Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cyclone AILA and Sector-V

A very boring title for my blog - I suppose it could have been a lot more grandiose to give you an idea just how bad the devastation caused by AILA was. But I guess you can read all about the destruction and havoc that occurred on the 25th of May 2009 almost anywhere on the net (complete with statistics and 1st hand eye witness reports etc. etc.)

Me, I just wanna show you what it all looked like in Sector-V (or at least in my section of Sector-V - the Block EP and GP area) AFTER Aila was so gracious enough to leave us for the northern parts of West Bengal (via Howrah et al).
It's so funny, the 24th (The previous day) was a Sunday and it was like raining the entire day - and here I was thinking "OK, the Monsoon's here - and now it's gonna be hell getting to work, what with the flooding and all). I had even gone out to watch Monsters Vs. Aliens in the afternoon with my cousin bro Bumba and sis-in-law Debina in the rain, not even realising that the next day was going to be Kaos in Kolkata :)

I woke up on Monday (after spending most of Sunday night watching the final day of this season's English Premier League) - late as usual I might add... I didn't read the papers - I didn't watch the news - I basically had NO idea what was just about to hit us.

Big mistake. Big big mistake.

It wasn't even very cloudy going to work. Very windy yes, but no rain - just a drizzle while on the bus (if I remember correctly). And I'm inside office early as usual. 9:25 AM.

Cut to 11:00 AM - raining like hell outside and AILA has broken loose.

By 11:30 AM gossip/news from everyone everywhere (tough filtering and sifting through the facts when they all hit you in the face at the same time) and I am hearing about this cyclone and how there's been a city-wide warning about how people should be inside their homes and should not be venturing out.

12 noon - the entire office knows about AILA now. People have basically stopped working and everyone is surfing weather reports on the net or listening to FM radio for details. It's actually very funny seeing everyone like this. And the drama king that I am, I can't help but NOT make jokes about how we have to build ships to reach home or how we should ration our lunches because we probably WILL NOT be reaching home at all :)

Anyway, 1:00 PM and it is pouring and the wind is howling. Every so often I open the window and boy, is that wind blowing! And I can see people flying, I mean it - literally being dragged by the wind outside. Poor souls. Lotsa pretty women too running after their umbrellas. Brollies are no use in this weather at all.

Phone home a few times - Mom is worred. Phone Baba, he's at work but thank god he's aware of the situation. He wants to send the car to pick me up - and I refuse, because I can see that the usual stretch in front of the Omega Building + Megatherm + Infinity Building + RDB Boulevard is already flooded big time.

At 2:00 PM during the roughest part of the storm, I convince Shrewam to take out his car and to brave the journey. We reach as far as the underground parking area of the RDB Boulevard, but Samit and the parking attendant discourage him from venturing out. And it is pretty bad (although Bina and Anup did just leave 15 minutes prior) - the road in front of the Systron Building and the RDB Boulevard looks like a war-zone - trees uprooted, and an electric pole lying in the middle of the road. Things looks very very bad.

Anyway, am back at office but not for long.

3:00 PM - the rain has stopped finally (for how long, I have no idea!) and I have finally convinced a few of the Venturi idiots to leave with me.

3:30 PM - most people have decided to make a dash for home now, because the MET office says that this is just the lull before the storm. Unfortunately it doesn't look like there's gonna be any space in any of the cars. So me Arindam, Manasi and Sanjay decide to leg it 'till we get a taxi. In the rain (yes it's started to rain again). No other option.

We walk 'till Nicco Park - I graciously refuse a lift from Debayan/Debdipto. Manasi has to take off her heels and walk barefoot after a point in time. And it's totally madness now in Sector-V - like the exodus of the Jews... or maybe like during the partition when people were shifting sides to India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. (was that excessive)
There are people walking EVERYWHERE. Hardly any buses (which are packed like sardines anyway). No TAXIS. All private cars are full to the brim. Uprooted trees on the road (well 2 to be precise) and a portion of the Nicco Park wall broken down. And people. Everywhere. Just walking. Actually, this reminds me of the video of the REM song "Everybody Hurts" - see it to know what I mean.

