Touted as being one of the most promising bands over the last year, their debut album was looked forward to by many as tangible means to solidify their reputation of being a cut above the rest. Dischordian is an unmistakeably Goan-sounding acoustic folk outfit with elements of jazz; they can speed it up with as much ease as they tone it down. Lead singer Garreth D’Mello has a powerhouse voice that can have songs sounding rustic and comforting, while being equally capable of helming growl-styled songs like ‘Your Right Heel’, which anyone could tell is written from a place of unfiltered rage (justified, since it’s about the Mangalore pub attacks). They also have a very specific talent: making lyrically melancholic songs come out sounding uplifting!
So, backstory dealt with, the day of the gig arrived and I was glad that it was at The Bflat Bar. For all intents and purposes, The Bflat Bar is probably the best venue for the sort of music that the band plays. The perfect spacing and the proximity to the band are perfect for an acoustic set with a little fun thrown in at the end.
A little after 9 o’clock, Garreth walked onstage without much ado and the aimless chatter petered off into the comforting sound of his expert plucking. Starting off on a mellow note (leading the audience into a somewhat false sense of security, considering the mayhem toward the end of the show), ‘One of These Days’ is a song about yearning that conveys the emotion perfectly without falling prey to becoming a prolonged whine. A few bars into the song and the ever-smiling Nigel is up onstage, jumping into things with his melodica. Next up is ‘Stone’ which is a personal favorite of mine. There’s too much feeling in this song to let it go by without special mention! The throaty guitar and restless lyric are particularly endearing.
“What was warm once is cold to the touch,
And the past is a flimsy old crutch”
Guitarist Howard Pereira pussyfooted his way onto stage shortly after the first chorus and Aggie (Agnelo Picardo) walked on last, to add his trumpet to the fray. After some light cajoling to buy the album between songs, they’re off into ‘Baby, Maybe’ – an upbeat ditty with close to nonsense lyric and the best introduction of the set – “This is a song about drinking, so you’ll probably like it.” The clarinet and guitar sounded a bit jarring right down the middle but they recovered with ease.
Nigel surprised me by shifting to the clarinet for the song (but I was soon to get accustomed to this since he ran through several instruments during the course of the gig) as did Aggie who hopped across to lightly assault the drum kit during a later song. You realize that these aren’t just boys with their musical sounding toys; they’re as serious about their music as they are talented exponents of it.
The eagerly-awaited free Feni shots were finally brought up when the band requested people to come up, glasses in tow. There was much hesitation and bribery (a free CD) until someone finally complied and the band got into another song. The band dispatched songs from their album like ‘November’, ‘Must Drink’ and ‘Curtain Call’ – a sombre song with heavy saxophone influences and lyrics that surprise you with their ferocity, and ‘Lover’ for which Garreth flipped his guitar over to play slide and a tambourine appeared suddenly in Nigel’s able grip.
In retrospect, these songs were the perfect lead-up to ‘The Old Whore’, their most popular song. It’s one of those songs that isn’t particularly upbeat but has a crowd crowing with enthusiasm from the word go, with its macabre lyric and catchy chorus. The song was sung several times over (by the band and the audience), with band members grinning ear to ear at our enthusiasm to sing the words “for the old whore” over and over (and over) again.
George from Lounge Piranha was the surprise guest artist and along with the band, did a cover of LP’s ‘Handhold’, which was enjoyable. At the behest of our screaming “Another!” and “Encore” and the more direct “Don’t stop!”, they also covered “Let It Be” and Garreth grinningly sang the naughtiest version of La Bamba I have ever heard!
There was yet another attempt at The Old Whore before they wrapped up the show with a very cool cover of Hunters and Collectors’ ‘Throw Your Arms Around Me’, made popular by Pearl Jam.
A rip-roaring success, the gig had just the right amount of everything and I hope Dischordian decides to hit the Bangalore circuit harder the next time they come around!
Howard’s “I may be able to change this water into more Feni since I’ve been told I look like Jesus” joke.
