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Indian Ocean, On The Rocks!

Indian Ocean, On The Rocks! is an event that took place on 11-Jan-2004 in Hyderabad.
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  • Venue
    Durgam Cheruvu & Rock Garden (8.4 km)
    Next to Ambedkar Open University, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad • Telephone: 2311-0523
  • Date/Time
  • Type
  • Price
    Rs. 100
  • Tickets At
    1. Fabindia, Banjara Hills
    2. Akshara Books, Banjara Hills
    3. A A Husain, Abids
    4. Music World, Banjara Hills
    5. All Café Coffee Day Outlets
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As a regular Joe from Hyderabad, I was familiar with Indian Ocean as the water body that would've given me 1 mark needed to clear the geography quiz in my 4th standard. A decade later, Indian Ocean comes back. When I mentioned to a friend in Delhi that some 'Indian Asian' or 'Indian Ocean' was coming to town, he screamed, letting out a series of powerful grunts and snorts, like his throat was impersonation Mt. Cotopaxy. Bet he was foaming at the mouth, too.

If Indian Ocean can have such an affect on an otherwise normal bloke, these guys had to be extra juicy. So I geared up to imbibe the vibes of this cult band, and appeared without my earplugs at Durgam Cheruvu.

Durgam Cheruvu was at its best behaviour then. The rock garden, festooned with subtly lit-up towering boulders and uneven terrains, cradled the strong crowd (about 800) affectionately. It rocked pleasantly as the slight night breeze caressed them, and the lake in the chasm far below radiated calmly in the moonlight. This was the reason that men wrote poetry. To call the setting romantic would be a crime. No romance in the world could be this beautiful.

Just the ambience for the evening would've sent home everyone elated. But as the souls gathered there nuzzled into their soul mates, the show began. Magic revisited the scene in the form of four very talented gentlemen.

As they took the stage, they would've seen people sitting in a huge semicircle that sometimes went over the rock tops, and sometimes under them. As the band later declared, this was the best venue that they ever played at.

The bass player and vocalist, Rahul Ram, did most of the intros for the songs. As the songs began, my first reaction was Euphoria. Like the immensely popular band Euphoria, Indian Ocean also makes tunes with an overwhelming feeling of rural India. Their lyrics (unlike Euphoria) are totally in the native languages, and their music, very Sufi. So basically, for a first timer, Indian Ocean seemed like a cross between Euphoria and the Sufi band Junoon.

Tabla is the main rhythm for their music, and the drums more or less tag along. With a strong bass sound in all of them, the acoustic guitar sounding like a sitar forms the true life of their music. The vocals are the charismatic combination of extended notes and peppy Indian yodels.

Tum Tho Manana was the song that I really liked. And by the singing the crowd was doing, it seemed like a huge hit of this band. Then came songs like Village Damsel and Bhor, very typical Indian Ocean. The vocalist pours his voice into the songs' misery, and when the lyrics end, the guitar wails in full passion.

The band proved their maturity and hold on music when they started jamming with the crowd as the crowd was screaming slogans in their praise. The little interactive session was called Kaisa Laga? It was followed by the proper 'jugalbandhi' jamming sessions between the band guys, the best being between the guitarist, Sushmit Sen and the drummer, on the Tarang, Amit Kilam.

The crowd went berserk when the band played their ultra popular songs like Hillelle Jagjor Duniya, Wah Re Wah and Kandisa. But the song that I liked the best of the evening was an instrumental number called Torrent. Starting with a haunting guitar sound, this song showed some complex structures with folk instruments, and some classic interludes with Tabla. The band seems to revolve around Ashim Chakravarthy, with the best voice and hands in the band, on the Tabla. A masterpiece.

So when the band declared their last song of the night, I was surprised that I was among the ones bemoaning with disappointment. And as the cliché' goes, all good things come to an end and so did the show. So will this review too. Though Indian Ocean haven't really made me sell my kidneys to buy all their albums, I know I'll be glad to attend their shows again and again.

Mithun Verma
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Artist(s') Talent
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Good for kids/family - NA
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Time well-spent - NA
Ramesh K on 12th Jan 2004, 5:31pm | Permalink
Yet again, it's a realisation to me why live concerts are popular. For a not-so-regular_and difficlut_to_please like me, it was "swooning" music. Though I cannot explain in technical terms why I liked it, I look forward to listening to Indian Ocean again. Probably it's that all-pervasive Indian touch.
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This page was tagged for
Durgam Cheruvu & Rock Garden events
January 2004 events
hyderabad arts
hyderabad concerts / live music
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