Oliver Sean at Hard Rock Café, Bangalore




When Thursday evening drew to a close, it bore the brunt of the summer, and closed down to a cloudy evening just on the verge of a downpour. I hadn’t expected the erstwhile Higginbothams to become a stoned structure with Rock memorabilia studded on its walls when I entered Hard Rock Café to watch Oliver Sean’s show. We were ushered in and made to stand in front of a raised stage about five feet off the ground. People who knew of him, and didn’t, trickled in to a crowd of about thirty, and stood lounging about for his show to start. The place has a scarce seating capacity in a room which houses the stage, and understandably occupied, given that it was towards the latter half of the week. A few were glued to the Kolkata Vs Pune match that played on the TV screens. My photographer and I found a corner and I downed the evening with a Kingfisher.

9:30 pm. Oliver stepped on to the stage with visibly no sign of his band-mates. He shouted out to a scattered crowd “Does anyone know the score?” Someone in the audience replied, “It doesn’t matter.” Laughing it off, he proceeded to play his first song, ‘So Good’ on his acoustic guitar, accompanied by recorded sounds of drums and bass. It stirred the laid back crowd into motion, who walked up in front of the stage and began gaining their first sights of Oliver Sean. A tall Portuguese-Goan-Italian with curly blonde hair held back by a bandana.

“I’ve been waiting,

Waiting for you, dunno where you live, or what you do,

But I know when, I’ll see you.

It’s gonna be good. So good, so good, so good.”

A cheerful love song that got the crowd tapping their feet to his music.

He followed up his first single (that has been recorded to have gone double platinum) with Bob Dylan’s rendition of ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ . Well, of course he didn’t follow it up with Dylan’s voice, but a clearly identifiable song, got the crowd singing along.

His third song, ‘Come On, Move On’ , got the crowd swaying to his energy. He began strumming his guitar hard, noticeably living the song that he belted out.

“I want you to go,

Leave me alone,

I want you to know,

I’ll do it on my own.”

Simple, straightforward lyrics.

And while the beer went down its destined paths and warmed our hearts, Oliver toned the mood down and played the mellow ‘Alone’, the song he dedicated to single mothers in the crowd, having said that he was brought up by one himself. It touched a chord when he infused the sounds of the sitar and the tabla in this song, though the sounds came off recorded instruments. If there’s one song that you’d like to sample, I’d suggest THIS!

I Like It’ softened the mood of the evening – another love song that you can sway to.

The Post Break session saw him break into singing covers. Interrupted by a heavily groovy, ‘Getting Around’ . If there was any song that came closest to metal using an acoustic guitar, it’d have to be this. Or at least that’s the way he made it sound.

I Just Wanna Be’ his next song, he announced, was about not wanting what parents and friends want you to be, but being yourself – a song that got a few like-minded individuals to sit up and take notice.

Oliver tried to get some interaction going with the crowd while they settled for dinner, by saying “Lots of pretty girls out there! How’re you doing?”, but was only met with a group of men saying “Great!”

Sean wrapped the evening with ‘Stand By Me’ and ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ – songs that got the crowd singing along with him. However, I’d settle for an encore of his rendition of ‘I Want to Break Free’ by Queen that he sung with great gusto. It would have been much better if he had his band on stage to render the feel of the song.

If you’re someone who likes to groove to happy music by the beach, you can catch his album So Good that’s in the stores. Oliver Sean released his music video for his new single called ‘Movies’ (the video for which he directed himself). Here‘s where you can catch a glimpse of this multi-talented musician.

Sharath Krishnaswami

Sharath is a freelance journalist. When he's not working, he's either painting on walls, trekking, or writing short stories.


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