• Thu, Jul 25, 2024

Mumbai's Kitchen Rave Is A Good Example Of Why Alternative Gig Culture Has Merit

Mar 06, 04:59pm

(And why doing interesting things with live electronic music is the need of the genre’s hour)


It is a borderline tragedy that eating at restaurants and attending a live music gig have a bunch of descriptors in common - flavour, ambience, vibe, style and so on. So when you find a gig series like Kitchen Rave that combines these two gratifying things into one very cool but admittedly hilarious experience, we can’t write about one side without causing a bunch of incidental puns about the other. So, we’re not going to bother; instead, we’re going to make a case for why off-beat live music events have a place in Indian indie. Because they do.

Kitchen Rave is a collaborative venture involving Mumbai establishment The Baykery and a clothing brand called Darko, and the proceedings are as follows: a DJ has a console on the restaurant’s kitchen countertop and they play a set. Right next to them is the restaurant’s chef, who is making the food for the attendants literally during the show. If you’ve ever had some sort of strange fever dream where you see a Pioneer deck next to literal balls of dough on parchment paper and a small group of people vibing in front, this is exactly that. Of course, we’re being facetious; you probably haven’t had that sort of fever dream unless you were the people that came up with this whole idea.

Since the old KCRW/KEXP and Brownswood Basement days, having musicians play music in a space that is specifically built for a completely different function is not a new idea by any stretch. However, what’s interesting about Kitchen Rave is the willingness of the creative people involved to try something and follow through with it. Indian indie is riddled with gigs, festivals and events that conform to a run-of-the-mill, compartmentalized template: travel, see show, post on socials, maybe have a drink or a meal and go home. This is simply not that, and it’s very encouraging to see new things being tried out. To boot, these sets are on Youtube (linked below) and it seems like they’re great fun. Of course, there is always the worry that such things are just another attempt at a pretentious subculture cash-grab for a privileged few, but that genuinely does not seem to be the case here. And, whether you’re into this stuff or not, it can at the very least get you thinking, which is more than good enough. It’s just fun.

Watch and enjoy.


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