Fete de la Musique, also known as World Music Day, is a music festival that initially started off in France (as is obvious from the name). It has now been about for about 25-30 years. A brilliant concept to honour music and art as such.
And what better a place to honour a French tradition than Alliance Francaise in Namma Bengaluru. Over two days, numerous artists of various genres were called in to play 30 minute sets. The event boasted of big names such as Thermal and a Quarter, Swarathma, Slain and so many more, including various classical musicians too.
I went to the event on 18th solely to catch TAAQ in action.
The gig was a very special one for the band itself as it was the first anniversary of their "newest" member, bassist Prakash K.N. Prakash filled huge shoes when he replaced Rhuzde and he has done so incredibly well (at least as far as I can tell).
Owing to a very limited time slot, they played very few songs. However, they did have a blast. Their stage presence is incredible, especially their vocalist/guitarist, Bruce Lee Mani. They took a while to do their soundcheck as "they like to take their time with these things" and rightly so. However, not once was anyone in the crowd heard complaining as we were all enthralled by Bruces acting skills. Not only is he a brilliant guitarist and a vocalist but apparently a pretty decent actor too. [:)]
Rajeev, the drummer, did have a bit of trouble with the snare stand as it was wobbling around but that never stopped him and they performed their set to perfection. One of the most incredible moments for me, as a drummer, was witnessing Rajeevs independence and his dynamics. Incredibly controlled drumming, that is subtle yet powerful. He has definitely captured a spot on my list of drummers that inspire me.
They opened the show with a song called De Arranged. A nice lovely start to the gig. The crowd wasnt a typical rock crowd with everyone sitting down and there were people ranging from little kids to old grandmothers. The sight of many of the older people liking TAAQs was a very pleasant one. The kid sitting right next to me was covering her ears through half of the first song and then started to enjoy herself shortly afterwards when she started to actually listen to it. The scene reminded me of MOTHERJANEs gig at Snehadaan.
The next song on their set list was dedicated to the beautiful women of Bangalore and was aptly called Bangalore Flowers. Needless to say, Bruce Lee Mani was killing it on his axe with his solos. [:)]
A quick change of guitars for the axeman and they were set for the next one, Holy Jose. Bruce introduced the song by saying, "Now here is a song about a man that we all know" and hoping for the song Kickbackistaan, which is one of my favourite TAAQ tracks, I shouted "Kalmadi" [:P], which brought a couple of laughs from the crowd and the band themselves. The song was about the man JOSE, to be said with a very heavy Malayali accent. The bass solo played during the song was an incredible one and Prakash made it look very very easy. There was also a very short drum solo during the track. The dynamics that Rajeev showcased during the length of the track was brilliant.
Next up was a Beatles cover, With a Little Help from My Friends, followed by Wishing for Magic. And magic we got, through TAAQ. [:)]
They followed this up with a new song called Sorry for Me, which talks about Income Tax and Divorces and touches every aspect of modern life. An extremely funny song, when you listen to the lyrics. [:)]
And then there was just ONE. It was time for the last track and there was no dearth of requests. They ended up playing another new track called Mighty Strange, a track that talks about the IT field. Love the lyrics again, and yes the words "Mighty Strange, Plenty Deranged" , fit perfectly well.
After the gig me and Riddhiman caught up with the band and I finally got a picture with Bruce Lee Mani, which I hope will soon find its way to facebook. We also chatted with the drummer and I got myself a few exercises to work on my Independence and many more aspects of my drumming. We also got Bruce Lee Mani s pelctrum and a drumstick from Rajeev, and hence I now officially possess treasure. [:)]
Though they didnt play a few of my favourite tracks like Kickbackistaan, One Small Love, I'm Drunk and Paper Puli, it was a lot of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the gig. I cant wait to lay my hands on a couple of their merchandise now. [:)]
p.s. Sorry for the absence of pictures. My cameraman did not report for duty this time. [:P] Praveen, where art thou [:P]