Plan A - walk till Nicco Park and we'd be sure to get a cab.
Plan A - zilch.

Plan B - walk till Chingrighata and we'd be sure to get a cab there.

We dumped Plan B. And opted for Plan C instead.

When we reached Nicco Park, not only did we see NO taxis, we saw another ocean of humanity standing in the middle of the road! And there was this funny scene we saw where this female stops a Skypak courier van and makes the driver give her a lift... and suddenly a whole bunch of desperate software nerds jump on to the van and whoosh! Taxi service for the desperate!

So going down to Chingrighata would have actually ended up being a disaster and thank god we didn't do so. Arindam and me then decide on Plan C which is to get inside the heart of Salt Lake (via Ishita Dasgupta's bridge - well it's not HER bridge, but I like to say so just to make things more identifiable for everyone concerned).
This of course means more walking. In the rain. It's past 4 PM already.

We walk and we get wet. And we generally enjoy the wind et al. And we walk some more.
Until we are finally on the Beleghata connector at the EZCC bus-stand.

So now more decisions -
Plan D: do we stay here and try and haul a cab.
Plan E: do we walk down to the AMRI hospital (you always get cabs from hospital areas!)
Plan F: do we walk down to Hotel Hyatt (you always get cabs from 5-star deluxe hotel areas!)
Decisions decisions.

Anyway, we finally opt for Plan D - and we literally hijack a passing cab and force the cab-driver to take us down South (that is South Kolkata). And on the way (once we are on the EM Bypass) we are witness to the carnage that has taken place prior to our departure from Sector-V.

The EM Bypass is a mess - trees uprooted everywhere, people walking and walking and walking, signboards torn to shreds (and in some cases blown away), adjacent neighbourhoods under water. People walking and walking. Oh btw did I mention the people? :)) Some guys were actually standing in the middle of the road trying to forcefuly stop cars to get a free ride. It was pretty brutal where-ever I looked. And all this in the rain too.

Anyway I reached home @ approx. 5 PM. No power. But we were the lucky ones. The power failure which had started in the afternoon was back to normal before 6 PM. For most parts of Kolkata however, things were very very different. Unfortunately. I won't go into the gory details. But I will say this - if Kolkata is hit by a bigger cyclone than AILA in the future then we are so so screwed. The Disaster Management of our city failed BIG TIME. In fact I seriously doubt we even have a working Disaster Management team for our city. The chaos caused by AIULA should never have happened and the mess should have been cleaned up within hours. Sadly things are still screwed up in some parts of the city almost 3 weeks after this disaster.

The 26th of May 2009. Tuesday.
I am back to work @ Sector-V. And from the snaps posted all around you can get an idea of what I saw all around me that day (and the next day as well).
For the record - it took whoever was in charge 2 freaking DAYS to clear up the 2 uprooted electric poles. The general mess was cleaned up in approx. 24 hours - but even that is too long considering that Kolkata's Sector-V is supposed to be the HUB of West Bengal's INFORMATION and TECHNOLOGY industry.
Anyway enjoy the snaps that have been pasted randomly (courtesy monsieurs Shantanu K. Roy and Arindam Banerjee - and moi). These were snapped on the 26th and 27th of May.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Scientists think I am highly depressed, am contemplating suicide, drink and drive AND indulge in unprotected sex !!!

I have this habit of saving/collecting articles I find on the internet, that I "might" find interesting OR which I might possibly think have a "Collector's Value", if you know what I mean.

The funny thing is, most of the time these saved html files remain lying on my PC for months and months (sometimes years!) - and I eventually end up clearing everything out when I want to free up hard-disk space.

Anyway, the above cycle... was busy deleting old old files when I came across this beauty, and boy, I just had to post it here in my blog!!!

And yup - for those of you who don't know (and I find that extremely WEIRD) , although I listen to most forms of music, the genre that I love the most is HEAVY METAL!

