Sunday, June 12, 2005

Study for my FRENCH exam or pubbing at "SOMEPLACE ELSE" - the last temptation of PRASANNA

I have a French exam this Thursday - I'm even taking 2 days leave from work (Wednesday for studies, Thursday for failing the stupid exam)

Someplace Else - the best pub in Kolkata. The only pub in this huge congested city where the DJ wil play you LINKIN PARK, METALLICA, NIRVANA, 70's rock, PINK FLOYD, etc. A rock pub, if there ever was one. The only pub in the city where there are live performances by the city's top rock bands every day of the week. A pub where the country's top bands come over to play live as well. Situated on Kolkata's posh Park Street area. In the premises of the posh Park Hotel. A pub which I love. A pub which has successfully turned me into a blob of alchoholic junk!!!

Saturday. Thought I'd study in the evening. Then my pals Diya and Aniruddh Sur call me up. Tell me they're going to SPE (short for SOMEPLACE ELSE), and do I wanna come along? And I wouldn't have to pay! Well I'm only human right? What could I do... I gave in to temptation!

So I joined them, and I was expecting a normal Saturday night with the booze and the babes and the blues, courtesy the SATURDAY NIGHT BLUES BAND (yup generally Saturday is a blues night at SPE)... but HOW WRONG I WAS!!!!!

We reach SPE and find out that it's a special night - the group SPAN are gonna be playing a set of alternative and modern rock tracks... SPE has named this the NIGHT FOR THE NEW FACE OF ROCK!!!

For those of you who don't know, SPAN comprises of Neel Adhikari (ex-Krosswindz and currently in the Saturday Night Blues Band), Stuart Munro (current bass guitarist of the Saturday Night Blues Band), Chirodip Lahiri (currently the drummer of Krosswindz), keyboardist Raja Deb, and super-talented lead guitarist Tajdar Junaid.

So what did they play and why am I so ga-ga after last Saturdays performance? Man, they played grunge, they played alternative, they played modern rock - they played just about anything that a person NEVER gets to hear at SPE. And for someone like me who prefers heavy metal/alternative more than the blues/60's-70's rock, it was like finding an oasis in a desert!! I was also struck by the sheer volume of the crowd that poured in - this was a mega successful night for SPE. And it also proved to me that Calcuttans love the alternative/modern rock stuff just as much as they love the Doors/Pink Floyd/the Rolling Stones, etc.

SPAN... I've been pubbing at SPE for god knows how many years - and I honestly never even bothered to come on the nights that SPAN played. But going by their performance this Saturday, well, maybe I was wrong! They used to play on Mondays, but now their slot's been changed to Thursdays, so I think I'll sample them on Thursday nights. Unfortunately they supposedly don't play the same modern rock set that they dished out on Saturday - but what the heck, I am a big fan of SPAN now!!

They started off with OASIS and Wonderwall, then followed it up by R.E.M. and Losing My Religion. Great guiatring and drumming... the music was slowly getting me high. Then they played Clocks by COLDPLAY (they actually played 4 songs by COLDPLAY, they love this band), and GREENDAY with When I Come Around... by now I was screaming my head off from the back of the pub - it was waaaay too crowded in front of the stage though, as usual, so I didn't try getting freaky with the crowd. Actually I never do - I'm alwayz at the back shouting like I've got a microphone attached to my voice box. Helps that I have a booming voice! Heh!

Anyway, then they played MAROON 5 and She Will Be Loved followed by RADIOHEAD's Creep... I love that song! With the intro of Creep I sorta lost my power to think straight. Shit, and it's only now I realise that 2 gorgeous women were standing right beside me, knocking my elbows while I was screaming out loud "I Wish I Was Special, So FUCKING Special"... I was so engrossed and high with the music that I just ignored them (Sorry ladies wherever you are, I hope you understand... I'll flirt with you 2 some other time! )

The opening bars of HOOBASTANK's The Reason - and I totally went bonkers. I left my unfinished drink and shoved myself all the way to the front of the stage, much to the astonishment of my pals whom I left behind!
Shoving your way to the front of the crowd during a rock show is an art which I am yet to master, and I stepped on the delicate toes of quite a few pretty dames on the way. My God, if eyes could throw daggers I would have been stabbed multiple times within that 30 second "SHOVING" time-frame... gosh I'm never ever gonna get a date now!!

So there I was, somehow managing to slither myself to the front row despite my portly shape (I guess people get intimidated by pony-tailed guyz and just move away!), singing my voice hoarse and even head-banging (The only one in the entire crowd who was head-banging actually, much to the utter amazement of the lead guitarist who I was standing in front of!!). But can you blame me? I loved the music they played. So after the excellent HOOBASTANK rendition, came THE RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS with Californication, PEARL JAM covers of the Last Kiss and Even Flow (the latter being the last song of the night - but I'm mentioning now anyway). COLLECTIVE SOUL - Gel and December, FASTBALL's Outta My Head, JAMIRAQUOI (yuck!! they coulda skipped this artist), EAGLE EYE CHERRY's Are You Still Having Fun, COLDPLAY galore like I previously mentioned - Yellow, In My Place and Trouble, a souped up modern rock version of TOM PETTY's Free Falling, and finally, the song which I hoped they would play, and which made me head-bang so much I have a dislocated neck bone now... NIRVANA and Smells Like Teen Spirit. Whew - what a night!

About SPAN and the set they played. I believe in most parts of the country rock bands get to play similar sets, and on a pretty frequent basis too. Places like Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Delhi obviously have more pubs and more indigenous rock groups. Plus at mopst colege fests u will the bands playing these songs. But the fact is, the scene is a lot different in Kolkata - bands hardly do this stuff over here - and at SPE, this was a 1st. So SPAN - u guys did a realy commendable job. Hats off to you folks.

I know a lot of you reading this are thinking "Big Deal" - well let me tell you, it is a big deal. I am seeing the face of modern rock/metal/alternative finally coming into the open in Kolkata. Before my very eyes. And I am absolutely thrilled - it's like a dream come true for me.

The new manager of SPE, Gautam Singh, is doing a good thing by trying to change the music scene at SPE. Change is inevitable, and changes such as these I warmly welcome with open arms.

Shit, I forgot... French... I wasted an entire evening screaming my guts out and head-banging, and I forgot all about my up-coming exam!! I am DOOMED!! :(


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Amit Goel said...

You forgot me !!! :(

Fuck the WORLD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arunima said...

Hi sweety!!

Dropped in and read you. Missing your mails. You take care.

Hemu said...

Enjoying mr. Prasanna .. Aaha is there any bands who deal with Thrash-black .... i saw Sceptre [ thrash ]last week in IIT Kanpur , they were awesome.

Keep Blogging.

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Catherine said...

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French course