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It’s all in the drama

Signature stage traits of bands/musicians range from the quirky to the bizarre. Jigna Padhiar gives a lowdown on such acts of top Indian bands...
Hindustan Times | By Jigna Padhiar
UPDATED ON MAR 03, 2009 08:52 PM IST

Signature stage traits of bands/musicians range from the quirky to the bizarre. Jigna Padhiar gives a lowdown on such acts of top Indian bands

It’s Parikrama’s stage energy, other than their music and songs that fans look forward to in their concerts. Their pump jump bang sequence to end a song, along with fireworks on the stage is among the most anticipated.

Lead singer Nitin Malik says, “It’s important to show aggression, naturally. It’s like a bonus on the ticket a fan has purchased.” Malik says the band does not choreograph any of their acts, but they make a conscious effort to entertain and not end up looking like five people from the crowd performing on the stage.

Horsing around
Talking of entertainment, Swarathma’s puppet horse has soon become a mascot of the band going well with the bands classical Carnatic music and Indian percussions like dholak, ghatam, kanjira, mrudangam. “The Kutchi ghodi act happened at our Radio City Finals competition. We wanted to do something extra and not even lose the essence of our songs, that’s when I got the idea intuitively,” says the band’s lead singer, Vasu Dixit.

Whereas Dixit was initially skeptical about the act, the audience response got them to continue with the act. He also feels that it solves their purpose of taking inspiration from Indian traditional theatrics and showing it to the younger generation.

Jokes apart
There’s the Mumbai based quartet, Workshop that has come to be known as a humour band. The band is always attired in firemen helmets in all the gigs. Vocalist and guitarist, Sahil Makhija quips, “When the idea for the band came about and the kind of music that we were doing, it made sense to have a proper image of the band. The whole idea is to entertain the audience.”

Then there are bands likes Raghu Dixit Project and Avial who are often called the lungi-clad bands. Notes written by fans on the internet show the admiration and awe for the lungi attire.

“I think Indians bands need to learn how to dress up like rockers, however clichéd a torn jeans or a jacket may be. Look at Iron Maiden, the band members are all 50 plus, but they still carry their leather pants and jackets look,” says Mallik.

Dixit seconds him, “Live performances by Jethro Tull, U2, Queen and others is an experience, even on TV. Otherwise people should rather take CDs and listen to them at home.”

Stage diving, a common trait with international bands, is yet to get popular with Indian bands. Perhaps, getting back physically safe in the act is in question.

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