Tag Archives: Harley Rock Riders
Harley Rock Riders Season IV: Find Your Freedom Tour at Bakstage, Kolkata
Harley Rock Riders at Clarks Exotica, Bangalore
Harley Rock Riders – TAAQ and Half Step Down at Kyra, Bangalore
It’s not often that you get to see a bass guitarist steal the band’s thunder (had to slip in a vague Harley reference there), but the Bangalore leg of the Harley Rock Riders gig at the revamped Kyra bore witness to this. The line-up at the concert included the Delhi-based Half Step Down, local favorites Thermal and a Quarter and a host of Harleys making up the supporting cast. Swarathma’s Jishnu was on stage in an unfamiliar emcee role and had traded his usual garb for a Harley Davidson jacket!
Half Step Down, led by vocalist Dhaval Mudgal (who happens to be Shubha Mudgal’s son) was the first band on stage and boy, did they kill it! Working in a few tidy covers into their set, HSD were full o’ flair and their reggae-influenced-rock instantly struck a chord with the audience. Guitarist Alvaro Lopez expertly handled the breaking of not one but two strings during HSD’s cover of ‘Hush’ and managed to play out a reasonable solo without missing a beat. Bassist Carl Abraham shone through the HSD originals like ‘Working Hour’ and ‘Rabbit Hole’. His finger-picking technique and sense of groove were impeccable and HSD maintained a fun and energetic vibe throughout their set. As a testament to their reggae roots they performed a tight cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’. HSD’s debut self-titled album has a few stand-out tracks but one song that doesn’t feature on the album titled ‘Mojo’ is only played live, for a reason! The song, possibly the best one of the gig, HAS to be heard live. HSD rounded their set off with a cover of Jet’s ‘Are you Gonna Be My Girl’ and one of their own compositions as the crowd appreciatively clapped for these capital fellows. (Although I could swear I heard a stray “play Coldplay” shout-out from the crowd!)
Thermal and a Quarter took to the stage and opened their set with their unreleased track ‘Simply Be’. I’ve never been disappointed at a TAAQ show and this was no exception as Bruce Lee Mani and Co, and I’m quoting HSD’s facebook page here, were a masterclass on stage. ‘Galacktiqua’, an angry song about loud billboards and neon signs and possibly the band’s loudest song was next on their setlist. A person in the audience even contrived to break his glass just as Bruce sang the lyric “Don’t lose your grip on that wine glass.”
TAAQ proceeded to do a rather surprising, Paul Anka-ish cover of Nirvana’s ‘In Bloom’ which they followed up with their dedication to Christ College (faux Mallu accent and all) ‘Holy Jose’. One can argue that even the previous song was a sly dedication to their Christ college roots. TAAQ then played the instrumental track ‘Hoedown’, a traditional American folk track made most famous by Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It is this sort of eclectism that makes Thermal such an admired and respected band within the local music scene. The crowd, which consisted largely of Harley owners (and some large Harley owners) wasn’t familiar with TAAQ’s oeuvre and unfortunately never really warmed up to the terrific music on display. (this time I DID hear a “play Coldplay” shout-out from the crowd.)
The show ended with a soulful cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ and their most popular composition ‘Paper Puli’. Prakash was virtuoso on the bass as he effortlessly kept up with Bruce’s fancy guitar chops, even managing to overshadow him on one of his solos. Rajeev on the drums was tight as ever as TAAQ pulled off yet another impeccable show. During a trivia Q & A session during the interval, I even managed to win a pair of Sennheiser earphones! Honestly, I have only good things to say about this concert as it was the right mix of fun, high energy and really good music. Here’s hoping that Harley fans who love the trademark low-rumbling double potato sound of their bikes took a liking to the awesome sound of Indian Rock Music.
Ctrl ‘ALT’ Delete at B69, Mumbai
We all know about the ‘New Razz’ about 4 months since its establishment. There would hardly be any rock lovers in Mumbai who haven’t heard about B69 Bajaao. – a revolutionary platform for new and old, big and small bands to showcase what they have, in front of Mumbai’s hardcore fans.
There have been a number of attempts by Rishu Singh, SideStand and Ashu to popularize and bring to the crowd music which is not Heavy Metal, thus trying to break the monotony. Courtesy Side Stand, Anish Menon and Himanshu Vaswani, B69 was the venue for Ctrl “ALT” Delete. It was held with the aim of getting new bands out there into the scene and making people aware of the good hidden talent present in our city, along with two huge names in the country when it comes to Alternative Rock i.e. Blakc and Split.
The lineup for the day included Groovedeva, Blek, The Light Years Explode, Overhung, Blakc and Split. Even though it was a Rock gig, the turn out was way more than expected, and a little more than 180 people made their way to the venue to party.
The show started about 45 minutes late due to technical difficulties, but once it did, there was no stopping the powerful performances by some ‘tight’ bands.
First up, was the new band on the scene, Groovedeva. Weirdly quite the opposite of their name, they sounded more like a post punk, rock n roll band and not grunge or funk like the name would suggest. They were a good bunch of guys setting up the mood for the audience and getting them into the groove, yes ironically. The guitarist stole the limelight with some good fingering on the fretboard and good back up vocals. A solid start to the show.
Blek, a post punk rock band managed to enchant the audience with some cool original music and sounded incredibly good and full despite being a three piece band, courtesy some high powered guitaring and some real good drumming. They had a good hassle free run of 20 minutes managing to please the crowd and getting plenty of applause.
The Light Years Explode, very talented guys, full of energy and enthusiasm, practically rocked the stage. To my amusement there were people almost having a mini mosh pit to a punk rock band, which is never seen usually. The drummer was literally dancing on the kit, the bassist managed to give out some cool lines setting up for the vocalist cum guitarist to do his job. They were a crowd favorite and instant hit. Again, no rock band is as energetic as them on the stage.The Light Years Explode managed to raise the bar for the night’s performances.
The next band which was on, Overhung, was difficult to describe. Killer stage acts by the vocalist, cool guitar handling by Howard Pereira, and some good beats by the drummer, in addition to the weird post glam metal/rock n roll kind of music were something to look out for. The guitarist and drummer faced some technical issues in the beginning which caused a bit of panic and a very lousy first couple of songs. Their songs about f**king women and sex machine were not very highly appreciated by the audience, however with great crowd interaction and some funny bits about the South Indians, they managed to get the attention which they rightly deserved. A very entertaining show put up by the band for 20 minutes, and a very good band as a whole. The best part was the confluence of Post rock n roll riffs with heavy grunty vocals and smacking bass lines, something unique to watch out for in the future. Seriously, Hair Metal, why did no one else think of that!
By the time Blakc hit the stage it was almost 12 and half of the crowd had disappeared. Nonetheless a super set by Blakc, including their hits from the album Choking on a Dream like ‘Paper Doll’, ‘Rift‘ and ‘Ambush‘. These guys have never failed to make people groove to their music and sing along.
As an icing on the cake, Split, who were selected for the Harley Rock Riders ended the night with some kick ass hard alternative music. Aviv the Guitarist really stole the show with his legatos and blues influenced solo-ing, not to forget some great vocal work by Garreth D’mello.
In the end, people did get to have a really good time with some beer, friends and some excellent alternative music. A real pity if you missed this one. Coming up on 4th and 5th of Feb, Tribute to the Beast at B69!