Avial stops the pouring rain at Cry Freedom

No one, I repeat no one can outmatch these Mallu Rockers for their entrance and punchlines. It’s almost magical to see the crowd playfully banter with them. This was a Malayalam Crash course and it felt like a grand family reunion.


Cry Freedom is a property held by Indigo, and the director sums up the effort as something “everyone can relate to and celebrate the freedom from various struggles, with live music”.

And what we got was a 10-hour shocker. With an estimate crowd of about 1000+, it was mind blowing, tight, and with delectably different musicians who came together to share a platform.


The proof is in the Avial

I will admit, Avial was the only reason for me to head to this one. Driving all the way across town in Bangalore is a feat. And inspite of the promise of blistering rains, muddy pathways and a terrible drive to the venue, we had an insanely huge audience that showed up!

 
I have to hand it to the mad, mad audience Bangalore has built up over the many years. They face nearly unsurmountable odds just to hear their favorite bands play. I have to hand it to Avial who happen to make them do that. Because before them, all we had were scattered crowds. Not surprisingly, the sudden uprising for that we had for Avial all but dissapated just as quickly after Avial finished their tight run. 

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The punchlines, the banter, and the entrance. Entertainment at its best! 

The only regret was that Avial came on for just an hour. Also, I think it’s about time for Avial to come up with fresh material. As much as I love Nada Nada and Aaana Kaalan, I want this band to put their incredible talent together and come up with more incessive crowd pullers. 

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Ayyoo! says Avial

And just before that dose, we had Brendan Power.

 
Widely acclaimed for his harmonica, Brendan Power indulged the crowd with some light-hearted entertainment. And soon, Vineeth Vincent joined him on stage for some heavy duty beat boxing.

Some trivia about Brendan; he has worked with the best be it String, Shirley Bassey or even Van Morrison, they have all done songs with him. He has worked in numerous movies including Shanghai Noon, Crossroads and the Atonement. 

Brendan worked his way through in layers, by sampling small bits, and overlaying them with more tunes. He made an entire solo, live and on the spot!

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Old Neptune is the song Brendan started his set with. The song talks about a pub in Whitstable. Its incredibly addictive, and is peppered with witty lyrics.

At first I thought Brendan was making it all up on the spot, improvising as he went! Brendan struck me as the type of the guy who would do that!

But NO! Apparently it was pretty well rehersed and a popular song. For more information on the Old Neptune (incase you were ever interested) go to http://www.neppy.co.uk/

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It’s double trouble! Vincent and Brendan beat-box together . 

Watch out for a full fledged feature on Vineeth in the December issue of The Score Magazine! 

The Black Strat Blues – an Incredible revelation

 
They were incredible. I loved them from the word go, and this is the first time I was hearing them play.

Powerful and soul stirring. This New-Zealand band certainly blew my mind away. 

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Warren Mendosa has made an impression on my mind. I will start watching out for him and his band and I have begun so slowly discover more of his music. 

Their latest album Nights in Shining Karma is available as a free download at their website http://blackstratblues.com/

And to wrap it up!

I missed two of my favorite bands, who finished their sets far before I came in: Agam and Bicycle Days. I also heard incredible things about the The Indian Flamenco Project. 

 

 
The Indian Flamenco Project 

And all I can say is, Damn these things start too early! But that brings me to a more serious note. 

The Thinking Cap: 

These incredible 3 days fests and day long fests are get incredibly frustrating for artists and audience both.

The first two days of Octoberfest were barely crowded. Compare that with nearly 20,000 who showed up for Poets of the Fall! 

We saw the same thing repeat at the Big Mushroom Cloud Fest. Most of the audience didn’t come in until much later in the evening. And again at Strawberry Fields, there was poor turnout for the first two days. 

Maybe it’s PR, maybe its timing. All I know is that something must change.

To sum it all:

If I were a sponsor, I would be incredibly worried about the size of the audience I am reaching out to.

If I were an artists, I would worry that the sponsor might worry, I would also be disheartened if I got bad slots for my show.  

And if I were the venue, I would be carefully watching all these trends and do something about it. 

SPECIAL THANKS TO PRAJITH MENON (Media Moments) FOR THE PICTURES!
SPECIAL THANKS TO SWAGATA OF COUNTER CULTURE FOR HER SUPPORT AT THE SHOW.
AND VAISHALI MENNON FOR ALL THE AMAZING PICTURES AND VIDEOS. 

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