Alright - enough yapping, you may proceed to the reading room :)

Kids' choice of music may reveal suicidal tendencies

Tue, Aug 5 2008
Doctors can determine whether a teenager is at the risk of developing a mental illness or committing suicide just by asking him or her what type of music they prefer, according to a new study.
Published in Australasian Psychiatry journal, the study showed that teens who listen to pop music are more likely to be struggling with their sexuality, while those who prefer rap or heavy metal could be having unprotected sex and drink-driving.
Teens who favour jazz are usually misfits and loners.
The authors of the study say that these observations go to suggest that teens' musical tastes may serve as a diagnostic indicator in mental health assessments.
"There is no evidence to suggest that the type of music you listen to will cause you to commit suicide, but those who are vulnerable and at risk of committing suicide may be listening to certain types of music," quoted the author of the study, Felicity Baker, as saying.
She said that an Australian study of year 10 students had shown significant associations between heavy metal music and suicide ideation, depression, delinquency and drug-taking, while an American study had also shown that young adults who regularly listened to heavy metal had a higher preoccupation with suicide and higher levels of depression than their peers.
She further said that deliberate self-harm and attempted suicide was also linked with children who listened to trance, techno, heavy metal, and medieval music as part of the goth subculture.
Teens who attended dance parties were much more likely than their peers to be taking drugs, she added.
Dr. Baker also revealed that some genres of rap music, like French rap, were linked to more deviant behaviours including theft, violence and drug use, while teens listening to hip-hop were usually less troublesome.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

THE PIT v.2.0 - 18th April 2009

And so to the biggest event of April 2009 – bigger than the National Assembly Elections… THE PIT v.2!
I doubt whether any review would do justice to the actual event. It is far easier to review band competitions or one-off gigs, because you can actually get away with being critical of a particular band or a musician.

But events like The Pit are far bigger than just one musician or a single band – to me, this is more than just about the music. This is more than just about a horde of metal-heads congregating at some metal shrine and headbanging like lunatics… No, The Pit is a concept, a message from the heavy metal loving fraternity of Kolkata to the rest of the metal loving maniacs of our country. So to insult (or to be overtly critical) of any musician performing @ The Pit would be an insult to The Pit itself.

Anyway, for all those who were NOT present, The Pit v.2 was not just a success, it was a MAMMOTH SUCCESS! This entire metal slug-fest was so well organized that it left me totally flabbergasted.
Me being the perennial pessimist, I was expecting pit-falls and goof-ups at every corner – but no, apart from the 1 hour delayed start, I was left totally disappointed!
I couldn’t lay my finger on anything.
The concept – A+

The venue – A
Granted, it is definitely not the classiest theatre in town. And ok, the toilets stank and the dearth of ACs (April 18th – 40.8° centigrade – one of the hottest days in 10 years!) was a killer – but regardless, the compactness of Tapan Theatre just felt so right that I couldn’t think of any better venue to hold such an event! (an outdoor gig in this weather would have led to all of us dying of sun-stroke anyways!). Plus, this joint being in South Kolkata… what more could I ask for? Heh! I hope all such events are held in South Kolkata! Heh!

The sound – A
Again, no complaints. The sound was very clear to even a deaf person like me. No boom, no feedback, no reverb and all that trash which makes listening to music torture. What more could one ask for?

The music – A++
Like I said, it would be totally unfair to criticize any of the bands – it wasn’t just about the music after all, The Pit was around to make a bold statement.
In any case (and this is the good thing) none of the bands did anything for me to be critical about. Am I being diplomatic? No absolutely not. I enjoyed the performance of all the bands. Maybe I was too caught up in the entire wave of metal enthusiasm to be too bothered to listen to every note and line of the songs being played as intently as I might at any other concert. Who know! But whatever, I loved the music dished out by all 8 bands that day. And this, despite my having some reservations initially before the event started.

Amongst the 8 bands, one band I had never ever heard before (live or online) – and there were at least 3 bands who were playing for the 1st time with new members (and supposedly very little practice as well!) – yes, you know which bands I am talking about.
So yup, I wasn’t very sure how good the music would be – but looking back I have to honestly say that all the bands (new line-ups, old line-ups) all gave solid performances.

