I was on the lucky guys who started interacting with the Delhi music circuit even before there was one. Had a blast playing during college and attending shows by Indian Ocean, Parikrama and to some degree Rotten Tomatoes, which were to the only real solid bands around at that time.
Then i went away, got tucked into a corner in Noida for 2 years doing my MBA and when i did come this side of the river again it was not all that it was cracked up to be. During my two years one heard a lot of (supposedly good) things about the music scene in Delhi – original music, world class guitar players , experimentation , fusion and so on— Yes! Delhi was poised to produce the next Floyd! The next Zepplin , Steve Wai , Morrison …..
When in actuality 90% of the bands in Delhi suck..and suck big time! The only thing common between them and any of the bands listed above is….nothing! They are all under some delusion that they are good, have some of the cheesiest names you will find in the business and play as well as i spell! Bars and Pubs are lining up to hire bands for as many nights as they can leaving sane people with good ears absolutely no place to go and hear some good music.Sure they have fenders, and tube amps hooked to state of the art sound processors but if that’s all it takes, hey , i made it when i was 12!Very few can barely manage a Denver cover but think they are capable of producing original music.
Lyrics and scores probably dreamt or copied from the internet are pushed to the audience as being the next big thing , as being different and the minute they say different they will go ahead and Tag it as fusion as well. Plagiarism is aplenty and anyone who has listened to music extensively enough will see that.Bloated egos because they have 1 fan who is always there…probably because he does not know where he is to begin with. Theatricals galore , mass handshakes , arrogance , ignorance , lack of skill is actually what makes the Delhi circuit…… and fueling them on is a certain audience who think these guys are the best , for no reason whatsoever.
I bumped into this woman at TC a few weeks back who had come from Chandigarh to listen to a band which she had never heard , but only heard of… on asking her i was told she had “heard they were good through a friend”….. they friend probably being one of the members of the band itself. She had no clue what they played, how long they had played for , remember any of the songs, recall the covers or the artists…..nothing… as far as music went she was as knowledgeable as a dodo… but yet she was there..and so were another 200 similar people… all under the pretence that they were cool by being here , that they knew music , appreciated it , understood it…while in actuality were Dodo’s themselves. All they do is get between me and the beer!
Then there are those who think they know the business. A friend of mine post graduating from one of the top colleges in the country decided to become a manager….for bands. Qualification… that she liked music..so off she went with the full confidence that the newest entry in 2008 in India’s richest people list will be the bands she manages. What happend was ofcourse totally different….. her love for morrison did not help her understand sound , networking , administration , business logic …and basically screwed it up with most of those bands. They are not , believe you me , swearing by her…they are swearing at her!
Not every band is idiotic nor is every person who attends one of these things. Fortunately there are some really talented people around and im glad i know them, and invariably bump into them often enough to keep my sanity on this.So the next time you are in Delhi or planning to go out and attend a “show” , think thrice! You might just be better off with your walkman!Thanks to the following bands for still keeping some hope alive for all of us:-Soap, HFT , Indian Ocean , Menwhopause !