Thursday, November 15, 2007

Boomerang @ SPE boomeranged us all

The Date: The 5th of September, 2007
The Venue: Someplace Else (oh no, not again!!!)

India vs. England, 6th One Day international... everyone was glued to their TV screens on the 5th of September that evening... everyone. Including 80% of the clientele @ SPE as well.


It isnt very often that we get to see good out-station bands performing @ Kolkata. Last month was an exception becoz of the RSJ sponsored Pub Rock fest - but as a whole, its pretty much dry out here in this city... the same old classic rock blues based bands. The same old shitty college bands playing covers that their grandpa wud sing to their grandma in college. Blah blah blah.

So along comes a young band from Mizoram - Boomerang - they featured on this year's GIR compilation and have been gigging heavily in Delhi (opening for Them Clones and the like)... and you'd expect at least some semblence of a crowd @ SPE to catch them.

But why am I cribbing? I should have known better - the crowd was practically non-existent... maybe becoz of the cricket match, but I primarily I would believe, becoz the quality of music listeners and music lovers has started going down the drain in this city. People arent as open to new sounds or new bands as they used to be say 5-10 years back.

Music to them is all abt being part of the in-crowd... abt showing off their latest jhatka when "Megadeth" is playing in the back-ground... abt screaming for DJ Austin to play "BRYAN ADAMS and SUMMER OF '69"... of getting all orgasmic when Hip Pocket plays "WHERE WERE YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU". This is what music is to most ppl in this city these days.

I think Boomerang got a good taste of that - dont know if they'd wanna perform here anymore, which is a pity - because they are a very talented band and if they stick it around and polish up their act, then they will go places.

So what did they play?
It was a set comprising of both originals and covers - a 50-50 divide. They started off with the original "Kingdom Of Pain" and followed it up with "Rhythm Of Revolution". Other originals they played were "Circle", "Ash", "Who Do You Wanna Be" and "Home"... hmm. A few others too whose names I dont remember.

Yup they played covers as well - heavy versions of "Get Back" and "Come Together", and loads and loads of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE. In fact it was almost like they were on a mission to promote RATM @ SPE... RATM's very own PR guys from Mizoram!

But who's complaining? Killing In The Name, Wake Up (the vocalist forgot the lines to the song and I had to sing them for him), Bulls On Parade, Bomb Track, Guerilla Radio, Take The Power Back, etc etc etc... man the RATM covers just kept on coming!

So after all that - how were they as a band?
Boomerang are a pretty young band and they'd whip ass of most college bands and junior bands in the Kolkata SPE/PRINCETON circuit - english/bangla both. They were that good and tight.

They have a good vocalist who can actually sing and with passion too. The rhythm section wasnt outstanding but they did their job pretty well. Hopefully they'll get a lot more tighter thru the years. The guitarist was good - but I saw him mess up quite a few of the RATM covers. Especially "Killing In The Name"... Kolkata's INSOMNIA do a far better job on this song than they did - but yup, the guitarist gets a thumbs up from me inspite of all that.

Their originals. A band which is heavily influenced by RATM wud obviously sound a lot like them. One of their songs sounded almost a ditto copy of "Bulls On Parade". But songs like "Circle", "Ash", Rhythm Of A Revolution" and "Kingdom Of Pain" were just mind-blowingly awesome. A+ quality originals. "Home" on the other hand didnt do anything for me since it flitted in and out too much between heavy and rock and blues... "Who Do You Wanna Be" which featured on this year's GIR compilation was one of their few non-heavy originals.

So a good young band which is capable of composing quality originals and also playing some decent covers... hopefully these guys will make it big in the future. They certainly have mass appeal - something that most of the junior bands in this city lack.

The only problem they might have is that they dont seem to have decided on what exactly their sound might be - altho it does seem pretty likely that the rap-core style of RATM is what they are going to be adopting as their key sound. Still, a band that is comfortable playing both a heavy sound as well as a bluesy one does have some planning to do.

Very unfortunate abt the crowd - consisted mainly of us north-easterners and the band members from "Cassini's Division", "Crystal And The Witches" and "Hoof Hooey". As mentioned earlier most everyone else was busy watching India narrowily beat England - and it was a downright shame becoz ppl did miss a very good band... I hate SPE on such days - you could hardly call it the mecca of music in East India on days like these.

Anyway, I sincerely hope that BOOMERANG boomerangs back to Kolkata in the near future - most of you "ROCK" lovers have no idea what you missed.

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