The crowd – A+
A Saturday was always a great date for such an event, especially for an office-goer like me. (I still regret having to miss the 1st edition of The Pit). Anyway, I expected a pretty decent crowd on the 18th.
But what I saw that day was far beyond my expectations – this was like the biggest assembly of metal freaks ever. And there was this particular time, just after the Flash Flood gig, when the entire crowd seemed to pour out of Tapan Theatre… the neighbourhood then looked like a sea of black tees. It was really an awesome sight! I’m sure the “para” folk were scared stiff seeing so many menacing freakos in their area.
Yes, I know – a major chunk of the crowd consisted of wannabes and pseudos. Girl-friends of metal-heads, friends and relatives of musicians, curious “para” folk… all these sections of the society contributed to the numbers – still, the response to The Pit v.2 was absolutely heartening and bodes well for the future IF such events can attract such huge numbers. (Hey stuck-up event management people, wake up! Even metal shows draw great crowds in Kolkata!)

Being a DEATH tribute band is no easy task and so my hats off to the 4 members of In Human. For a 1st time listener I can only say that they were brilliant and I kick myself for not having heard them before in the past. They did a splendid job getting the event started.

The same goes for DIOT B. I had only ever seen them play half a set (@ Bethune College!) which is a crying shame. Anyway, here they were and they just let rip. 30 minutes of deadly music. The crowd was fully utilizing the space available for moshing activities.

A special mention goes out to Flash Flood. I don’t want to rank any band, but if you had to give out prizes then they were probably the winners of PIT 2. And Leeyong is such an insane muthafucka – he is the living embodiment of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a classic case of a person having 2 sides, a 2 Face - who could imagine such a docile well-mannered kid going so bloody crazy when you give him a guitar and put him on stage?
Flash Flood was brilliant – maybe instead of leaving, Diwash and Leeyong should stick around. I know I am trying to be politically correct and I shouldn’t be saying such stuff, but ya, that’s what I feel right now.

Chronic Xorn? What can I say – another great gig and more bad luck as usual! Playing to a crowd that had just survived Flash Flood’s assault was tough enough… but the massive power failure during their set was the icing of the cake. Anyway it was good to see Anindya playing with the gang.

Sinful Oath is another crazy band that I just love to watch. Maybe the thinnest band around too – from what I saw after seeing their topless performance. The most improved band in the circuit.

To me, this was my best gig I have seen Cicatrixx play. They performed far beyond my expectations. Regardless of the bassist change I found this to be their most mature gig to date, even better than what I saw @ the Karunamoyee Kings Of Rock competition. Good going.

Crystal And The Witches with a new guitarist. And the young chap did a great job. So that obviously helped the band to put up a good show. No hiccups, loads of energy, great choice of covers, and Leeyong going crazy as ever. Plus Diwash is a great front-man, no doubt about that.
I’m not very happy that Arthur is missing and I sincerely hope things can be patched up and that CATW return to being what they were + the new guitarist. No problem in being a 5 member band after all. Anyway, their band dynamics are not for me to handle. I will always support this band regardless of them being a 4 member band or a 5 member band.

Lastly, Noyze Akademi – also with a new bassist, but a talented one at that. This was just my 2nd NA gig and yup, I enjoyed this one far more than my 1st one (@ the Scholastic Beats final). I think removing the DJ was a good idea. Nothing against him, he’s a nice chap – but the sound of NA is far more solid because of this line-up change. There aren’t too many hard-core nu-metal acts in India so Noyze Akademi has loads of space to make a name in this genre.

So that was that, The Pit v.2 done and dusted. Special mention must be made about the massive power cut which lasted for what, 2-3 hours? It almost killed the event. And the heat, well that was even worse.
But nothing seemed daunting enough to the Pit organizing committee. And so the show went on and we all had a great time… and now everyone is dying for the next Pit to happen. And I am sure the rest of India are sitting up and taking notice of our “little” community here as well – I can guarantee that those “big daddies” from Mumbai and Delhi will be dying to be a part of The Pit v.3 whenever it happens next. Managing team, be prepared for a flood of requests from these bands!


