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!