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Mixed doubles

We’ve spoken about unplugged sets, the magic they bring with them and even about how several people misuse the terms ‘unplugged’ or ‘acoustic’, writes Malvika Nanda.

music Updated: Aug 29, 2008 17:19 IST
Malvika Nanda

We’ve spoken about unplugged sets, the magic they bring with them and even about how several people misuse the terms ‘unplugged’ or ‘acoustic’. Now, whether you still love them or feel they’ve been overdone, there is no escaping them. Some of these unplugged gigs are great fun — the acoustica adds a bit of newness to existing originals of the bands. Well, that is if they are really, purely unplugged.

Now with a keyboard and other electric instruments, that’s a little tough to claim, but... never mind! Every time I see our rockers perched on those high chairs (I like to call them bar stools), I think Eagles and — yes, embarrassed to say it — Hotel California. The next thing that comes to my mind is the Dave Matthews band, which has got some nice videos of unplugged sets. This week, Delhi had about two of these gigs.

On Sunday, Them Clones and Raghu Dixit Project performed as a part of the Youth Parliament’s 6th anniversary celebrations held at India Habitat Centre. The Clones, it seems, are keen on making an industry out of their unplugged sets and they performed like a dream. Adding to the charisma were the visuals by one of their French friends that complemented the music.

They started their set with one of their earliest hits, In the name of God, and then went on to some of their other songs like the Bomb Song and My Life, among others. Great set, great form and Raghu Dixit only took the charged souls to a higher ground, with his eclectic semi-classical, semi-folk world music.

Dixit has by now become a hot favourite in the gig circuit throughout the country and has people scrambling for his self titled debut album (the first release on Vishal-Shekhar’s music label.) Not too long ago, the man had decided to say adieu to concerts; now, fat chance he would be able to do that. Down the week, on Tuesday night, Retro Sushi, the new club in place of Tapas at Vasant Continental, hosted an unplugged evening, too. A-few-gigs-old Aussie sin-ger Penelope Spencer opened the evening with some of her originals and indie/folk covers.

Half Step Down was up next. The band has been working on new stuff at the studio, and in vocalist Dhaval Mudgal’s words, “You’ll se more of us now.” They had a slow start but picked up pace towards the end of the set with some very appreciable originals. Working hour (with a catchy chorus Time goes by but the memory remains) and Knocking at the back of my head were the best of the lot. The band has very talented musicians and that makes it hard to think of it as a still upcoming band. There’s just one or two pieces in the jigsaw missing. Get that in and HSD is ready to rule.