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Shark Tooth Live Storms: Them Clones, Junkyard Groove, Half Step Down

By Vineet Kanabar | December 19, 2007

Split Magazine: Shark Tooth Live StormsDate: December 9, 2007 | Venue: Hamsadhwani Amphitheatre (New Delhi)

Cold Delhi evenings are hazardous. Well, generally. But when you have what are, arguably two of India’s premier bands playing unplugged, together with a blues outfit headed by Shubha Mudgal‘s son, throwing caution to the cold, chilly wind, is definitely advisable.

The Bombay Rock Association (BRA) and anECHO with Prospect, got together to bring Shark Tooth Live Storms to five cities in the country, and the unplugged gig featuring blues band Half Step Down, Delhi rockers Them Clones, and THE band of the year, Junkyard Groove last weekend was one to savour. Originally, the lineup was longer, with Bangalore’s genre defying Thermal And A Quarter scheduled to play, but they pulled out, bringing Half Step Down to the fray.

Following a lengthy sound check by Junkyard Groove and Half Step Down, we got underway, with the latter taking to the stage first. Beginning with their ‘Stupiditties’-featured track “Girl Not Guitar”, the band brought to life a sparse crowd, at a generally jam-packed Hamsadhwani theatre.

With Cyanide‘s Rohan Solomon back with the band, after a brief hiatus, the sound was fresher than what was heard at a few gigs without him. Bringing a little reggae to the mould, Half Step Down covered Bob Marley‘s amazing classic “Redemption Song”, and Stone Temple Pilots‘ staple “Plush”. But to really see them in their element, you would’ve had to witness the band playing “Knocking at the Back of My Head”, and a relatively unknown original, “UKG 18″.

A brilliant start, to what was to be an amazing evening.

All in all, a gig that I’m going to tell my grandchildren about.

Them Clones took the stage, amidst dim lighting, and MTV Unplugged-esque candles to add to the ambience. The band has all the makings of a big, big, big rock ‘n’ roll band, with lead singer Prithwish Dev definitely at his best. Guitarist Gucci Singh sat cross legged in a very girly way, but that didnt stop him from doing justice to the performance.

Coming to the stage alongwith the Clones were violinist Sachin, saxophone-wielding Rishi, and singer Vasundhara, who added class to an already classy act. It was all there, the stage, the people, and the songs. With the crowd singing along, Them Clones gave us a heavy dose of what they’re best at. Playing “In the Name of God”, “Awaken” and a host of other popular songs, including a couple of new ones, like “Round” and “Colours”, it was a vintage performance by a band that I didnt really like a lot when I saw them live for the first time back home.

Responding to the audience’s cry for the release of the much delayed album, Prithwish in typical sarcastic humour, said, “Yeah, it should be out by 2005.”

But even this great act was nothing when compared to the four guys who came after.

“If there’s anyone outside the auditorium, please come back inside!” That’s what Ameeth from Junkyard Groove screamed when the band took the stage to deliver a killer performance, and make the partisan Delhi crowd literally sway to Chennai Blues. Junkyard Groove are to come out with their own album by February 2008, and played tracks from the same. Starting out with “Imagine”, the band captured the imagination of every Delhi guy/girl in the auditorium. After a lot of deliberation about the song’s name, Junkyard Groove played the popular “Folk You”, with Ameeth at his sublime best with his trademark frontman stand-up comedian antics.

Running through the set with songs like “Let Me Go”, “Twinkle”, and “Say Goodbye”, Junkyard Groove had the crowd in their hands when they played what is the Indian underground scene’s anthem of the year, “It’s OK”. Drummer Jerry also crooned a song he had written when he was under a bout of depression, and the set was rounded off with guitarist Siddharth singing “Little Girl”. As usual, the cops’ threats cut the festivities short, and Junkyard Groove played a shorter set than the other two bands.

Honestly, it was the best gig I’ve ever been to. I was super-excited to see the two biggest bands from southern India, Junkyard Groove and Thermal And A Quarter together in Delhi, so it was a mild dampener when the latter pulled out, but the replacements were equally good.

All in all, a gig that I’m going to tell my grandchildren about.

Comments

4 Comments. Post Yours Here.
  1. December 21, 2007, 12:36 am Arjun Shiv

    haha Estranged is finally at home.

  2. December 21, 2007, 11:16 am Diabolique

    niicee!! :P

  3. December 21, 2007, 3:43 pm Vineet

    :P

  4. December 22, 2007, 4:09 am Neerav

    Haha. Nice review Estranged. I wish I could be there. I’m dying to see TC and JYG in action again.

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