Tag Archives: The Blue Frog Mumbai

Rakesh Chaurasia and Friends (RAF) at Blue Frog, Mumbai

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Rolling Stone Metal Awards 2015 at Blue Frog, Mumbai

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RSMA 2015
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Eden Festival at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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A full nightclub on a weekday is a rare sight, except perhaps on the occasional public holiday. But at Blue Frog, The Scene gigs do the trick.

The Scene is an initiative by NH7 and Blue Frog for a series of gigs “that showcase emerging acts from around the country”. The first edition featured acts like Mumbai punk band The Lightyears Explode , Chennai alt-rockers Skrat and Pune electronica producer Big City Harmonics. The second edition of this series featured alternative rock band Drawing Short Straws, Ambient/progressive metal band Pangea and psychedelic rock band The Circus.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Drawing Short Straws is the brainchild of Pune based musicians Sunai Marathe (guitars, vocals, keys) and Shreyas Iyengar (drums, vocals, samples), with Siddharth Gupta on live bass duties. This was their first gig as a trio and unfortunately it showed in their slightly shabby beginning. But before we could write them off as fidgety first-timers they got into their groove and about halfway into their set things started to tighten up. The songs ‘Intro’, ‘Limbo’, ‘Obsession’ were well received: I could see some appreciative nodding from the audience and the drunk man behind me pulled me aside to tell me “I love these fellas!” DSS worked for me instrumentally: a nice taut bassline, good drum chops and the guitar topping it all off rather well. The vocals though, were a bit of a let-down. While I loved the way Sunai played his role as the frontman, working his audience, his vocals, especially when he tried to hit the high notes, were disappointing. That said, he carried off the bass and baritone parts very well, when the vocals and the instruments seemed like a perfect match. The band managed to maintain a steady rapport with the crowd, joking about their slip ups and shyly confessing how happy they were to be playing for the Mumbai scenesters that night. They wrapped up their set with a stellar performance of their song Predator.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Pangea was the next to perform and I realized within the short break between the performances of these two bands, the club had filled up some. To put it lightly, it was packed with audience and anticipation. Akshay Rajpurohit entered first and started to lay down some samples with the crowd cheering. The rest of the band strode in, picked up their instruments like artillery and introduced their audience to the real meaning of the word “indulgence”. Without the slightest warning they had opened fire, and it was of a beautiful destructive kind. The set kept on surprising me pleasantly and it’s difficult to pick on specific songs to say ‘this stood out’ or ‘that fell flat’. Not enough bands realize how important it is to truly engage their audience with the right stage act. I’m not saying we need more theatrics; I’m talking about the art to communicate through expression. Pangea is a master of this art. These musicians are truly consumed by their music. They perform as a unit, delivering music in rhythmically fine tuned strong frontal attacks. They move in perfect correlation, so utterly absorbed by the music they make that they can make their audience feel the same emotion. Their music envelopes the beholder completely, engaging at a multitude of levels. They play the kind of music that compels you to lose yourself and it’s also intelligent.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Slightly overwhelmed with Pangea, the crowd started to drift away for a breather once the band had wrapped up. This meant that The Circus had to start their set with a much smaller audience in front of them. Add to this the burden of expectation on a band following a crowd-pleasing live act, the odds were certainly not in their favour. However, when they entered, amidst a loop of introductory vocal samples introducing themselves, you could tell they didn’t intend on having their night overshadowed. The Circus, if I may dare oversimplify, is energetic. Their music is psychedelic, loud and overpowering, with the kind of persistence that is spontaneous and the kind of wild precision that threatens to go out of control. Two songs into their set, and they had managed to regain all the audience Blue Frog could contain. The numerous patches and samples clubbed with some creative use of the guitar give their songs a diverse, ever-changing quality. The members of The Circus tended to perform as if on isolated islands, perceiving and interpreting their music personally: bassist Abhinav Chaudhary plucking and slapping away, drummer Anshul Lall doing some hard hitting, and vocalist Abhishek Bhatia’s body rhythmically convulsing while sharing vocal harmonies with guitarist Arsh Sharma.  The collective effect left audiences in a dizzy state.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

On the whole, the second edition of The Scene gigs was nothing short of brilliance. The night was immaculate in terms of management and mind-blowing in terms of quality. Drawing Short Straws are a relatively new band and one with immense potential, Pangea has often been referred to as a ‘super group’ of sorts and their live acts are a rare treat, quite literally and The Circus are a mature band with a stunning sound. As a concept, picking out the best from the scene works beautifully for both bands themselves and their audience. It surely provides for something to look up to and look forward to.

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Drashti Thakkar

Drashti Thakkar is a Mumbai based writer, a freelance drummer and loves working with lights for live gigs. Her idea of an epiphany is anything that gets through while reading the IPC. Her idea of a good time is a ride on the bike. No, She don't drive.

