I have a confession to make. I’m a Manchester United fan. How is this arbitrary piece of information relevant you ask? Well, I walked into the Chilly Potato gig at Kyra, wearing my Manchester United jersey just after having witnessed them lose possibly the most important game of the season to arch-rivals Arsenal. As depressing as that was, I was looking to the concert to cheer me up. During my college days Chilly Potato (CP) was one of those bands at whose shows you were guaranteed a fun time.
The crowd that had gathered mainly consisted of friends and family. There was a sizeable WTS contingent there as well (Support the scene, y’all!) and they patiently waited for the show to start. Chilly Potato started off their return-show with their staple cover of ‘Born to be Wild.’ The band looked comfortable on stage even though it had been almost a year since their last show. The band segued well into a couple of their own compositions as Sidharth Mohan, the newest member of the band (on drums) impressed with his precise and varied beats. CP’s set-list was dominated by cover songs but a feature to note was that they put their own spin on all of the covers that they did play. Nina Simone’s ‘Feeling Good’ was pulled off with aplomb. CP did take the easy way out by covering ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ though. The expected crowd-chanting of the chorus didn’t happen either – the members in the audience were content applauding at the end of each song.
The band also played a four song acoustic set which kicked off with a full-feelingsu version of ‘Hallelujah.’ Singer Bharath managed to hit the right notes (well, most of them atleast!) in a song that isn’t the easiest to emulate. They also covered The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’ and interestingly enough, Radiohead’s ‘Street Spirit.’ Bassist Kevin and keyboardist Siddharth adeptly played the guitar parts for this phase of the gig. I thought they missed a beat (pardon the pun) by covering Porcupine Tree’s ‘Trains’ without a drummer though.
Chilly Potato then signed off the gig with what is possibly their best original – ‘A Million Miles Away.’ It was heartening to see few people in the audience know the lyrics to the track and sing along with the band. The band closed the show with a high-octane version of ‘Highway Star’ that segued into an encore of Phish’s ‘Tweezer Reprise.’ Although this wasn’t a drop-your-drink-and-stop-talking-to-the-girl-next-to-you-to-headbang sort of gig, every person in the audience seemed to have had a very enjoyable time. More importantly, the band, after their hiatus, had a great time on stage and will hopefully play few more shows in the future…and include their cult cover of Dr. Rajkumar’s ‘Tic Tic Ticâ’ in them. One more serving of some Chilly Potato please! This time with extra toppings of ‘Mungaru Metchul’ and ‘Sheela Ki Jawani’!