Friday, November 25, 2011

The Blues they're alright

I finally got a chance to see my long-time beloved band Soulmate perform live in Mumbai. A friend at work had got me a pass and I made my way excitedly to Bandra Fort  amphitheatre (a little early) after having played my guitar for an hour at Chico's house before the gig, just to get into the zone. Full zonage happened and I was ready.

As I entered the temperature dropped, what with all the trees cocooning the stage and stairs where the audience sat. Not many people had come by then so I found myself a spot somewhere int he middle (not too far from the stage). There were all sorts of people there. It was very relaxing, watching people meet eachother, share jokes and laugh, find a spot to sit with their families, chatter about the day and the night to come... I find it peaceful to blend into a crowd, into scrambled frequencies and ride different sound waves. I prefer sitting alone at places like this for that reason; I get to absorb all the energies without distraction. 

A couple of my friends had come by then so I met them and decided to join one at the foot of the stage, right up front. And I'm SO happy I made that choice. There they were: Tipriti 'Tips' Kharbangar, Rudy Wallang and the rest of the band, SOULMATE. The compere said a few words, and these guys started right away.

It was nothing short of magical, electrifrying, goosebumps-for-3-hours, heart-thumping, emotion-inducing. I can't think of more adjectives to do sufficient justice to the experience. It's this intangible energy (for lack of a better word) that I saw that totally blew me away. And I don't mean super-enthusiasm or perkiness. I mean when you can that the artists are in love with their art, and when they perform or show it, it's like making love to that art. I see that and I love that. And I saw it that night. I felt it.

This was my first time watching Soulmate live. And it was moving. I loved every moment and I sat there in the front row riveted. From Rudy's push-it-to-the-hilt solos, to Tips tearing the sky apart with her incredible voice, to the bassist, drummer and keyboardist all adding that extra flavour, to the audience clapping and singing along (myself included). The Blues are alright...Yeah Yeah.

The song where she sang about her home, man, that brought me to tears. I had a lump in my throat, probably cause she had it too. I love her voice and their music, because they aren't just playing at a show,  they're emoting. They're feeling what they're playing... and vice versa. And I can see those feelings come out and it's so overwhelming that it's been 3 days since and I'm still in that universe, in those 3 hours at Bandra Fort and I have their songs playing in my head. I catch myself everyday trying to find their music to listen to. I don't want to download their music, I want to buy it. Till then, I'll make to with their MySpace page and YouTube. 

I hope someday I can tear the sky apart too.

Check them out at

SIDE NOTE: Yesterday's band practice was great. Although I started out reluctantly, what with being in complete awe of Tips' voice and trying to figure out how in everything-sacred's name I could even attempt an iota of that voice, Ralphie helped me out. And a leetal puff of the ol' harmonica. And the words just flowed. We wrote about 3 songs together and jammed up a storm (well, as stormy as the room could contain, I suppose). I guess I must find my own voice, no?