Thursday, January 22, 2009

A musical diary - non-stop gigging at my age!

Haven't blogged in ages - laziness is one of the main reasons why. Anyway, I thought I'd re-blog again and what better a topic than music - and it's been a very very busy week-end in January:

15th of January
The 1st Crystal & The Witches gig that I missed in Kolkata - blame my office commitments! (I was to follow up this miss with another one – on the 21st of January to be precise... midnight gigs during a week-day are NOW a strict no-no for me!)

But whatever, from the reports I got, it was a wild night @ Princeton and the show had to end after just an hour after the inevitable moshing led to the speakers falling on top of Diwash’s processor (or some shit like that – don’t remember the exact details actually, the info being all 2nd hand!)

16th of January (day)
A total drain-out for me.

I have been helping out Safire for the last couple of months (not as a manager, more as a “big-brother” advisor), and I promised to bunk half a day at work to help them out at their prelims @ Campus Rock Idols 2009. But it turned out to be more than just half a day!

The prelims were to start at 8 AM, but as always me and the band didn’t reach the Ultadanga venue before 10 AM (the delay being mainly due to procuring of valid documents like birth certificates and college IDs and college permissions etc. etc. – a huge pain in the ass if you ask me). Anyway, the prelims were excellent fun and the number of bands participating was staggering. Only 8 were to be selected.

Cutting to the chase – WEAPON SHOP and GRAVY THEORY were brilliant. 2 of the best young bands in Kolkata for sure. The goth metallers DREAM DIABOLIC were out of this world, and metal at this level has rarely been heard in Kolkata, especially at the college level. A band to look out for in the future.

SAFIRE with a new drummer were silky smooth, which took me by surprise because I had apprehensions about how they would fare. But they nailed the prelims.

SINFUL OATH was very good too, though loose in patches. Deeptaroop on drums did a very good job. A melodic death metal band, they have been very consistent throughout the college competition circuit this year. A band to check out, if they can stick it together.

As were GLASS ONION, always a pleasure to listen to them. Not many young bands play the kind of music they do, which definitely makes them a unique act.

And THE CYNICAL RECESS – with possibly one of the best vocalists in the entire Kolkata rock circuit, Abhishek Gurung. Most people say they get goose-bumps when they hear him sing – and while that certainly does not happen to me, I will concede that vocal-wise he would give even most established singers a good run for their money.

I would be happy to say that out of the 8, I kind of managed to predict 7 correctly (the ones above). The 8th band however was a complete surprise – ALBATROSS. I didn’t quite like them very much, no disrespect to any of the band members. I think they are a talented bunch of musicians, and their vocalist was impressive indeed (reminded me of Dani Filth!) but I thought there were better bands on the day.

Bands which were very good but did not qualify – PENNY DROPS BANDS, KREMATORY and CHRONIC XORN deserve a special mention. PENNY DROPS being a punk/emo band, they had a very fresh sound and I thought that would work in their favour – unfortunately it didn’t. I could not understand the judges take on this, and I would love to know why THE PENNY DROPS BAND missed out.

Being predominantly a metal lover, it was appalling to see the judges putting their fingers in their ears when any of the metal bands play. I wonder how they were allowed to be judges if their musical tolerance level was so low.

CHRONIC XORN in my opinion was probably one of the tightest bands that performed @ the prelims. Unfortunately, being a brutal death metal band, the judges could NOT tolerate anything that they dished out. Very sad, since this band was a Zonal finalist @ CRI 2008 – and their NOT making the final 8 was indeed a big surprise. You might not like their music but no one can say they are a bad band – and a very tight one too. Their drummer Tamaghna (along with Deeptaroop and DIOT B’s Niloy) form a triumvirate of Metal Bashers. It’s good fun watching them play.

16th of January (night)
The action wasn’t over – one of Kolkata’s most talented young bands was performing @ La Dolce Vita – HOOF HOOEY.

