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Gig Review :: Motherjane :: HRC, Mumbai

Hard Rock Cafe was all packed, hours before Motherjane even took to the stage. After the dustbowl debacle that was Bangalore, this was divine justice. Read on and catch samples of magnificent Mallu mettle. Yes, that’s mettle.

6 days ago, I was one of the fortunate 60 people for whom Motherjane played a very, very private show despite being one of the later center-stage acts. Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai was packed to the very core with enthusiastic fans. There were actually more than 60 people waiting OUTSIDE the venue, because it was jam-packed inside. A sudden twist of fate for Motherjane, but a much, much welcome one. Personally speaking, this is the least Mumbai could do to show a deserving veteran band such support, after what the Bangaloreans had to offer.

We caught up with the band outside, just prior to them performing at 10 pm. Initially, we were told that we at The Score would be the only ones covering the event tonight, but lo and behold, VH1 India just HAD to drop in and steal our exclusivity. For reasons of professional propriety, I shall refrain from sharing with you the same delightful language that I had reserved for their photographer who seemed hell-bent on blocking our coverage, before, during and after the performance.

On a more positive note, Motherjane fondly remembers The Score Magazine. Here’s what they had to say:

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In reference to my question about their opinion on the abysmal crowd on Day 1 of Octoberfest, Suraj Mani, the frontman replied smilingly, with the same graciousness from 6 days ago – “We don’t care if its 6 people or 600 people. So long as they enjoy the music we play, we’re happy.” And happy they were, gauging the enthusiasm within Hard Rock Cafe that night. Waiters were rushing around from table to table, rushing patrons to pay their bills promptly, so as not to get held up on service, because quite literally, there was barely any breathing room, let alone room to bob your head.

Within the chaos that was building up on the floor, Suraj. Deepu, Clyde, John and Santosh magically appeared on the top stage, automatically changing the mood of the crowd from that of anticipation to sheer joy. The band members took up their positions, and began right away, first playing old classics from their 2002 album Insane Biography, such as ‘Soul Corporations’ and ‘Walking On.”

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The audience and the band seemed to share a curious ping-pong type relationship throughout the performance, as each party reciprocated the other’s enthusiasm with even more sincerity. Stealing the show, of course, was Santosh Chandran on lead guitar, rewarding the crowd with absolutely amazing guitar solos in each song, adding his own touch to the older songs, without losing any of the band’s original identity. Mallu melodies featuring fantastic fingerpicking and the occasional insertion of legato were some of his signature moves that night.

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But that wasn’t it. Chandran even gratified his audience with a 2 minute classical guitar solo, akin to what he done in Bangalore less than a week ago. Only this time, the audience was much more vociferous in its appreciation of such talent. 

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Motherjane played continuously for an hour and a half; neither they nor the audience seemed to show any signs of slowing down. It was only when they ended did people start checking their watches, only to remember that this was merely a Thursday, and that we all have to go to work on Friday. Its a different situation for those of us going to Pune for the NH7 Weekender Festival, since we’d have to get an even earlier start to beat the traffic on the Expressway. 

And guess who is also going to be playing at NH7? No really, its a tough one. Ok, fine. You give up. Why, none other than Motherjane themselves! 

Will Pune’s audience manage to outdo even Mumbai’s attempt at appreciating real talent? There’s only ONE way to find out… stay tuned for more updates here!

Camera Credits: Anushya Badrinath

Special Thanks: Reetu Rehal @ Avian Media, Jasmine @ Hard Rock Cafe Mumbai.

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