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Gearing up for the gigs

Here?s what to expect from the musical line-up

india Updated: Jan 22, 2006 02:18 IST

It’s a pity that the words ‘Chappar phar ke’ can’t really be set to the tune of classic rock, heavy metal, classic funk, blues or pop-rock. Because starting end of this month, that’s pretty much what Mumbai’s going to get in terms of international live gigs. Although the roster does sound like a blast from the locked trunk in the attic, getting to see Jethro Tull, Bryan Adams, Uriah Heep, Kool and the Gang, the Blues Brothers and Eath Wind and Fire within a few days of each other isn’t a bad season in the park.

Apart from Bryan Adams, none of the other bands have come out with an album for decades — and if they have, there’s a reason why no one’s heard of it (Uriah Heep’s 1998 Sonic Origami, anyone?). But let’s not get too pricey now (leave that to the organisers selling the concert tickets). Instead, let’s just do a quick rundown of the gig meisters:

Quite obviously, top choice would be to witness the Heep a.k.a. Uriah Heep play in the One Tree Music Festival at the Bandra-Kurla Complex on February 10. These are the guys who made it cool for bands to smell — not to mention cool to headbang to heavy metal prog-rock before the genre got shifted to late night music television showcasing nost(algia)-rock. So what do we expect from the over-60 Lords of the Time Capsule? Organs, heavy bluesy noises and sudden riffs of loud sound. Make sure that the Heep plays the anthemic Gypsy (hurrah for that falsetto scream that goes ‘Aaaaaah!’ at the end of each stanza), July Morning and the terribly bouncy (and faux Southern rock) Sweet Lorraine. Oh, even those with spondalitis won’t refrain from the headbanging.

Jethro Tull is in Mumbai more frequently these days than Indus Creed (who are opening for Tull). What can you say about Ian Andersen, the wielder of the magic flute? (Answer: Jolly good) Ensure that Tull classics like Thick As A Brick, Songs From the Wood, the riproaring Steel Monkey and the truly magnificent A New Day Yesterday gets played.

Otherwise you’ll have to do your best to pretend that you’re appreciating the ‘spiritual sonic experience’ that Andersen may insist on playing at the Shanmu-kananda Hall on Jan 31.

For anyone who hasn’t erupted into a jungle boogie each time the Kool And The Gang’s Jungle Boogie played on the stereo, don’t lie! If there’s anything that can bring a funk-driven coolness to the most unfunky, uncool congregation, it’s the Gang. At the height of their powers in the medallioned and bell-bottomed ’70s, the Gang should make you realise at the One Tree Fest that life without Celebration and Get Down On It is, well, like hanging out with Dull and the Gang.

If dollops of blues is your thang, then that’s what the Blues Brothers Band should be providing at the One Tree Fest. This was the backing band for the late actor John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd’s side-project — therefore the trademark dark glasses and hats. If you’re a cognoscento, then listen to whatever they have to play. But if you’re one of us rowdies, demand all the songs from the Blues Brothers soundtrack.

Earth, Wind & Fire brings the grand funk out in sequins. Hear them play Kalimba Story, Drum Story and the fab Serpentine Fire. We’re talking Chicago here, Chicago funk here. So boogie at the Bandra-Kurla, if boogie is what you do.

As for the Bryan Adams concert on Feb 4, if you don’t have a poster of him on your bedroom wall which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about him, look up the

First Published: Jan 22, 2006 02:18 IST