Over the past week and some days, the Celebrate Bandra Festival, held in partnership with the Hindustan Times, achieved to a great extent its musical ambitions.
It delivered the big players (Pentagram, Raghu Dixit, Swarathma) and even made room for fresh graduates from schools of rock. And while there was never any intended competition, our verdict leans in favour of the three-month old The Mavyns.
At the Carter Road promenade, the quartet made evident their ’60s hangover to a demographic that hadn’t quite evolved from day one of the festival. In shabby hair and psychedelic batik print tees, The Mavyns put out happy tunes that would have made their idols, The Beatles, proud. “We’ve had the Brits rub off on our sound in a big way. Among other influences are The White Stripes, The Shins, The Raconteurs and The Fratellis,” said Vivek Nair, the band’s frontman.
Fresh on the gig circuit, the boys were super timid, endearingly unpretentious and infectiously lyrical. The band apparently made its music while camping out in Goa, the cheerful vibes from which translate into head-bobbing, feet-tapping harmonies, rhythms and melodies. “It’s a Yiddish and Hebrew term that I came across in a book by Malcolm Gladwell. It means knowledge and its essence is that the smaller things in life matter. It best conveys what we are in pursuit of,” said Pradeep Mathews (guitar and vocals), explaining the band's name.
Quite a contrast was Shkabang, a relatively new band, flaunting however some known musicians like Shiraz Bhattacharya (of Pentagram), Johan Pais (Helga’s Fun Castle and Tough on Tobacco), Pozy Dhar (Helga’s Fun Castle), Abhijit Nalani and Anushka Manchanda.
“We’re very elastic, still experimenting with our sound. I’d say it’s very electro, pop, rock, bubble disco music that swings from the light to the power heavy,” said Manchanda, the band’s fronting siren.
Dressed in purposefully slashed stockings, Manchanda’s hip and hair swinging histrionics earned Shkabang a much more attentive audience than The Mavyns.
“We’re not trying to prove anything nor trying to change the world. We just want to have fun and want people to join in,” said Manchanda.