Band Baaja Bangalore! Five bands that are rocking the city
We take a look at some of Bangalore’s own bands, who have either created their legacy or are well on their course to etching their name in the city’s music history
Bangaloreans love their bands as much as they love their music. No surprises when globally renowned bands and musicians ensure that Bangalore is added to their itinerary, even at the cost of jet-lag. Being a regular at concerts held in the city, you’ll see a plethora of your extended family (united in the spirit of rock) swaying, moshing and absorbing everything. One must also understand that Bangaloreans ‘know’ their music. They can tell when a chord is amiss, or the sound is ‘Effed up, Bro!’ Which is why, there are some bands that have gone on to engrave themselves in Bangalore’s amorphous hall of fame. Here’s a look at some of them.
Thermal And A Quarter: TAAQ has close to two decades of history under their belt and yet, they seem eternal. Having been the opening acts for legendary bands like Deep Purple, Jethro Tull and Guns N’ Roses, for the average music lover, TAAQ seems to have “always been around.” They have toured several countries, received international air play, and have performed at numerous festivals and gigs. The band also has been generous in ‘giving back’ to the city by launching the Taaqademy – a music institute and studio. TAAQ’s most recent album is 3 Wheels 9 Lives (2012). You can listen to it here: http://thermalandaquarter.com/discography/
Bandspeak: “The average Bangalorean music listener is definitely above the national average when it comes to taste for Indian original music. While the vertigo (of the elevated status that fans give us) is getting to us actually… but we totally love the strumming and slamming in the city. The respect and acknowledgement we get, totally magnifies our already mega self indulgent attitude to music making.”
The Raghu Dixit Project: Musician, composer, rocker, Raghu Dixit started off as the frontman of the band Antragni and eventually formed The Raghu Dixit Project. The band mixes global music and is heavily influenced by ethnic Indian tunes. They blend it to create a captivating form of contemporary folk music. For over six years, the band has played at a number of venues, concerts, festivals and has collaborated with some of the best in the global scene. Their last album Jag Changa has been their most successful release this far and has won critics and audiences alike. You can listen to tracks from the album here: http://raghudixit.com/music/
Bandspeak: “We are blessed to have some incredible fans who are very vocal about their love and support for the band. Every day we have new people discovering us and becoming fans, and we do our best to keep our fans happy and interested. Our music gets us the respect and acknowledgement. We would be nothing without the music and our fans.”
Live Banned: Apart from their unique name, what strikes one most is the meteoric rise that this band has seen in recent times. Their concept (of being a concept band) is impressive. At times the spirit in their act has been reportedly termed everything from ‘atrocious’ to ‘audacious’. However, this is intelligent humour at its best. Live Banned spoofs life itself and are influenced by South Indian music, Bollywood, pop music, rock and metal and even disco. You can listen to their music here: http://www.livebanned.com/
One Nite Stand: Another band that has been garnering a lot of recognition, respect and adulation – deservedly so. They call their music as ‘Dance Rock’ and describe it as a heady mix of soul, reggae, blues, pop and rock n’ roll. Having headlined several concerts and festivals, they have grown over the years and always have a pretty packed calendar (they’ve done over 100 shows in 2014 alone). No surprises that this is one of India’s most popular new acts. This is why a prominent record company has signed them up. By the way, does anyone else find a slight resemblance between the band’s frontman Behram Siganporia and the legendary Queen’s Freddy Mercury? Behram is just as mercurial as a frontman and works the crowds like no one else. You can listen to their music here: https://soundcloud.com/one-nite-stand
Bandspeak: “When we started, we were supposed to do just ONE show (hence, the name). However, we were encouraged and asked us to pursue this professionally. We’ve never been short of the love and support given to us by Bangalore’s faithful and it’s amazing to see so many ‘friends’ of the band at all our shows. The Bangalore music scene is very tight. Bangalore knows its music and it’s good to be recognised and respected amongst musicians, music critics and music lovers. When we play in Bangalore, we see people with huge expectations and that pushes us to raise our game. It is the love and support from Bangalore that has passed on to other cities, which have now started following us.”
Swarathma: Having started just under a decade ago after success in a contest held by an FM Radio Station, Swarathma today commands a dedicated following and enjoy pride of place in their music style. Swarathma plays a blend of global music and Indian folk and are regarded as one of the most technically proficient bands in the country today. They are activists as well and generously lend their name to several causes. They have achieved steady international acclaim as well and have collaborated with artists, musicians and producers from across the globe. Their latest album Topiwalleh has received rich reviews for both – the content and the production standards. You can listen to their music here: http://www.swarathma.com/
Bandspeak: “The average Bangalorean music listener is aware of what’s happening in the music scene and quite educated musically. It feels really privileged that such as audience respects and regards us for our quality. This inspires us to be true and honest with our music, and this keeps us on our toes. The respect and acknowledgment we get only encourages us to keep doing what we do best, make music. The city, its people, the culture and of course the love, gives our music a character too.”
Note: Images sourced from the bands’ official website or fan page.
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