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Bomb.Thursdays at Kino 108 with a Post-Rock Twist

gig Reviews Sep 16, 01:26pm

We've covered Bomb.Thursdays at Kino 108 many, many times before in the past, so what's one more. Our man Akhil Sood was there to witness a brilliant gig where the music took centre-stage and a different-ish line-up really worked in the soft, intimate confines of the venue. Read on for more.
 Photo Courtesy: Snehala Anthappan

September 12, 


Kino 108

Kanchan Daniel Band, Space behind the Yellow Room, Until We Last, Filter Coffee

A day before the gig, the bass player for Space behind the Yellow Room was crossing the street. He doesn’t recall what happened exactly, but by most accounts, he got hit by a truck. A fucking truck. No biggie though; he busted his head, got a bunch of stitches, and was told to stay in bed for a day or two.

Nevermind all that, because there he was, at Kino 108 on September 12, with his shoes off and his head bandaged, playing with his band and, well, putting up an explosive show. This particular edition of Bomb.Thursdays was a little different from before. It wasn’t particularly crowded, three beers cost 600 bucks instead of the usual 500, the waiters were not being their usual dickish selves for once, and there was even a 9XO logo on the list of sponsors. Plus there were no high-profile bands from the city who normally assure a decent turnout and a decent set. Instead, we got a set of bands that, irrespective of your judgement call on their quality, were indeed fresh. It was an evening that had a lot of substance, where ‘scene’ or ‘no scene’ discussions took a backseat and the actual music that the bands played took centre-stage.  

First up was the Kanchan Daniel Band. As you may or may not have already guessed, it was fronted by the very charismatic Kanchan Daniel, who has a set of vocal chords that can only be described as potent. They play the blues, and on the night, they played a mix of their own songs and a few covers, including a song by Etta James and a version of ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’ (LMFAO). Again, I should stress that they play the blues, a pretty standard version of it, with lots of Wah-and-Blues-Driver guitar solos and lots of swinging vocal flourishes, and I just don’t feel the blues. Plus, being the opening act, they had to perform in front of a very sparse crowd, but they managed to maintain a high level of energy through their set, and people who do feel the blues would probably appreciate these guys far more than your musically illiterate reviewer. They did have an endearing, relaxed air about them, setting the stage for Space behind the Yellow Room.

Around this time, the camera-to-human-being ratio was, as is common these days, quite high. So this one guy, who was trying hard not to enter the frame while another fellow was shooting the gig, decided to duck and walk past him. He failed miserably, did a mini-moonsault in the air, and collapsed in a heap. It was hilarious. Soon enough, that same guy set up his drum kit, got a mic put next to him, and started playing the drums and singing for Space behind the Yellow Room.

Space behind the Yellow Room kicking it up a notch.

All the way from Bangalore, the band has this spacey post-rockish sound interspersed with schizophrenic transitions and breakdowns that add a lot of rawness and edge to their sound. The drummer and one of the guitar players shared vocal duties, but thankfully, the vocals were not too loud, because they were awful for the most part. The music, on the other hand, had a lot of character, which they matched with a power-packed stage presence and an aggressive delivery. Sure, they were a little rough around the edges with scratchy tones and all, but they’re an exciting young band with shit loads of potential.

Until We Last, also from Bangalore, took the stage next, and they were by far the highlight of the evening. They fall within the confines of the genre we’ve come to love and loathe called “post-rock”, drawing heavily from God is an Astronaut and, to a lesser extent, Explosions in the Sky. Stunning dynamics and a phenomenal live act allow that meandering, soulful sound to translate across to listeners, as they do a great job shuffling between long ambient, mellow, guitar-driven passages and glorious crescendos. The thing with Until We Last is that the conviction with which they put across their music will always connect with listeners, and they seemingly develop a very tender and intimate atmosphere that often reaches poignancy – the band as well as the crowd was sapped by the overflow of ethereal energy once their set ended, especially after the way they ended, with an enormous noise-rock conclusion to the delicate soundscapes they’d developed. But that came much later – somewhere in the middle of the set, they all probably got a little tired, and decided to sit down and play a song. A couple of guys in the crowd duly followed suit, before the aforementioned energetic blast returned, and eventually, most people at the venue were converts and huge fans of the band.

The Until We Last guitar-players used an e-bow and an actual bow for some fascinating textural work.

Finally, Filter Coffee, not quite staying true to their fun name, closed the night. The duo, who were joined by a girl singing melodies derived from Indian classical music in the latter part of their set, have an electro sound blended together with live drums, tabla, and other traditional elements. Theoretically, they have a very cool thing going for them, but it didn’t quite cut through on the night, as they had to suffer the curse of playing after the two Bangalore bands that had reached very high peaks. They got a little boring by the end of it, lacking a little in intensity and purpose compared to what came before them, and slowly the crowds started to disperse and the evening came to an end. But not before I managed to snag a bunch of free stuff that the two Bangalore bands were kind enough to distribute. Money’s worth, I should think.

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