• Sat, Dec 10, 2022
Reviews

Enolaton, Pelican Shuffles and Josh & Dipan Sway Kolkata's Crowd in an Evening Of Eclectic Music

gig Reviews Sep 26, 04:40pm

 Photo Courtesy: Concert Wizards

When I reached Princeton Club on the evening of 16th September, it was already past the time when the gig was supposed to commence. But surprisingly enough (and to my relief), soundcheck was still on and none of the performing artists had taken the stage yet. This was the first time Jamsteady (a sub-branch of Smoke Inc.) was featuring Enolaton, an experimental rock act from the heart of the city’s local music scene, after the pandemic. The evening had independent alt-rock band Pelican Shuffles co-headlining the bill with acoustic duo Josh & Dipan as the supporting act.

After roaming around the venue for a while killing time, it was finally time for Josh & Dipan to raise the curtains for the night.

 

 

Although it was already an hour past the time the gig was initially about to commence, the duo’s set ameliorated any disappointment that had been brewing. Kickstarting the gig with a brilliant acoustic set, they had a medley of originals and covers up their sleeves. Creating a contrast to the upcoming pumped-up rock music fuelled sets, Josh & Dipan’s mellow blues, and acoustic-influenced numbers set the mood for the night, complimented by a dimly lit venue and pleasant visuals on the background screen. The duo started with an original “Our Souls at Night”, eventually moving on to covers like “Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam, “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls, and more originals. Those who were present there, thronged near the stage as Josh’s deep voice reverberated through the venue. They ended their set with another original “Dead Inside” making the way for Pelican Shuffles to take to the stage.

 

 

The alt-rock band who have incorporated a quirky tonal palette into their sound dialled up the volume at Princeton with their punchy, peppy setlist. The venue had gathered quite a crowd by now but for some reason, there seemed to be an absence of enthusiasm from the audience (well, maybe other than a few enthusiastic whoops and hollers) despite vocalist Varun Gujadhur’s infectious stage presence and calls for the people to join them in their brio. But even after such a disappointing audience engagement, the band flawlessly executed their set, bringing forth an undeniable charismatic spirit to the night. They started with an impromptu on-stage jam session of their song “Little Love” before moving on to a set list consisting entirely of original numbers like the zippy and dancey “Lay Down”, “Break Your Stance”, “Hold On”, “Saturday Morning”, “Lost Control”, and the more pensive “Why Did You Do It?” and “Endlessly”, to name a few. Tasty guitar lines and snazzy vocals dominated their set paving the way for a zesty ending. Although the audience had been holding back throughout most of the night, the conclusion to Pelican Shuffles’ set managed to earn quite a few shrieks of appreciation from them.

By the time the showstoppers of the night, Enolaton came on stage, the attendees of the gig were mellow and tipsy chattering away amongst themselves, waiting patiently for the band to take their spot. After all, Enolaton was all ready to bring their special set, something they termed “The Last Radio Show on Earth” to the night.

 

 

An audio-visual experience, “The Last Radio Show on Earth” presented itself as an amalgamation of music and spoken word narration along with spectacular, dystopian visuals on the screen. The band, revelling in a post-rock, electronic-ambient, and jazz-influenced sound left no stones unturned when it came to delivering a stellar performance that successfully blew away everyone’s mind. All the lethargy that had accumulated in the venue was swiped away in an instant the moment they belted out their first song, “Electric Heart”. I for one was not ready for the amazement that was to follow. Juxtaposing track after track with pre-recorded spoken word preludes, the band performed an array of original music like “All the Little Things”, “Love in the Times”, “Cardiac Arrest”, “Purge”, “Fearless”, “Riot”, “Apathy” and “Animals”. Each track was connected to its immediate predecessor via a narration, the result being a sonic story woven together by electrifying guitar riffs, modulated synth accompaniments, ebullient drumming, booming basslines, and glitchy electronic embellishments. The trippy visuals in the background only accentuated the magnificent display of creativity and authenticity. To add a cherry on top, the last song was accompanied by a video created in collaboration with AI. A crafty feat on the band’s end to bring something refreshing to the game.

As the gig came to an impressive end, all the doubts that had built up in my mind regarding its quality vanished, leaving only a bittersweet feeling of post-gig blues for the weekend to come. I will be lying if I said that I had expected a lot from the night ever since I stepped into Princeton that evening. However, the eventual audience turnout restored my hopes in the music enthusiasts of the city who came there solely to enjoy a night of good music. And that probably speaks volumes about the kind of music being produced in the city that is enough to revive a sleepy crowd from their slumber.

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