Performers at the Calcutta Rock Festival (2007) and bagging a 3rd place at last year’s Time Youth festival (their high points) - this band has broken up and reunited and gone on a break so many times that I have lost count. But it finally looks like they are getting their act together. And I was looking forward to their 1st full-length gig, albeit a pub gig.

And they did not disappoint.

In one word the HOOF was awesome. Playing their punk and emo driven originals (and a few covers thrown in for good measure), HOOF HOOEY systematically decimated the small gathering that had turned up. And the best part was listening to them deconstruct 2 major pop super-hits and have them played in “HOOF HOOEY” style: SHANIA TWAIN’s “You’re The One I Want” and CELINE DION’s “My Heart Will Go On” – the band totally massacred these 2 songs and churned them out brand new. It was awesome to hear them do that!

If you want to check out some good clean music, then HOOF HOOEY is a band to look out for. I believe they will be playing off and on @ LDV, so watch out for their shows.

17th of January
The CRI Regional finals followed by the CRI Eastern Zonal Finals – and in between performances by SKINNY ALLEY and F.L.I.

Lets go straight to the CRI Regionals 1st.

GLASS ONION were the 1st band up – and being the 1st band up is always a disadvantage, trying to get the sound balanced properly et al. I am no musician but common-sense tells me that all the subsequent bands get to learn from the goof-ups of the 1st band and that helps them to smooth out any rough edges during their slots. So GLASS ONION was the sacrificial lamb here – despite a pretty good 15 minutes, and vocalist Piu did a great job.

GRAVY THEORY faced sound problems too – but I found them to be very tight and thoroughly enjoyed their performance. In fact I was predicting them as one of the top 3 finalists. Their original “Wait and Watch” was superb – btw these guys were playing with a temp bassist: Rohit from the band PSEUDONYM, and he had just 3 rehearsals, or so I believe, to pick up the Gravy songs.

ALBATROSS were nice but I wasn’t expecting them to go very far because the competition was tough.

SINFUL OATH totally mucked up their slot with an average performance. But being metal, they got the crowd going full-on. They could have done a lot better though. Anyway, sometimes you have a bad day.

WEAPON SHOP nailed it with their originals – "Burnout" is a very good song, a very CREED-like composition. Their guitarist Adil, bassist Sowmya and vocalist Ishan had a very good day.

SAFIRE blew me away – my kids were awesome on stage despite their pre-show hiccups. I kind of knew they would be up there if not within the top 3 itself. Their original “Song For You” sounded excellent that day.

DREAM DIABOLIC got the crowd going the moment their set started – and they had the best stage act as well.

THE CYNICAL RECESS was good – but there too many glitches with the sound towards the initial phase of their slot, which didn’t help the band at all.

Anyway, the results were not very surprising – DREAM DIABOLIC, WEAPON SHOP and SAFIRE in that order.

Many felt THE CYNICAL RECESS and/or GRAVY THEORY were the unlucky ones, and yes I would think so too – but the level of competition was so tight this time that it was probably a fair result all around. Anyway, people will have their opinions.

In between there was a massively entertaining gig by SKINNY ALLEY and I must say, this was probably the best SKINNY ALLEY show I have attended – well the one I have enjoyed the most, at least. Their rendition of Welcome To The Machine (Pink Floyd) in their own SKINNY style was absolutely brilliant – and hardly what a Pink Floyd purist would have enjoyed listening to - but who gives a damn!

The Zonal Finals were a lukewarm affair – more metal this time around (the 3 Shillong finalists were all heavy bands): DIGITAL SUICIDE, NATIVE RULZ and MELODRAMA.

The Kolkata bands actually did very bad INCLUDING SAFIRE. It was probably the worst I have seen them perform - but with a new drummer, they would have managed to have only gone so far. Getting to the Zonals was an achievement in itself. Anyway, they were no good in the Zonals, but this is nothing to get disheartened about. These kids do know they can do better so I look forward to seeing them with a bit more polish and flair next time.

