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City DJs have nowhere to play

Residents’campaign to close down Bandra clubs is killing the alternative music scene, say DJs.

music Updated: Jul 22, 2010 14:26 IST
Naomi Canton

It is not just the bar owners who have been irked by the Bandra residents' campaign to get clubs in the suburb closed down. DJs too have been affected as they now have a shortage of venues to play at.

Johnny Deep, a Brit-Indian DJ, has been working in the city since December 2008. He was thrilled when he got his first gig at Bonobo in April. "It went really well and the place was packed," he says.

"They were talking about doing something regular with me, which would have been great, and the following week it shut down." The same night the manager from Escobar showed up to observe him play.

"He liked my stuff, so we spoke about playing at Escobar. Then before I knew, that too had shut down," he says. More than 1,000 residents who live on Waterfield Road and 27th Road in Bandra are a part of this campaign that has so far succeeded in closing Bonobo, Escobar and Royalty.

Zenzi too has shut temporarily. Deep, who specialises in Chicago House and funky beats, only has Valhalla, Zenzi Mills, Aurus and Tote to play at now. "China House rarely has guest DJs, in Aer they play background music and Bling and Enigma are too commercial," he explains.

DJ Pramz, who was the resident DJ at Bonobo says, "I don't know if it is reopening, but I am hopeful. It was one of the few venues where you could play experimental music. For many DJs these places were their only bread and butter.

The only places left for people like me are Zenzi Mills and Wink, as Aurus is difficult for newcomers to break into. There will be nothing left in Bandra soon."