Gig Review :: Galeej Gurus :: Hard Rock Cafe, Bangalore, Dec 22nd

DISCLAIMER: When you don’t have an iPhone, you have a DSLR!
The first gig where all video you see is NOT mp4. Yay you’d think, but no. I grew a beard and had three grandkids by the time the uploads were done. HD is also equal to huge delay :/ Apologies!

The Galeej Gurus and I actually go a long way back. I remember when I was a PUC student at MCC, these guys were the toast of most fests. I never got to catch them then, so I thought to myself – ‘FINALLY!’


Not many have been able to define their music and it’s not very different with the band themselves. I tried to extract their influences but it didn’t really come through as one shining beam. They threw about very diverse names and well, one thing was clear. This was no one guy’s band; everyone’s indulgence counted as something.

More shenanigans here:

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Yes, dear fans, hold your breaths in anticipation for this album! Here’s a band that actually celebrates the old, gives it some shelf life and then moves on to greener pastures. Psych! – on behalf of fans 🙂

When they weren’t talking to us:

 

 
Tis the season to be jolly ALRIGHT! 😉

The drummer, Kishan Balaji, shared the set list with yours truly.

Before I could zoom in to the camera and catch the details, I heard a very familiar riff. HRC was a little slow on the uptake – they didn’t turn on the lights onstage for a while. 

GALEEJ GURUS ONSTAGE 

 

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Their version was more optimistic, for lack of a better word. Lead singer Nathan Lee Harris pulled it off with copious improvising (read lyrics). Bet they didn’t expect a Velvet Revolver fan in the house that evening 😉 Still, good ol’ Slither surely got them off to a loud and proud start.

 

Next up was Breathe where lead guitarist, Naveen Thomas Joseph, was exemplary. The bassy, Matthew Harris (twin!) & Ananth Menon (guitarist) pretty much let their fingers do the talking & HOW! The energy levels were soaring as they moced to song numero 3. This one was claimed to be impromptu (didn’t really see it on the setlist). Nathan mentioned they heard this very track while entering HRC a couple of hours ago & with that, they launched into an INXS’ number.

This was followed by a lot of good natured interaction with the crowd including a sing along. It was only by the 5th track that the sound completely evolved. Perhaps because I am a singer, it just so happens that the most arresting aspect of any live performance is the vocals. And I’m beginning to wonder whether it’s HRC that has an apprehension to hike up mic volumes or is it that all lead singers take a good half hour to warm up.  

I was in love with the song right from the thundering drums; they moved into a rough heavier sound again and this turned out to be my favourite track of the evening. And my feeling was evidently shared. It was like te crowd had gotten shots of enthusiasm injected! I couldn’t catch the name of the song but worry not, after this insane experience (that I’m denying you), I ensured I got all song names right.

And it wasn’t that hard to do you’ll see why. Knowingly or not, the Galeej Gurus completely leveraged the impact from the previous song by breaking into this:

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Recognize that? Yes, Gaga’s Poker Face was definitely one of the ‘did-that-just happen’ moments. This was followed by a cover of White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army – one that gets covered quite often; it’s scope for reinvention visible only to the musician eye. Or ear. 

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The introplay to the next song was by far the most effin’ brilliant I’ve heard. And when he crooned Sexyback, boy did we get our groove ON! They were visibly having a ball onstage. The drummer blew minds as he shifted patterns/genres & the wicked riffing together delivered a pretty ass kickin’ rendition of Justin Timberlake’s Sexyback.

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Watch out for 1:07. Galeej Gurus Redemption #1
 

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YES, there was a kuthu avatar too.

They kept it going with RHCP’s Give It Away. The crowd was now in united chants and there was a nice wave of heads banging. I looked around to see if my photographer was capturing some of this. She had been conspicuously absent for the last twenty minutes. I idly looked at my phone only to find 2 hapless msgs n a missed call from the lady. She was locked somewhere near the stage accdg to the sms.

I ran to the left then I ran to the right (to be imagined with ‘Give It Away’ in the background). But my photographer was nowhere in sight! After about 10 minutes of less aimless running around, Swati (photographer!) emerged from the small room backstage (I got a bouncer guy to unlock the door). 

 

 
Even in the throes of panic, the nimble fingers were unstoppable.

Right after the rescue operation, the band took a break. Around the same time, I had to leave but I got a text from Swati raving about the last track ‘Roadhouse Blues’ where the rhythm guitarist ‘sang the whole song & was completely into it!’


On that note, there’s a Tribute to The Doors happening this Thursday by the Mad Orange Fireworks. Don’t miss it if you want to get some MorrisON! (Facepalms ain’t got nothin on me)

PHOTO CREDITS: Swathi Chatrapathy

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