Friday, October 12, 2007

mekaal hasan band live in bombay!

the best part about having friends in the media is passes to unannounced music concerts. so the mekaal hassan band was performing in bombay n not a word about it anywhere...thanks to nandini,i landed up at st andrew's auditorium...whiskey on the house was a suprise bonus! the concert itself started a good hour late (we suspect due to chief guest bandra-boy leslie lewis' late arrival!). the whiskey wasn't good so the wait got a bit impatient n hot.

from across the border, without much fuss, the band was announced on stage n they dived straight into their brand of music. east meets west, we've heard this before rock meets jazz meets sufiana lyrics n soul. the drums n guitars drowned out poor javedbhai who had to shout to be my next janam, i'm gonna be a live sound engineer! they just hadn't got the balance right n covered their ass by pumping up the volume...i actually had my fingers plug my ears for the drum solo!

pappu on flute, was my fav seguing seamlessly between the guitar whine n vocals. the young drummer hit the skin n cymbals so hard, i wished he'd leave for an acoustic ballad. but no, they're young, new n trying hard to prove themselves...a pretty limited palette they played with, save the finale "ya ali" which kinda brought the evening together. enough variation n depth though short on duration.

it's the kind of urgency you wish they didn't have n allow themselves the time n their immense talent to improvise esp in a live concert. not suprisingly, there were some walkouts n no vociferous encores at the end. o n the lighting was jus so pathetic, making me vow to do the next gig for free! but watch out for them, they're a good tight band who're gonna only get better!


Rajiv Sethi said...

Mekal Hassan are the Sufi 'Scorpions' with a huge 'Jethro Tull' brush stroke.

"Sampooran" is an awesome album - on my daily playlist. 'Darbaari' and 'Ya Ali' are addictive and I am not complaining.

Lucky guy you - got to hear and see them live. Today's Mid Day says they are due again Jan 2008.

You know how to get passes?

thusspakerono said...

Its a pity that a band with such richly gifted musicians was put through the frustrations of bad sound facilities...
Mekal Hasan's music doesn't have much scope for heavy, loud drumming and certainly not loud enough to be repulsive to the ears...the sound engineer must've really been a big dolt!