Aggie’s notes stand disintegrating at a glance.
Nigel’s two-gulp downing of an audience-sponsored shot.
Tuesday nights at the Blue Frog often promise something special. And this one was no exception, as Dischordian launched their much-awaited and long overdue debut album, The Feni Farm Riot. I made my way to the venue after a hard day’s work, and reached there well in time. At the pass counter, I spotted a fair amount of merchandise up for sale, including posters and coasters featuring the impressive artwork on the album cover, and of course copies of the album itself.
In keeping with the creative title, the band had arranged for free Feni shots for everyone who entered, and I promptly claimed mine. Feeling distinctly happier, I settled down at the bar counter with a beer and a few friends, and waited patiently for the gig to begin. Having never watched the band play before, my curiosity was piqued by the range of instruments that currently adorned the stage, including a grand piano, a drum kit, two acoustic guitars and a djembe.
Dischordian’s lineup for the evening consisted of Garreth D’Mello on lead vocals and guitar,Howard Pereira on lead guitar, their newest member Nigel Rajaratnam switching between the saxophone, piano and melodica, and Agnelo Picardo playing the djembe and the trumpet.
The gig began with the slow and introspective ‘Stone’, followed by a track called ‘Baby, Maybe’ and the lyrically interesting ‘Same Old Conversation’ featuring some cool trumpeting by Agnelo, definitely one of my favorite tracks on the album. The band had a smooth, relaxing tone and the crowd was warming up to them nicely.
The next song, called ‘The Curtain’ was a new one as indicated by Garreth, and had an interesting arrangement with Howard relinquishing the guitar to play shakers instead. For the wonderful ‘Scourge of Love’, the band played a slightly different and slower version than the one on the album, and had Nigel switch from the melodica to the piano.
Garreth now left the stage momentarily, and returned with a large tray full of Feni shots, which he proceeded to pass out to a very eager and appreciative crowd. I certainly hope their next album has the words Tequila or Baileys somewhere in the title.
Next on the list was ‘She Lied To Me’, followed by the very intense and haunting ‘Save Me’, and the upbeat ‘Lover’. Garreth then went solo on ‘One of These Days’, and the rest of the band returned to play ‘How I Wait’, ‘Don’t Wake Me’ and ‘November’, all off the album.
The next song had Varoon Nair of The Mavyns accompanying the band on the harmonica. The song was called ‘Must Drink’, and reinforced what was clearly the theme for the night. With a slightly adapted chorus and a little help from an enthusiastic crowd, the band successfully coaxed their only teetotaling member Nigel into downing a few sips of beer, eliciting plenty of cheers all around!
It was now pretty much the perfect time to play one of Dischordian’s best and most well-known songs, ‘The Old Whore’, for which they were joined by Sidd Coutto (of Zero and Tough on Tobacco fame) on the drums. Like a perfect crescendo, the list continued to gain momentum with the brilliant up-tempo ‘our Right Heel’, followed by ‘Bucket of Blood’.
The supposed last song for the night was a cover of Rock Plaza Central’s ‘Anthem For The Already Defeated’ but the audience wasn’t about to let them go anywhere quite so soon! The band played an encore of ‘November’, with Sidd Coutto getting back behind the drums, and followed it up with an encore of ‘The Old Whore’ featuring Howard on the mandolin, and the crowd joining in on the catchy and humorous chorus.
The final song for the night quite clearly put the icing on the cake, as the band signed off with their trademark ‘Mera Sabse Lamba’, a popular (and admittedly PG-13) take on the immensely well known tune, ‘La Bamba’.
If I had to be really picky, I’d say that I might have liked to hear a short introduction to at least a few of the songs, especially since this was an album launch. But whether it was the Feni shots, the strategically placed merchandise, the brilliant set, or a combination of everything, Dischordian certainly launched their debut album in style.
At the end of the day, it was heartening to see a large number of people swarming the counter to buy copies of the album, and for anyone hoping to sell their music, I’d say thatÂ this is way to do it!
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!