Tag Archives: Empty Saturday

Mad Orange Fireworks All Set to Work Their Charm!


Mad Orange Fireworks has been around for well over two years now. While they’ve been rigorously touring the circuit with their special brand of Orange (their words, not ours) rock, we’ve been appreciating this four-piece band’s unique mix of alternative and pop with a little bit of blues-rock vocals thrown in. See, they really are difficult to categorize!

Made up of Michael (vocals and guitar), Ramanan (guitars and vocals), Kaushik (bass and vocals), and Shravan (drums and vocals), the last two years, and quite a few before, have given them a lot of material to put on a full-length album and that’s exactly what they’re in the process of doing. “The Lifeline Cast” is a ten-song album out in the near future. “We’re done with the recording and it’ll be out sometime in July,” says Michael confidently.

Mad Orange Fireworks All Set to Work Their Charm!

“The album’s title takes after a section of the lyrics from a song of ours that goes ‘Can’t get a grip on the lifeline cast…’. It basically describes the kind of lives we’ve chosen as musicians. The album itself definitely has groove in every bit and we’re hoping that it is interesting enough to be appreciated by musicians and listeners alike.”

They’re doing a preview of their debut album at The BFlat Bar tonight. The album is a compilation of material they’ve been playing at gigs for the past two years, and a hefty chunk of material it is! Songs like ‘Black Hole’, ‘Empty Saturday’ and ‘Funny Feeling’ are easy to make favorites on first listen.

Mad Orange Fireworks All Set to Work Their Charm!

But there’s more than just previewing an album to this particular gig (like that isn’t enough in the first place!).  Drummer for the band Shravan, who’s been a part of MOF even before the band was named, is going his own way and this is a farewell gig in camouflage. “There’s no politics or anything involved. He just has work commitments. We’ve actually been trying to convince him for two years to quit his corporate job and do music full time but it was a no go. We’re sad to see him go because he’s a close friend but, knowing him, he’ll be there for all our gigs,” says the soft-spoken Michael about his bandmate. “He didn’t want to make too big a deal about it so we said we’d combine it with our album preview.”

Mad Orange Fireworks All Set to Work Their Charm!

When asked about Shravan, Michael only has good things to say, “He’s a hard worker, I’d say. This was his first band on a professional level and he’s the guy I contacted first when we wanted to form the band. He’s just a really nice guy and has always been there for the band. Also, he was great while recording the album. He’s brilliant at putting down parts and is an interestingly working composer.”

“In the meantime, we’ll have Deepak Raghu sessioning for us,” he adds as an afterthought, “though we’re not exactly sure on that for the long term.” We tried to make the interview just the right amount of cliché by asking Michael to describe Shravan in a word or a phrase and he was kind enough to deliver. “He’s a hardworking metalhead who loves to groove, I’d say.”

Mad Orange Fireworks All Set to Work Their Charm!

“Expect a high-energy gig since it’s our last show with Shravan and we’ll try to make it as as good as possible!” he throws in at the very end when asked about the gig at BFlat. We think they’ll hold good to that promise! They’re also playing a set at Dublin in the Windsor Manor on the 15th of June. Be sure to catch them live!

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Sharanya Nair

Sharanya is a 'writer' and an 'editor'. You know the type. She loves her music too much to share.


Mad Orange Fireworks and Solder at Loveshack


Thursday evening saw me riding over the Koramangala-Indiranagar Ring road, braving the biting Bangalore cold to lay to rest a busy week and reach out to some good ol’ rock and roll. After reading a recent write up that christened our friendly band next door Solder as performing ‘Bangalore Rock’, I was eager to see what they had to  offer that evening.

I reached at half past eight and walked up the stairs of the building to find Mad Orange Fireworks halfway into their song ‘Black Hole’ – a song about a break up. I was partly glad at having caught an interesting song, and partly disappointed at having to listen to the sound in the first place, which was a tad jarring. I had listened to Mad Orange Fireworks at Strawberry Fields and was already familiar with the songs that they had on their setlist that evening.

