality music, is right up there at the top of my list. So, on Friday, 15 April, I landed up at The Piano Man Jazz Club (TPMJC). If ever a venue justified the tag of hosting an intimate set, this is it. With seats set close up to the stage and one tier up, the place allows for a unique performer-audience interaction. Barefaced Liar, the singer-songwriter-guitarist duo of Akshay Chowdhry and Sumant Balakrishnan, couldn’t have chosen a better venue for their first gig of 2016, to showcase their latest album…

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“Were you there?!” he was screaming in my ear. “Was I where?” I replied, a little confused. “Are you here?!” he rephrases the question, with no real increase in clarity. “Yes I was…here?” I tentatively venture before the penny drops. Yes, I was there, when there is here. I was there when Creeper headlined the Camden Underworld. Whilst my new drunken friend wasn’t really making himself clear, tonight was the night Creeper made it abundantly clear that this is one of the last times they hit venues this small. But before we got onto the main attraction, there was the small issue of a veritable mountain of hardcore to scale. We missed Muskets cos the bus is a crap way…

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When I started writing for What’s The Scene I was told quite emphatically that I was to cover underground and independent music. No pop music, and so definitely no arena shows. Or so I thought. So it came as a surprise that I got to do exactly that, covering a fiercely independent band headlining the UK’s biggest indoor all-standing venue: Alexandra Palace. Yup, the Shikari boys have surprised us all with both their pop appeal and enduring longevity. But before we caught the headliners we caught a few of the support acts on what must be one of the strongest bills of the year. First up were the newly-reformed King Blues, and what a nostalgia trip this was for me…

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Darren Cunningham says he “sees the world in a different way”. Whilst it was nothing more than maternal hyperbole when his mother described him as “an alien of some sort”, it is immediately evident from any dialogue with the ‘sonic graffitist’ that he is no run-of-the-mill artist.  The conceptually-heavy producer, completely immersed in his art, weaves through industrial techno, R&B Concrète and dark electronica with a keen eye to subvert the restraints of 4/4 dance music. Hailing from Wolverhampton, he co-founded Werkdiscs, which began its life as a club night in the early 2000s. As it expanded it developed into a record label and is responsible for releases from the likes of Helena Hauff, Lone and Zomby. Actress remains the manager of…

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Programme: Suite No. 3 in C major – Bach Souvenir de Balatonboglár - Kurtág In Memoriam Ferenc Wilhelm - Kurtág Suite No. 2 in D minor - Bach Schatten - Kurtág In Memoriam Gyorgy Kroó - Kurtág Suite No. 6 in D major - Bach He has the perfect cello, the perfect bow, and the perfect music. It’s the dream formula, so what could give acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis such deep trepidation? Bach’s Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites are to a musician what Hamlet is to an actor. They are the pinnacle of art and endurance, and the ultimate test of technique, strength and musicianship. Bach’s minimal performance markings leave much to interpretation, but with such artistic freedom comes great pressure. The language of the Suites can…

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“Fuck Neck Deep mate, they’re shit,” the saying goes. “Ben’s dad owns a record label,” it continues. But, contrary to popular belief, Terry Barlow doesn’t own a record label, and according to everyone singing along in the Kentish Town Forum, Neck Deep are anything but shit. On tour for their belting sophomore, Life’s Not Out To Get You, the Wrexham boys have stepped it up a gear in terms of tour venues and tonight is no different; this isn’t some run-of-the-mill UK pop-punk show, this is a pro band playing a pro level venue. Not that any of the specifics matter to the queue that snaked round the back of the venue on a rainy Saturday evening, all 800m of people…

February 12, 2016

Villagers @ The Oxford O2 (08.02.16)

By - on 12/02/2016 at 6:00 pm

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It’s an open campfire at O’Brien’s tonight. Soggy February skies muffle Oxford’s O2 Academy, but inside Villagers and their merry men are blazing through an Irish folktale. “Do you really wanna know about these lines on my face? Well…” Canadian experimental folk singer Aidan Knight introduced the evening’s story with an acoustic set steeped in melancholy. He perched cross-legged just like he was enjoying a lazy afternoon on a park bench. Thoughtful, well-crafted, but at times a little bland, Knight’s sound resembled a subdued Jack Johnson. It was more his endearingly modest persona that sold the otherwise lackluster set. Charming with laid-back conversation, the O2 warmed to him with ease, and he gave way graciously to the main event with…

February 11, 2016

Joshua Bell & Steven Isserlis @ The Cadogan Hall (22.01.16)

By - on 11/02/2016 at 12:01 am

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Programme: Dvořak ‘Waldesruhe’ arr. for cello and orchestra, B.182 Beethoven ‘Symphony No.8 in F major, Op. 93′ Schumann ‘Violin Concerto, mv. II’ (codetta by Britten) Brahms ‘Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102′ Steven Isserlis (cello) and Joshua Bell (violin) entered a sold-out Cadogan Hall yesterday, accompanied by players from the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. The ensemble has been touring throughout January across Europe, performing at venues from Dusseldorf to Edinburgh. Bell and Isserlis’s friendship spans thirty years of collaborations and performances, and the pair have been eager to tour together for many years. This month, their ambition has been realised. Isserlis opened the concert with a profound, elegant rendition of Dvořak’s ‘Waldesruhe’ (‘Silent Woods’). In his most recent blog post (‘The Dangers…