Tag Archives: Jim Morrison

INAC Rock Hammer at Palace Grounds, Bangalore


What do you get when you take poor publicity, lack of experience and add some shoddy time management to it? You get angry and frustrated bands, no music playing, and an enormous gathering of empty plastic chairs as an audience for an empty stage.

It was meant to be the finale of the Bangalore league of the Indian National Autocross Championship (INAC) and Rock Hammer – a battle of bands “organized to showcase Music Talent among the Indian Youth” was to be followed by the headlining act Parikrama. What we got in the end was a compromised show after hours of waiting, and no Parikrama.

By the time the stage was setup, it was 8 p.m., which meant that it was going to be either the veterans – Parikrama playing or Rock Hammer – young blood showcasing their music to the world. It was then that Parikrama took a decision befitting their stature, that is, to cancel their performance so that the bands that had been waiting since the morning could finally play. It was a gesture well-received by the bands and the few audience members remaining, who had been waiting quite pointlessly until then, and for no fault of theirs. On being asked the reason for their decision, Parikrama’s keyboardist Subir Malik said, “Parikrama has been playing for 21 years now. Given the situation, it is more important that the kids get on stage. It was originally meant to be their show anyway.”

The bands taking part in the competition were Paper Sun, The News, Hungry and Raptura Anima. They were asked to reach the venue at 11 a.m and their performance was supposed to start at 3:30 p.m. The bands had to wait for the entire afternoon until the evening as the lights and sound equipment were being set up. Parikrama began their soundcheck at around 6:00 in the evening, at a time when some people were trickling into the venue, giving us some hope. But after they finished, there was a problem with the power supply which further delayed the start. As the members of Hungry put it, “The band has been hungry since morning!”

At about 8 p.m., the technical glitches were resolved and a surprisingly optimistic management decided to start the show. The participant bands were asked to play 10 minute slots each, so that Parikrama could start soon after and finish before the curfew. This received severe objection from the bands and didnt seem practical as well- the bands had just begun their soundcheck. This was when Parikrama took their decision to let the bands play at least 20 minute sets first and then see how the things pan out.

Paper Sun took to the stage first and then there was music. Finally! Their music was simply pure and fun rock music. The first two songs with their pentatonic funk riffs on one side and the wailing organ on the other were a delight to listen to. Their last song ‘House In Ruins’ shook things up a bit with an imposing Arabian-sounding guitar riff and impressive keyboard and guitar solos. The vocals matched up too and maintained the middle-eastern feel of the song while still retaining the energy of a rock song.

The News played second and did a very energetic set. The first song ‘Sunrise’ had the guitar in an alternate tuning creating some unique chord patterns and an odd-time signature. It was a slightly sober beginning to the second half of their performance, which involved weirder rhythms and time-meter changes, and complex jazzy chords. The last song ‘Shell’ was one of the most colourful performances that night, a celebration of a verse followed by a progressive darkening of the sound as the lyrics went into “Down, Down…”. Without an electric guitar, the keyboard riffs played a vital role in filling up the entire soundscape and did it flawlessly, creating an atmosphere when required and being hard-hitting and badass when the rhythm got upbeat.

Hungry stepped onto the stage with their usual air of excitement and confidence. They started quite normally and went about their set of ‘Hungry Boys’, ‘Boombox House’ and ‘Jungle Song’. But somewhere in the middle of the monkey squeals in Jungle Song, the band went into turbo-mode led by a shirtless Sonal Chittiappa taking complete advantage of the wireless mic as he ran, hopped and jumped all around the almost empty hall and even dived into the audience, while at the same time squeezing every inch of angst and frustration with the day’s proceedings into his voice. It was a spectacle worth watching; like a modern day Indian Morrison, mad and free with the music ever so steadily running with him.

Raptura Anima was the surprise package in the end. Who would have thought the group of “school children” practicing solemnly in a corner would deliver a performance powerful enough to make everyone look up at them in admiration and feel old and boring themselves? Well, that is just what they did! They played an extremely tight rendition of Ozzy Ozbourne’s ‘Crazy Train’ followed by their own compositions. The band members, all aged between 15 and 18, gave us a nostalgic blast from the past reminding everyone of the raw untouched energy of a teenager discovering hard rock for the first time.

Though the last hour and a half of the night, before the cops arrived, was interesting, each band could showcase only a snippet of their talent. Hungry’s on-stage extravaganza won them the first place. It was by no means a great day for anyone in that hall, but we did get to see a wonderful display of affection by a daddy-band for the “kids”. On being asked their stand on the organizers’ mess-up, Parikrama said they wouldn’t think too much about the matter as it was the first time INAC was organizing such an event.

Still, we would hope that incidents like these would remind organizers not to organize their “rock fests” without thinking of two important things that are astonishingly missed out often – the interests of the bands, and that of the audience.

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Abhishek Prakash

Abhishek Prakash is a Bangalore based guitarist and is a third of local act Groove Chutney. He loves jazz, street food, Woody Allen movies and often pretends to be a writer.


Twestival 2011 at The Man U Pub, Bangalore





TAAQ, Parvaaz, Neo Fatal, Nakul Shenoy, Maya Jadoo, India vs Australia – all at The Man U Pub in Bangalore! What do you do when you have all that going down in one night? Find the guy least interested in it all and give him a glimmer of hope and an empty Thursday night.

I have been to the Man U pub before, for all of 30 seconds: hoping for a dull and wooden, pie filled, draught pouring, classic English pub. It was none of the above soI left immediately and spent the evening with excellent (albeit veg) pizzas around the corner.

So the draw for tonight, was exclusively Thermal and a Quarter, who as of late, I had been growing weary of as well. Not a lot to go on, but sometimes you do things just because your first instinct is not to. That being said I still only left my house when I read a tweet saying sound checks were well underway. I had Lotus Flower playing over the headphones and I anticipated a fairly quiet and ordinary evening.

The pub was as expected: obnoxious monolith of glass and steel with glowing blue interiors and way too much shine. I fumbled through the ticket bit and had to very literally #drawtheline before I walked in, to two rappers going through their sound check. Potential.

As the crowd started to trickle in, organisers pricked up, lights came on and an MC took the mic. Introductions, most importantly to the smiling, blind Mr Paul who is behind Snehadeep. Mr MC attempts the standard practices to lighten the mood to no avail and the crowd sits bemused, awaiting the actual show. Then, the first, and by far the most unexpected performer: a grown man who makes shadow animals with his hands. Old Hindi music crackles on the speakers and out of nowhere the crowd doubles as @mayajadoo contorts his hands into people singing and dancing and a rabbit who was finally either raised by a cow or eaten by a tiger: maybe both. It has roots in an Indian story I seem to be unfamiliar with but it is nonetheless, entertaining. Then he breaks into the crowd-pleaser: a stellar rendition of ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’ (a song recently violated by our generation), complete with transforming landmarks, the four lion thing and a waving flag – short, but impressive, he meekly disappears afterwards. He did however resurface later in the form of a confused response to my tweet about his talent.

MC man makes a quick appearance for the thanks and introduces the guy I’d earlier been amused with: high waist pants and a jacket a tad too big. Turns out he is, in fact, a mentalist (read cold reader if you’re skeptical). @nakulshenoy pulls off a rather admirable bit involving a random audience member and a copy of Animal Farm (if you haven’t, I recommend you read it). Then moves to the would-be show-stopper with a giant Rorschach ink blot projected onto the wall behind him. Unfortunately, this goes pretty wrong and he mixes up angels at a water fountain, giant moths and Salman Khan. Nobody seems quite sure what to make of it all but a quick, witty tweet from him after the fail joins the rotating tweet projection wall and he leaves on fairly neutral note. I’d see him again if I had the chance.

Then, the rappers were up. Now I have a bit of a tussle with rap music, because I love where it comes from and the natural, nearly instinctual bounce you can get from it, but I damn near abhor the bling and pimp-juice filled nonsense that has done its rounds in the recent past. Luckily, they build their beats beautifully, have great rhythm and I can’t understand a word they’re saying. Overall, I’m enjoying the music and the crowd seems to as well. I bounce along, take some photographs and head to the bar for a refill. I did meet one of them after, because in the midst of all the mumbling I hadn’t caught their name and I’d been led to believe you can’t really write a review without it. It’s Neo Fatal – new, dead, you get it.

I think rapping as an Indian tends to come off as take a genre you like, and simply make your version of it. All the emotion and history of the form itself is lost and there’s a missing soul-type ingredient that makes a world of difference. Find a musical form that says what you want to say, don’t write your song into a box that wasn’t yours. The refill seems to be helping. They pull off an all round decent set, even throw in a cover of Eminem.

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for: the Mallus are back. And how! They slam out ‘Jupiter Café’ with a gorgeous, organic groove and like you never forget how to swim or ride a bike, Rzhude, yes Rzhude, slips right back into bass heaven. I have nothing against Prakash, and I think he’s an excellent bassist, so I’m willing to chalk this up to nostalgia with a little bit of that intangible goodness that comes from being part of the history of a song. They yell at people a bit to vote and hit one of my favourites:

Tell me Mr Have-Not, barefoot in the park: how do you smile so much?

By now I’ve forgotten all else, I’m lost in the music and wistfulness. Bam! Out of left field, a very Thermal cover of ‘Wonderwall’ : all groovy and bouncy. The audience begins to crowd the stage and it even has the rappers dancing along. Photographers tend to be given some space though, so I get to press up against the speaker with my phone for some messy photos. I have realised however, that phone cameras aren’t the best to catch drummers with – all tucked away and being awesome. Rajeev is still the absolute best drummer to my more than faulty recollection. But when it’s your whole body doing the remembering, you tend to just trust, and roll with it. Bruce, possibly uncomfortable in his skinny pants, was moving like an English punk rocker and muscle memory proved faithful as they comfortably rolled through some real early material. Then:

Got a good reason, for taking the easy way out.

Another brilliant cover, TAAQ ishtyle. I hope this was strategically placed for a Manchester United bar, after all, the Beatles were from Liverpool! They rock it like champions and by now we’ve ordered eats and are making quite the evening of it all. Then, as if to give me the perfect thing to think about at this juncture in my open field of a life- Simply Be. Easily the best Thermal gig I’ve been to, it well and truly made my evening. And the chicken wings did okay too.

If you don’t get to where you’re going, don’t you worry about it.

By now Twestival is doing pretty well for itself: tweets are rolling in, and every tweet makes 10 bucks for Snehadeep, so that’s damned good as well. Mr MC man makes it back on stage and UB makes a quick dive for some pre-IPL publicity with some RCB giveaways. Random team trivia questions and even a tweet-off gets pulled off really well and he’s getting the crowd into the action like a pro. Slowly though, the match starts setting in on the people not glued to televisions already. After a glorious start, our idiots are building the potential for a screw up.

The final band is set up and takes stage: Parvaaz. Describe yourself as ‘blues psychedelic rock’ and you instantly have the attention of my inner music snob. The lead singer seems to play his part well, moving like a mix of Morrison and Paulo Nutini. They burst into their crashing, distortion-heavy opener and he breaks into a loud, energetic, feedback-riddled, but very off key scream. Things fall apart quickly and they need to redo some sound checks and connections. Meanwhile, on screen wickets are falling and hopes are even leaning toward the Turbanotor. Atmosphere is tense as both sources of entertainment are a little out of whack.

Parvaaz restarts their crashing, distortion and yelling, forcing their way back into their vibe, but Raina has stolen their mojo and begun smashing some much needed boundaries. People horde up against the TVs as the action heats up and losing their audience, the band is finding it harder to find themselves. Lead singer grabs an acoustic and starts a slick number making me think of Dave Matthews. They seem to all work around it from there and really get things going. Their big draw is ‘Aazadi’ – a powerful track working well with the big comeback for the cricket. ‘Aazadi’ redeems them from their opening jitters and the match draws even closer to a tight finish. They seem to be soundtracking some exciting cricket like a trailer for an action adventure epic! Screams get louder for both the band and the match. Attention is well divided.

And then it all kicks into high gear. A bass-line reminiscent of ‘Black Strobe’ builds truly tense atmosphere and one of the night’s few sixes puts the remaining runs at single digits. The vocalist is now completely in his twisted, disheveled rhythm, focused solely on the mic; he screams for redemption as the the guitarists whips out his first proper blues inspired solo. All their initial energy is drained but they’re powering into their swan song. Brett Lee is bleeding, then patched and on as determined a mission for recovery.

#PontingFace is fast making more of an appearance as chants of Ponting-Go-Home start: final four overs of the match. Strange instruments start to take stage. They’re building the final atmosphere. Bass and drums. Four runs to go.

In all the commotion, Rzhude sits focused at the next table from me: back to the screens, giving the band some well deserved attention. Most everyone else keeps spinning back and forth. Waiters huddle together. Chatter slows. Tables are empty with everyone standing. Goose bumps and stray sips of beer. Every ball is too long, every second delaying the end.

And all at once, the night erupts: a four is hammered, the band breaks the slow atmosphere for an all out jumpy finish, the audience goes wild! High fives and hugs, drinks downed and smiles restored.India wins and the band is doing exceedingly well despite the rocky beginnings.

With the crowd back on the floor, the blues backbone makes a reappearance and happy people are well loving the night. The band slow grooves toward the inevitable 11 o’clock and I start picturing a bed back home and some solid sleep, which as it turns out, I don’t get till 4 a.m.

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Ashim D'Silva

Ashim D'Silva is a grinner. He's a lover. And a sinner. He plays his music in the sun. He daylights as a web designer, bicycles everywhere, and bought his first real shirt last year. You should bring him a sandwich. With bacon, and avocado.


XXX’Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore


The XXX’Mas gig held on Christmas Eve, more importantly on Lemmy’s birthday, was supposed to be a tribute to those artists born in December who had inspired the bands playing that night. The artists being paid tribute were Dave Murray, Lemmy Kilmister, Ozzy Osbourne, Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, Marty Friedman, Randy Rhoads, Daniel Antonsson, Jari Maenpaa, Mille Petrozza, Chris Barnes, Chuck Schuldiner, Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

There were a few hiccups before the gig began – Corrode (covering Dark Tranquility/Wintersun), Pushing Tin (covering Jimi Hendrix/The Doors) and Theorized (covering Metallica/Megadeth) pulled out at the very last minute. Shepherd, Djinn & Miskatonic and Dhwesha pitched in and agreed to play even though it was at such short notice.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Shepherd was a few minutes into their set when we walked into Kyra. Since we were not familiar with the band due to last minute changes in the line-up, the first couple of minutes were spent trying to figure out what they were called. Though they have a characteristic doom-laden sound, the down-tuned, but heavily distorted lead guitars and the processed, yet abrasive vocals were very much reminiscent of YOB, or even Acid Bath. The throbbing bass was prominent in the mix, and even though most of the tracks lasted a bit over six minutes, the sudden tempo changes surely made for an interesting set. We later found out that this was their very first gig, something that was perhaps evident from the zero interaction the frontman had with the crowd. Shepherd is certainly a band to look forward to in the future, especially for the sludge-like vibe from their sound.

Djinn & Miskatonic was the second band of the three last-minute additions that evening. They have a very interesting and unconventional line-up that consists of a drummer, a bassist and a vocalist (yessir, no lead/rhythm guitars!) D&M’s sound is primarily bass-driven (duh), with the rhythm section playing a tight, but plodding version of traditional doom rock grooves. The vocals range from laboured, almost drone-like sections sung clean, to low-pitched growls. The feel, if we could use the term, is one of horror films of days gone by, to be honest. Their brand of ultra-slow, trudging doom is not everyone’s cup of gin & tonic, and will certainly confuse a metalhead who sticks to the conventional riff-based gloom perpetrated by the likes of Sabbath, Pentagram and Candlemass.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Dhwesha was the third band in queue and put on a great show even though it was only their second live performance and they had little time to practise. They kicked off their set with typical, old school death metal ferocity and ‘Hoy! Sala’ was the first of the original compositions that they played. After enthralling the crowd with ‘Dhwesha’, ‘Ugra Narasimha’ and ‘Yudhabhumi’, they even managed to squeeze in a rousing cover – Bolt Thrower’s ‘Those Once Loyal’. Together with Djinn & Miskatonic and Shepherd they provided an excellent opening for the rest of the bands lined up.

Up next were Gorified, one of the bands from the original line-up. They were paying tribute to Cannibal Corpse and Death, more specifically Chris Barnes of the former and the Chuck Schuldiner of the latter (Schuldiner wasn’t born in December but passed away that month). As is their standard, they got the moshing started in no time giving the crowd a nice, strong dose of their brand of extreme metal. Their brutal onslaught included intense covers – Cannibal Corpse’s ‘A Skull Full of Maggots’ and ‘Stripped, Raped and Strangled’; Death’s ‘Denial of Life’ and Napalm Death’s ‘Scum.’ They ended their savagery with a song from Gani and Charlie’s older project Cremated Souls.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Mumbai’s Albatross were the next band on stage and their set that night was a tribute to Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads. They took a while to get started and set up but once their set began they were a sheer thrill to watch. The vocalist – Biprorshee Das has a solid set of pipes and terrific stage presence; he was undoubtedly one of the highlights of the night. They started off with classics ‘Bark at the Moon’ and ‘Crazy Train’ and had quite a few people singing along. Switching gears, they played Sabbath much to the crowd’s delight. Following their commendable covers of ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath’ and ‘N.I.B.’, they had a surprise for the crowd – Ganesh Krishnaswamy from Bevar Sea joined them for a brilliant rendition of ‘Paranoid’. Reverting back to Ozzy one last time, they played ‘Gets me Thru’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’. They had one last cover for the night – Wolf’s ‘Voodoo’ – and did quite a good job of it, especially Biprorshee, who nailed those falsettos with ease. The set ended with ‘In the Court of Kuru’, a song from their debut E.P.

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

Headliners Kryptos were doing an Iron Maiden tribute set (celebrating Dave Murray’s birthday). Much like a Maiden gig, they had U.F.O’s ‘Doctor, Doctor’ playing on the P.A. before taking stage, something that rather unfortunately went more or less unnoticed by a large chunk of the crowd. They started with ‘Ides of March’ and proceeded to play ‘Wrathchild’ and ‘Killers’ with Ganesh taking over vocal duties the second time that night. Nolan Lewis attempted the formidable task of singing songs from Dickinson-era Maiden and did quite a good job with ‘Children of the Damned’ and ‘Flight of Icarus’. Biprorshee joined Kryptos for a phenomenal cover of ‘The Trooper’, and everyone in the crowd was chanting along fervently with the band. Ganesh was back on stage once more to round up the set with ‘Running Free’ and ‘Iron Maiden’. Kryptos were hands down the best set/performance of the night. They were also the only band to play only covers that night (Pillbox 666 doesn’t count given that they’re a cover band).

XXX'Mas at The Kyra Theatre, Bangalore

The last act of the night, Pillbox 666, took to the stage to a reduced and slightly sluggish crowd. Their set was a tribute to the mighty Lemmy from Motorhead and Teutonic thrash legends Kreator (Mille Petrozza), though the original billing had them doing a Rolling Stone tribute too. Vikram Bhat, the vocalist, couldn’t make it and the vocal duties were taken over by Ganesh and Bharad Ravi (ex-Culminant). The first half of their set comprised of Motorhead covers, Ganesh pulling of an uncannily good impression of Lemmy, playing ‘The Chase is Better than the Catch’, ‘Killed by Death’, ‘Iron Fist’ and ‘Going to Brazil’ before handing over the reins to Bharad who closed the Motorhead set with ‘Overkill’. The next half – the Kreator tribute set – was equally fun to watch (more so since the songs were from Kreator’s first two albums) with them performing badass covers of ‘Under the Guillotine’, ‘Son of Evil’, ‘Total Death’ and ‘Tormentor’.

Despite the last minute changes in the line-up and the fact that almost half of the bands ended up performing original material instead of covers, the good turnout and the nostalgia associated with some of the artists that were being paid tribute to, made sure the audience had a good time. Given how city-centric the metal acts in our scene are, it was a refreshing change to see a band like Albatross to come over all the way from Mumbai to play here. Certainly something everyone would like to see more of in the days to come. No milk and cookies here for Mr. Claus though, beer and cigarettes are more rock n’ roll! Bet Lemmy would agree.