Mad Orange Fireworks, which describes its music as ‘Orange Rock’, consists of Michael Dias on Vocals/ Guitars, Kaushik Kumar on Bass/Vocals and Shravan Bendapudi on Drums/ Vocals.

Loveshack is located on the fifth floor and has a bar and a restaurant that opens out onto a terrace. The band faces a small audience of about 25-30 and has to squirm on the stage to face the entire crowd. So the very setup of the stage isn’t very comfortable. I was also a little taken aback by the speakers, which weren’t flanking the band but were placed elsewhere.

MOF soon moved into their next set of songs, ’Kiss goodbye’, and ‘I want you’.  Unfortunately the vocalist’s voice was drowned in the bad sound system and the only lyrics I could decipher from the latter were “I want you so bad” – evidently a love song filled with longing.

‘Once I find you’ stood out among the rest for certain. An extremely groovy song, the drums and leads seemed to take their genre someplace else. ‘Empty Saturday’ followed next.

“I’m seven down the barrel,

Falling off the wagon”

– the lyrics sketched a ballad of a lonely guy on a Saturday night. Beginning with a bass intro, I doubt any band could capture the emotion as well as Mad Orange Fireworks did. However, Michael’s vocal cords seemed restrained that evening and, in my opinion, he could’ve sung better.

MOF wound up their setlist with ‘School Boy’ and ‘Don’t forget me’. The latter found the band diving headfirst into their song, their instruments exploding into a heavy outro.

Solder took to the stage next. A band much spoken about, much listened to and little written about, Solder is Sylvester Pradeep on guitar/ backing vocals, Akhilesh Kumar on guitar/backing vocals, Joel Rozario on drums/backing vocals, Samson Philip on bass/backing vocals and Siddharth Abraham on  vocals/acoustic guitar. Frontman Siddharth Abraham took to the stage, adorned with his familiar coat and hat.

I often wondered what ‘feel good’ rock meant and the answer lay in Solder. They broke into their first song, ‘Questions’, thrusting their brand of rock n’ roll over the audience. Unfortunately, I couldn’t hear a word of what Siddharth sang, because of the tainted sound system.

Pushing through to their next song, ‘Save the World’, Siddharth began marching on stage with great gusto. If there’s one band that exudes spirit from every pore, it is Solder. The rhythms, drums, bass and leads were played with such cheerful unison that they blur the lines between a routine jam and a live performance.

‘Stay with Me’ followed next – a nostalgic, wistful number after which the band moved onto ‘Cookie monster’- a more fast paced and power-packed song.

Up until this point, the evening seemed rosy. Just as Solder started playing ‘Waiting for love’ the word came around that Loveshack didn’t have the license to perform so late into the night. The bouncers made an unwelcome entry, asking the band to tone down their music or wind up for the night.

Unwilling to let the spirit die down, Siddharth Abraham disappeared and walked back onto stage with a Glittering Candy Cane, marching up and down, drawing up laughter at his antics.

After a brief pause, Siddharth caught hold of his acoustic guitar and said that the next part of the show would be unplugged; resorting to the oft-quoted line “The show must go on!”

Next up, was ‘Passerby’. This song is almost a classic, heralding high pitched leads and rhythms at the intro.

Solder ended the evening with a Beatles medley, turning the damp squib by lackadaisical organizers into a power-packed lively gig that got people singing, ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Let It Be’. Siddharth threw Christmas caps into the crowd, bringing the evening to a cheerful close.

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Sharath Krishnaswami

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


Parvaaz and Mad Orange Fireworks at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore


Sunday evening brought two immensely talented bands Parvaaz and Mad Orange Fireworks to the same stage at The Kyra Theatre. I was expecting an odd combination of genres since both bands have very different influences. Two odds make it even and on that note, I entered Kyra to find the place quite empty, which would not remain that way towards the end of the show.

Parvaaz was up first with a one-of-a-kind genre that they call ‘Psychedelic Sufi Blues’. I had witnessed the band perform a couple of years back when they had just started out and they seemed to have a lot of potential back then,and it felt great to see them once again after so long with a lot of noteworthy improvements. They started off with a song called ‘Marika’, which helped set the tone for a fabulous evening.

‘Blue Space’, an instrumental, was rightly placed in the core of their set. The band got to showcase their abilities and surely, did not fail. The stops and the sudden off-time signature starts merged very well without any hiccups.The vocalist and the drummer deserve special mention as they simply stole the show. The vocalist sang with pure panache, hitting extremely high notes in many of the songs. The drummer was splendid with the clarity of his ghost notes and accents.A lot of strange percussion and wind instruments such as a Bell Bowl and Spring Drums were incorporated. This, along with brilliant patches and lights, through the show, made it ‘psychedelic’ in its true sense.

Other songs such as ‘Behosh’, ‘Itne Arase ke Baad’, ‘Loli Matti Laii’ (Kashmiri for caring) were spaced evenly so as to provide their set with just the right balance. It was great to see Khalid, the vocalist, bring along a lot of Kashmiri influences into the songs. Folks in the audience were singing along to most of the songs that the band played and seemed to be having a very good time. ‘Azadi’, one of the band’s first songs, was a fine choice to finish their set; there were a lot of notable improvements with respect to the structure of the song, apart from adding an acoustic guitar, which made it the finest out of the lot. Starting off with the Bell Bowl, ‘Azadi’ progressed into a Sufi-Psychedelic mix. The amount of effort gone into bettering the song was very evident through the small impromptu jam with which they wound up the song.

There were a few minor things that the band could improve – for instance, the snare wasn’t audible amidst the vocals, guitars and bass which could either be attributed to volume issues or the lack of energy.The band’s front-man could have introduced all the songs, rather than the guitarist introducing a few of them in between. However, their performance on the whole was remarkable.

Mad Orange Fireworks took to the stage after Parvaaz and the crowd was quite thrilled to find out what was in store. I had seen them perform earlier as well and was quite impressed with their songs and their onstage chemistry. They had a bit of starting trouble and took a good 10 minutes for their soundcheck. However, the band had some great material up their sleeve and seemed to have mellowed down a lot since the last time I saw them.Their set was extremely tight with almost no flaws. Their rendition of Michael Jackson’s ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ instantly energized the crowd. The bassist, in particular, was very groovy with his bass lines, keeping the song in rhythm. The guitarist, as well, was splendid with his progressions and chord solos. The drummer did what he was supposed to -give foundation to the song making it rock-solid and taut.

‘Empty Saturday’, one of their originals, started off with a superb bass drill. The guitar tone blended perfectly with the bass. The drummer with his hi-hat work made the song perfect. It was watertight, barring the occasional sloppiness of the drummer with his sticks.

‘Confusing State’, another original, was quite catchy at first, but later on, it started to become a tad monotonous and the drums and bass became very repetitive after a while. The highlight of the evening was their version of ‘I Want You’ by The Beatles which was very jazz-influenced. They jumped into a spontaneous jam after the song which was surely the best jam I have heard. They were flawless. Other songs such as ‘It’s Just Me’, ‘Cool Boy’, and ‘Who Did You Think I Was’ by the John Mayer Trio were songs that were rather enjoyable.

The only flipside to their set was the lack of energy. The songs sounded a bit dry though their material was amazing. Their vocal harmonies were inaudible for most songs; although in ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’ they were spot on. The trio as a whole shared terrific chemistry and was super tight. Rather than just playing for the audience, it was evident that they have a good deal of fun on stage as well. They also lived up to their “Orange Rock” genre, which I assume refers to joyful and happy songs.

All in all, it was great to watch Parvaaz and Mad Orange Fireworks perform together and they really gave the crowd their money’s worth. Without doubt, these two bands should feature on your ‘must attend’ list!

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Aditya Vishwanathan

Aditya Vishwanathan is a creative photographer from Bangalore. After being actively involved with multiple bands in the music circuit, he now documents gigs in and around town. In his free time, he loves to play with kids while listening to an old Michael Jackson album.