NH7 Weekender Pre Party at Blue Frog – Report
If you remember I had mentioned about the Weekender pre party in last week’s article. Let me tell you, that I am super excited for the NH7 fest in Pune in November and will be attending it, hopefully with a few of my friends(you know who you are). The gig at Blue Frog was just a glance at what will be in store at Pune. And if this was the appetizer, bring on the main course I say.
After asking a lot of people, I got a friend of mine to come along with me. Now the thing is if you reached before 9pm, it was free and after that you had to pay Rs300. Since I was kind of in the mood to save money, we went in early. Left the place to get something to eat in McDonald’s and were back by 10 when the gig started. And it was 3 hrs of sheer fun!
The night started with Dhruv Ghanekar and band. For those who don’t know he’s one of the co-owners of Blue Frog and an insane guitar player who plays with Axe-Tortion. They played a couple of songs from his new album which is about India and it’s influences. The band started out with a song that had good tempo too plus they knew when to tone and it down and raise it again. For the second song, there was a solo from the bassist for almost 5 mins, where he played slap bass and created different kinds of sound previously not heard on a bass. The second song did drag on though.
Then came the master - Warren Mendonsa and his solo project Blackstratblues. He was a constant feature throughout the evening and collaborated with a host of other other musicians. For this set, he started with with mixup of some Led Zeppelin/Beatles song and followed that up with a song called ‘ E major Blues’ (if I remember correctly). They ended their set with ‘Bombay Rain‘, one of their most popular songs. (And probably played a lot yesterday when it rained here)
After that it was the chance of Sidd Coutto to take the stage. Sidd is a multi talented musician and just earlier in the week he released his first solo album. That night he took the mike and along with John Pais on bass, Gaurav Gupta on guitars and Jai Row Kavi on drums belted out a couple of songs from his ToT and Helga’s Fun Castle discography. The first song was ‘Do what you gotta do’ which had me jumping around cause it was just a preppy number. The second song ‘Alone’ had him making weird facial expressions that made you keep your eyes on him!
The thing about Coutto is he is a born performer. Even when he is behind the drums, it is hard to not notice him what with all his antics and theatrics(all in a good way). His live sets will be a blast.
Sidd Coutto gave way to Ankur Tewari who was all jazzed up in a suit. For those who don’t know, Ankur plays with his band Ankur and the Ghalat Family. They are mainly a Hindi rock band. Hearing him speak I thought he had a very puny voice – How the hell was he going to sing. But when he started the first of his two songs, I was just blown away. ‘Mohabbat Zindabad’ was my friend’s favourite track but I liked the second song ‘Bhool’ much better. ‘Bhool’ is a slower song compared to the former but not too slow to be a ballad. Also Gaurav had a part where he has to whistle, and that added a nice sing along tune to the song.
Warren returned on stage this time with Rhys Sebastian D’souza on saxophone and played a cover of Billy Cobham’s ‘Stratus’ . Playing a saxophone is tough enough but playing a solo and competing with Warren on the guitar?!?! He did that amazingly well. Next came Dhruv Ghanekar on stage again and having Warren on the same stage was a treat. Shazneen Arethna (of 3 guys and a girl) and Siddharth Basrur (of Goddess Gagged) each performed a song. Shazneen sang her original composition( she was supposed to sing two song, but sang just one), while Basrur performed a cover of Pearl Jam‘s ‘Animal’.
Next up, Vishal Dadlani and Randolph Correia of Pentagram took to the stage, backed by Mendonsa, Jai Row Kavi and Rushad Mistry to perform three tracks – ‘Ten’, ‘This Is For My People’ and ‘Voice’. Some girl in the audience kept on shouting for ‘Voice’ and he finally agreed to sing it. This is only the second time I am seeing Dadlani live with and my god is he a performer! This was the only proper rock performance of the evening. The energy he had is unbelievable and ‘Voice’ was the cherry on the cake.
Sahej Bakshi played a small set with Warren but he returned later to perform almost a 60 min set as Dualist Inquiry- his solo electronic act. There was girls in front who were dancing to his songs and some guys in body hugging t-shirts too. I am not sure whether they were his groupies or were actually enjoying his music. He also mixed Coldplay’s ‘Life in Technicolor Part II). I am not a big fan of electronica but I really liked his music.
There was also Sohail Arora of Bay Beat Collective who ended the night with a 20 min set but we didn’t wait around to check him out.
I am really glad I decided to attend the gig. The music was exhilarating and the atmosphere was vibrant. Plus we got to check out a couple of hot chicks . This was just a small glimpse as to what the Weekender festival is going to offer in a month’s time. With more than 75 artists, it is THE music festival in India. Almost all my favourite bands are going to be performing at Pune.
I am definitely going to be attending it. The question is, are you?
Have I convinced you enough? Any comments? Need more persuasion? Want to donate some money? Want to write for us? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org or send your thoughts on Twitter
The complete list of photos can be found here https://picasaweb.google.com/106980660638167910572/NH7WeekenderPrePartyAtBlueFrog# ( we will try to get better pics next time)
Ironically, Kunal Pawar in partnership with Tushar is dishing out relationship advice. He will be at two gigs this weekend to watch the Pearl jam documentary and to get his hands on free CDs. He is supporting the scene and has preordered Goddess Gagged’s new album. His football skills have hit a new low and will not talk about till he gets back to his best. And he thinks Powai is the new Bandra. NOT.