Author Archives: Swati Nair

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About Swati Nair

Swati is a writer/sub-editor for What'sTheScene. She enjoys most kinds of music and spends all of her time scouting the Internet and re-watching Star Trek and Swat Kats.

March 23, 2016

An Artist’s Rebellion

By - on 23/03/2016 at 8:22 pm


Ours is a country where we grow up listening to contrasting opinions. We’re taught that we’re unique and then we’re chided for it when we grow up. We’re taught that we can be anything we want, but we aren’t taught that that statement comes with the Conditions Applied* tag like we’re commodities that can only be interesting or useful so long as we fit within boxes and shelves. Some people understand that these conditions exist, but some don’t. We call these oblivious people artists. They grow like wild shrubs – conspicuous in a tamed garden but also oblivious to the fact that their untamed appearance is frowned upon. Which is fine. There are always going…

January 27, 2014

Agam and Aks at CounterCulture, Bangalore

By - on 27/01/2014 at 10:24 am


When two bands of national acclaim are gathered to play at a popular venue, you can expect the early animated crowd to fill in way before the concert. This night was no different. Each table had an excitable someone telling their friends about the bands that were to perform. One of the most heartening things about the Indian music scene is getting to see fans pointing to band members (who are almost always part of the audience, sipping on their pre-gig drinks) in awe. And so it was that when Aks took the stage, the audience cheered them with a fervour that came from finally not having to mutter their appreciation at dinner-table volume. Without wasting…

December 23, 2013

No Euphoria Over Sen’s Sexism

By - on 23/12/2013 at 9:45 pm


Each year has its share of music festivals that are marked on every enthusiast’s calendar. Mood Indigo at IIT Bombay might feature high on that list because of its popularity and renown for quality and class. This year, Palash Sen, of Euphoria fame marred the experience of most fans gathered for the show. His slew of sexist “jokes” on stage, calling into question the beauty and representation of women in IIT, their intelligence, and their adherence to stereotyped female gender roles such as roti-making has rightly left a large fan base in utter disappointment and even anger. Soon after the incident, an online blogger, Ms. Arpita Biswas, posted an article that went viral on the…

November 3, 2013

The Great Indian Octoberfest 2013 Experience

By - on 03/11/2013 at 11:45 am


After over a week of the end of the fiesta that was The Great Indian Octoberfest 2013, memories still linger afresh. Not all of them are necessarily perfect, but many of them are worth writing home about. It wasn’t just the music, or the beer, or the contests. It was about conversations, the companionship, and the smiles. The thing about long music fests is, they don’t aim for a “like it or leave it” experience. They aim to make music enthusiasts happy, whether or not they listen to a specific genre. There’s something for everyone, and even if you aren’t there necessarily for the music, you’ve still got plenty to look forward to. I overheard…

April 25, 2013

Traffic Jam at Tao Terraces, Bangalore

By - on 25/04/2013 at 9:36 am


On an especially cloud-covered Sunday evening, we waited for Traffic Jam to start their show. The venue was Tao Terraces at 1MG Mall in Bangalore – an open space sheathed by nothing but the sky, illuminated mostly by the moon. As the band took the stage, they were greeted with lazy, but not unwelcome smiles. They started off with a light-hearted number titled ‘All That Jazz’. Some of you may remember it from the musical – Chicago. Traffic Jam’s adaptation was brilliantly refitted, with a no-frills vibe about it. The original flavor of the song wasn’t diluted thanks to the accompanying instruments, and one could hardly feel the lack of the trumpet, thanks to Marcus Daniel’s dexterous…

May 5, 2012

Bangalore Sings The Blues: An Ode To The Blues

By - on 05/05/2012 at 12:23 pm


In the history of all Blues music, there is a man whose life has become a folk tale. Legend has it that he was poisoned by the jealous husband of a woman he was flirting with but what really attracts attention to his life is the story of how he made a Faustian deal with the devil. Not that he enjoyed any fame in his lifetime “ he was largely unpopular even long after he died. People have studied his life, interpreted it, dissected and analyzed it. That man is Robert Johnson and on his 100th remembrance, it took a bunch of music enthusiasts from Bangalore, India to finally take the man’s life and his…

February 7, 2012

Western Influences and Vernacular Singing

By - on 07/02/2012 at 4:43 pm


There is no dearth of good rock/metal Indian bands today. Some of them enjoy a good amount of popularity, at least in their home ground. Some others are more niche and play for a more loyal fan base. What does seem lacking in the Indian music scene today is the number of bands that don’t perform in English. Bands that stick to their traditional, vernacular languages while staying true to the genres they wish to adopt. One may argue that switching to a vernacular language may spell less popularity or even death knell for a band but there are monumental, towering proofs for the fact that this isn’t true. For instance, Avial and Agam are…


. . . My introduction to Dire Straits wasn’t special. It happened when I first heard ‘Sultans of Swing’ on MTV and for the next few days the tune lingered in my mind – I kept humming it to myself when I realized, that just didn’t cut it. I needed to get their album. That was nine years ago and I still haven’t had enough of them. Dire Straits are not my favourite band but they’re on a pedestal upon which I place few others. Eventually, more music filled my hard drive, several new bands came into existence, genres of rock started to diversify and I listened to Dire Straits less frequently but somehow, they…