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The Jack Daniels Rock Awards 2013

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The eighth edition of the annual Jack Daniels Rock awards was held on the 22nd of February at Mehboob Studio amidst little hype and no fanfare. The invite-only event hosted by Sameer Malhotra and The P-Man (Rohit Pereira) saw successful rock bands from the scene, across genres, being feted for their musical efforts over the past one year, by people who had little or nothing to do with the scene.

Bombay punk rockers, Blek kick-started the evening performing songs from their debut album, Hexes + Drama & Other Reasons for Evacuation to an audience of around 100 people. Their half hour long set included some of their popular songs like ‘Minus the Makeup’ and ‘Fog + Strobe’ which was also nominated in the best song category. Blek’s set was followed by the first set of awards which saw Shantanu Hudalikar win the best producer award. Advaita’s The Silent Sea and Swarathma’s Topiwalleh shared honours for the best album art while The Blue Frog, Mumbai was adjudged the best live music venue.  The emcee then made Michele Obama’s virtual presence at the Oscars seem less random by calling upon a Bollywood designer along with an eye-candy model to give away the next set of awards – Blek were back on stage to collect their award, after being declared the best emerging band of 2012. The next award handed out was for the best keyboardist which was shared by Jason Zachariah (Jason Zac Band) and Zubin Balaporia (Indus Creed). The designer-model duo then gave a priceless tip of advice in fashion to the musicians gathered (who, judging by the vibes, couldn’t care less), before handing over the best drummer award to Jai Row Kavi (Indus Creed). Bombay Jam band Something Relevant was up next on stage, playing a half hour long medley of songs from their second album, We Could Be Dreaming which was released last year.

Actor Suchitra Pillai was then accompanied on stage by Ken Ghosh (Bollywood director) to give away the next set of awards – Tony Guinard of the Ska Vengers tipped my personal favourite Roop Thomas of Blakc to win the best bassist award. Thermal and a Quarter frontman Bruce Lee Mani deservingly bagged the coveted best guitarist award, having being nominated alongside other stalwarts like Keshav Dhar, Baiju Dharmarajan and Mahesh Tinaikar. A clueless Mandira Bedi then walked onto stage to hand over the awards for best male and female vocalists – Vivienne Pocha won the award for the best female vocalist scoring over equally good singers Samara C (Ska Vengers) and Suman Sridhar (Sridhar/Thayil), while Angaraag “Papon” Mahanta overpowered the likes of Uday Benegal, Rabbi Shergill, Bruce Lee Mani, Gareth D’mello and Vasu Dixit in a star studded list of nominations for the best male vocalist.

The Rolling Stone all-star jam that followed, showcased artists from bands like Something Relevant, Split, Goddess Gagged and Colour Compound, recreate the magic of some of India’s most popular rock songs  – from Siddharth Basrur and Gareth D’mello’s duet take on Them Clones’s ‘Zephyretta’  to Rachel Varghese’s cover of Junkyard Groove’s ‘Imagine’, Saba Azad’s cover of  Orange Street’s ‘Candywalk’ to  Gareth’s beautiful delivery of ‘Lucy’ by Zero, Suman Sridhar’s horror screams and deafening screeches on Workshop’s ‘Pudhe Sarka’ to Rachel Varghese’s rendering of ‘Trapped’ by Indus Creed,  the wonderfully selected set list for the jam had something for everyone’s taste and gave the attendees a lot to cheer about.

The Rolling Stone jam session was ensued by the last set of awards that saw Keshav Dhar’s Skyharbor bag the recently introduced – best metal band award before Papon made it two for the night after ‘Boitha Maro Re’ was adjudicated the best song, overshadowing some splendid tracks like ‘Maeva’ (Skyharbor), ‘Fog + Strobe’ (Blek), ‘Dissolve’ (Indus Creed) and ‘For the Cat’ (TAAQ). Former Miss India, Yukta Mookhey was then called out of oblivion to hand over the last couple of awards – Advaita’s ‘The Silent Sea’ won the top honours bagging the best album award, however it was Indus Creed who won the bragging rights and took home the 5 lakh rupees prize money after being adjudged the best Indian band for the year 2012.

Despite oddities of the award presenters, a no-show by most winners and a kitty cat on the loose, the award show at large went off smoothly, thanks (largely) to the free flowing Jack at the event.

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Shankar Tucker and Maati Baani at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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Kunal Khullar

Passionate for photography and music, Kunal is a Delhi boy who is apparently NOT a rapist. Currently pursuing photography as a profession, he loves all kinds of musical genres and is also a big geek when it comes to gadgets and the latest in technology.

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Big Bang Blues’ Album Launch at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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Sanchez Fernandes at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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Madrobe Walfunction at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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Kunal Khullar

Passionate for photography and music, Kunal is a Delhi boy who is apparently NOT a rapist. Currently pursuing photography as a profession, he loves all kinds of musical genres and is also a big geek when it comes to gadgets and the latest in technology.

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