WEAPON SHOP and DREAM DIABOLIC all looked tired on stage – as did SAFIRE. Playing on Friday and twice on Saturday must have taken a toll on them because they looked anything BUT fresh. I think DREAM DIABOLIC was pretty good in the Zonals, but it did look like they were going through the motions – there wasn’t much feel in their stage act. And the same could be said of WEAPON SHOP, although the band did seem happy with their performance.

Of the North-Eastern bands, NATIVE RULZ would have probably won the best hair-style prize (drummer and vocalist looked like they were sporting Mohawks) but they played very monotonous thrash metal. Not very interesting.

DIGITAL SUICIDE did well – I can’t however remember anything of their slot. They played tight and their tunes sounded nice, but that’s about it. Anyway, to make a long story short they came in 2nd from the East Zone. I would believe that they pipped DREAM DIABOLIC to the 2nd slot – I was rooting for the latter, and I thought they’d be amongst the rank-holders, which was eventually not to be.

The best band (no questions asked) was MELODRAMA – they were excellent. Tight metal-core originals and a good stage act. And they played one cover: ARCH ENEMY’s “Dead Eyes See No Future” – it was a total earth shatterer, that one. Great young band, good potential – hope they manage to strike it big @ the CRI finals in Hyderabad.

The last guest performance was by FIVE LITTLE INDIANS (F.L.I.) with their new bassist Panku (LAKKHICHHARA/URBAN REFLECTIONS... but you knew that already!)

By the time the band got up on stage most of the crowd had left – it was late by the standard of most youngsters. They unfortunately missed a pretty good show.

This was my 2nd FLI gig – the 1st one @ Someplace Else during the Pubrock Fest was memorable more for non-musical reasons – most people (me included) were attending out of the curiosity factor – getting to see 5 well-known musicians from the Kolkata circuit isn’t an everyday affair after all.

But on Saturday it was all about the music – freed of the obvious “pub” restrictions, the FLI went ahead and churned out a tight and excellent performance. At SPE the original I liked the most was ”Go”, but after listening to them this time around I’d have to do a toss-up between “Survive” and “Screaming At The Sun”. “Prodigy” was another excellent original. The contrasting vocal styles of Neel and Sayok on their songs worked for me – it was fun listening to them singing in tandem.

FLI don’t play very often – and they obviously prefer outdoor venues to pubs, but I wouldn’t mind seeing them @ Princeton or even LDV (or SPE, but not @ midnight please!) – cheers to the band.

So that was the 17th of January! Whew! What a long day.

18th of January
Still not over yet.

Sunday 6 PM @ Someplace Else – GRAVY THEORY: one of my favourite young bands from the city.

It was probably their 1st proper gig ever ('till date it’s just been 10-15 minute college competition slots and 1 half-an-hour slot @ LDV during the memorable Halloween party)

These kids didn’t disappoint. This Sunday evening was like Diwali re-visited, an explosive performance.

Keeping their CRI disappointment on the back-burner, the Gravy guys went ahead and dished out original after cracking original – and by the time the show ended most of us were sweating! Special mention must be made of the following compositions: “One Man Dead”, “Wait And Watch”, “Read Me My Rights” and my all all-time favourite Gravy tune: “This Is My Disaster, Not Your’s” – wonderful song that!

And amongst the covers, well how could I NOT mention their kick-ass ZERO cover – PSP anyone?

Add to that their signature Popeye theme tune and a mish-mosh of GNR’s “Sweet Child Of Mine and BLINK 182’s “All The Small Things”… and there you have it – Gravy served fresh and hot!

ZERO from Mumbai, THEM CLONES from Delhi… it won’t be very long before GRAVY THEORY from Kolkata are put in the same bracket as these great bands. They have the potential – I just hope they have the luck and drive to sustain them on their journey, because, ladies and gentlemen, GRAVY THEORY is a very good band.

So that's done – my musical diary from the 15th to the 18th of January - anymore gigs to attend and I'd turn into a zombie. Music listening can be pretty tiring!