Tag Archives: I Shot the Sheriff

Sonic Flare at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad


When you bring a bunch of working professionals, the love of rock music and great talent together a band like Sonic Flare is born. After many “beginnings” in 2002, the band was formed with Neeraj, Jongky, Ajit, Vinay and Martin as their first lineup. The current lineup of the band, however, is vox by Nikhil and Priyanka, Neeraj on the guitars, Jongky on the keys, Ajit on the bass and Vinay on the drums.

Sonic Flare decided to celebrate Republic day at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad. An evening of good classic rock, their set list included a couple of their own compositions and covers of some of the all-time classic greats with vocalists, Priyanka and Nikhil taking the lead alternately.

Sonic Flare at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad

They opened with a cover of Black Crowes’ ‘Hard to Handle’ that got people grooving. Tina Turner’s ‘Simply The Best’, Eric Clapton’s ‘I Shot the Sheriff’, and Jefferson Airplane’s ‘Need Somebody to Love’ were nostalgic for those who grew up to listening to them. The blend of both Priyanka’s and Nikhil’s voices was harmonious when they sang The Knacks’ ‘My Sharona’. Also, their covers of Pink Floyd’s ‘Coming Back to Life’ and Cranberries’ ‘Zombie’ were probably the best versions heard live in Hyderabad. The rest of covers included Dire Straits’ ‘Money for Nothing’, Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’, Van Halen’s ‘Jump’. And the finale –  the all-time favourite Guns n Roses’ ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ got the crowd singing along.

Whereas ‘Take Me Away’, ‘Beautiful World’, ‘Stay’, ‘Dream On’, and ‘Me and You’ were their original compositions, which felt like they stepped out of the 80s. Their music is a light-hearted blend of rock, funk and blues. Every composition had its own essence and ‘Stay’ seemed to be the favorite among Sonic Flare fans.

Sonic Flare at Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad

Thanks to dry day the turnout was not great. This did not bring down the spirits of the band and those present, and turned out to be quite an enjoyable evening. The band interacted with the crowd and had great stage presence. Their energy was contagious. Though the sound had some tweaks here and there, it did not affect the performance.

There are only a few bands that play classic rock and blues, Sonic Flare being one of them. With the bluesy vocals of Priyanka, awesome ranges of Nikhil, the classic tones of Neeraj’s guitar, some crazy bass lines by Ajit, the old school tones that Jongky played on the keys and Vinay not skipping a beat on the drums, this band played to perfection. Each member of the band brought his and her own flavor to their music. Despite the small turnout, it was a wonderful evening of classic rock. Nobody really wanted the evening to end.

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Vini Lilian

Vini works with an ad agency. She's a metalhead who can't play metal so she writes about it. She loves tattoos!


Mob Marley at Hard Rock Cafe, Delhi





There is nothing I can write that will possibly justify the kaleidoscope of emotions that every single person present at Hard Rock Café went through at the Bob Marley tribute show. I am still undecided as to why they call themselves Mob Marley; the unmistakable trance-like ska tunes of those legendary Marley songs invariably invoke a sense of unity and peace and could well thwart any mob in the making.

Having arrived a little late, I did miss a song or two, but that also meant that I swam right into the groove. Frontman, Chintan’s very own description of the band: “We are Mob Marley and we have a friend here, a friend there, a friend way over there and a friend back there”. Indeed, what a night among friends that was! Chintan Kalra was in one of his many effervescent avatars, though not armed with his bass guitar this time as you would normally see him, be it with Parikrama or Think Floyd. On the contrary, he took up the role of the Rastaman himself, complete with the undeniable Jamaican accent and Marley’s signature presence.

People seated behind had no option but to stand up and take notice. Musically, the show was most enjoyable, for the lack of a better word. The distinct sound of a reggae song, the offbeat rhythms were carried out well by Raghav Dang of SkaVengers. Though I think his rhythms did go off a couple of times, overall it did not hamper the performance. Songs like ‘Buffalo Soldier’, ‘Exodus’ and ‘No Woman No Cry’ were spot on. The enthralled audience stood as if in a trance as the band rolled out super hits like ‘Could You Be Loved’ and ‘You’re So Fine’. Nikhil Vasudevan on the drums was spectacular. His subtle underplay and impeccable timing perfectly accentuated what we know as reggae. At no point did he go overboard, yet the one-off rolls hit the sweet spot flawlessly. His lazy demeanour and lazier playing style was probably custom-made for the genre.

After the mandatory break at HRC, Mob Marley again rekindled their magic with songs like ‘I Shot The Sheriff’, ‘Jamrock’, ‘Red Light’, ‘Zion’ and the likes. They did pepper the show with a few Damien Marley songs that were accompanied by some insane rapping by some Frenchman who just appeared out of the crowd. The crowd (if I must call it one) went berserk and understandably so. I for one haven’t heard anything like that before and frankly I thought it was mind blowing. Rohit Kulkarni’s mesmerizing Fender sound was very distinct – a treat to the ears. He took on the ‘Redemption Song’ solo with calm and simplicity, the essence of reggae. Even though it isn’t the most complex, to deliver that ethereal feel is imperative and Rohit did it with much élan. Sid Mathur, standing on the other side of the stage was having a good time with his bass guitar. The groovy licks sounded just right and the prominent bass lines and relentless rhythm with occasional moments of magic thrown in did wonders to hold together the Jamaican sound.

Overall, I think Mob Marley would have definitely made Bob proud. I’ll end this narrative with one of my favourite quotes by the Man, the Legend, our very own Rastaman, Bob Marley.

“Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen”