The city of Chennai which was recently victimized by the disastrous floods found itself bouncing back to normalcy and putting all its pieces together, only to be perfectly glued by Parvaazs enthralling performance at Phoenix Market City, Chennai.
While half the city continued to prefer staying indoors, the rest of them were waiting for the Bangalore-based experimental band to finish their sound-check and bring the tunes of a mélange of languages, inspirations and genres. Parvaaz, yet again bewitched a whole new audience with an extremely tight performance, thereby gaining a bigger fan base in one night.
The evening kicked off with a progressive yet bluesy riff that led to Itne Arze Ke Baad. The song possessed the right level of energy to set the mood for the rest of the one and a half hours, transporting everyone to a far away, distant land. Kashifs guitar solo was the hero of the song, which was furthered by Khalids piercingly beautiful voice, Fidels nifty bass tones and Sachins improvisations with the drums.
As soon as the first song ended, everyone was greeted by sirens wailing and a powerful drum intro to Beparwah, quickly setting a light and groovy atmosphere. Khalids vocals were just spot on, and the song itself used a very modicum amount of samples to aid the live act.
Just when the song ended and the audience was getting ready to groove again, Gul Gulshan captivated their breath completely, with Khalids vocals and resounding in the arena backed by Sachins percussions. This song is a personal favorite of mine, and its effect on the audience every time it is performed never ceases to awe me. Its climax slowly woke people up from a trance like state, and the entire venue erupted into an unexpected applause at the end of the song. Sachins use of various percussions has always been a stand out and nobody failed to notice that. The guitar solo with the bass lines that reminded me of Porcupine Tree had a spiritual intensity to it something that the band will carry with themselves wherever they go.
The band brought a nice surprise by playing two new songs, Color White and Shaad, which displayed the technicality involved in their music. They were different, and yet came along beautifully, fitting into the genre of the music. These songs did leave a promising note on the bands next project.
Dil Khush just made everyones spirits soar up high, with the audience grooving to it and tapping their feet the entire time. The song showcased Fidels brilliant, completely groovy bass lines that were complemented perfectly by Sachins percussions. It was a treat to the eye watching the bassist funk it up a notch!
The much awaited, 17 minute long Baran swept everyone off their feet, temporarily transporting them to snow-capped mountains and the valleys. With Khalids haunting voice echoing throughout, the song told the story of the beauty of Kashmir in a language understood by all, with a trace of a melancholy strain during the first part of the song. However, the rest of Baran, which means Rain in Persian was only about Chennai that night, uplifting them from the adversities they had just faced by the rising progressive guitar riff balanced perfectly by the rest of the instruments.
The 90 minute set ended with Ab Ki Yeh Subah , characterized by a soothing voice and calming acoustics. It brought a smile on everybodys face, whose expressions immediately changed to amazement watching Sachin transfer into a magician on his drum kit, while maintaining the disposition of the song.
Though the audience seemed quieter than any other Parvaaz audience Ive seen, their veneration was clear through the loud, earnest applause that the band got every time they finished playing a song. Parvaazs music connected to each and everyone at a personal level, which is what the city needed right after the disaster. The set list was versatile and played with various emotions in a matter of one and a half hours. Overall, it was a beautiful night made by a beautiful band!
IndiEarth has released Season 2 of IndiEarth Out There IndiEarths travelling gig property featuring a blend of the countrys most exciting independent artists shot outdoors in an acoustic atmosphere. Filmed in Bangalore and featuring a colourful array of the citys artists, Season 2 debuted recently with folk/rock act Swarathma.
Following the success of IndiEarth Out There Season 1: The Chennai Edition, Season 2 continues on its mission to provide a platform for the diverse soundscapes of the country’s rising independent music movement. Featuring a blend of artists from both ends of the spectrum from new talent to established pioneers of the independent music scene – the series intends to nurturing and support the rise of the independent in India.
Season 2 was shot at Yogisthaan (previously associated with The Yoga House), over a year ago. Set entirely in natural surroundings and out in the elements, the videos features music and conversations with Bangalore-based artistes, showcasing their music in a stripped down and acoustic atmosphere. A few of the other artists being featured in Season 2 include psychedelic/blues act Parvaaz, alt rock band Live Banned and world music collective Mystic Vibes.
In upcoming seasons, this series plans to continue travelling the length and breadth of the country on its quest to discover the myriad sounds Indian independents are producing at the moment, providing a platform that brings these isolated movements together under one umbrella.
They have one of the most distinguishable sounds emerging from the indie music scene in the land, and to top it if, they decide to lace their music with a generous helping of Urdu and Kashmiri lyrics which turn the Parvaaz album experience into a sort of bass-plated, high-octane guitar encrusted qawwali-esque pantomime. Dont get us wrong, they are incredible, and certainly not stereotypical. Commonly categorised as Sufi rock, they are clearly influenced by psychedelic overtones, and a very serious attention to lock-and-loop groove, especially in songs like Itne Arsey Ke Baad which has a mounting guitar solo in the midst of a smooth, post-jazzy ambience. “Our music is a perpetual process of combining various ideas into one single piece of expression,” says the band.
Theres no doubt about it, Khalid Ahmed is the crowning jewel of Parvaaz. Not that we mean to, in any way, downplay the other members. Kashif Iqbal is a devil with that winding guitar which edges its way between the caressing words, each lapping into the other in a glorious flow of lilting, honeyed rock with somehow perfectly matches a paced, powerful beat and an encompassing interplay of sound which seems to encase the lyrics like a cushion. Fidel DSouza is a bit of a jack-in-the-box, subdued and almost shadowy for the most part, with sudden jumps at a magnificent stretch of bass before ninja-ing back into accompaniment. Sachin Banadur? He makes drumwork sound way too easy considering that he transitions from beat to beat with the ease of a cat. A ninja cat.
After their incredibly acclaimed releases Dil Khush and Behosh, the guys return with a sort of culmination of their musical history in Baran. Think of it as some kind of evolutionary destination which will narrate the saga of Parvaaz. Not much has been given away, but Sanjeev Nayak from Swarathma is collaborating on one of the tracks with his violin, which is a treat in itself. When asked about their upcoming album, the band says, “Baran contains mostly our material weve been performing live for quite some time now, songs come together as work moves towards reaching a primary shape to the work.” To commemorate this album release, which is clearly iconic to them as a band and to all Parvaaz bands, the guys are kicking off a launch tour. The dates are as follows :
13th Aug: High Spirits, Pune;
14th Aug – Blue Frog, Mumbai
17th Aug: Museum Theatre, Chennai
6th September – Counterculture, Bangalore
CDs and merchandise will be available at all the venues, which is awesome news for all of us because really, people, we love the band far too much to not be supporting their astounding musical coming-of-age, right?
Or stroll over to their bandcamp page from some amazing memories of what they are capable of : http://parvaaz.bandcamp.com/