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Children's date with rock music

Kusum Kanojia, Nov 16, 2012, DHNS

If you ever needed proof that music has no language, this was the place to be. For more than 100 inmates of DMRC’s children home at Tis Hazari, it was a date with rock music created by Australia’s best bands. Lack of understanding of the other’s language was more than made up for in sheer enthusiasm.

Within a couple of hours of landing in the City, members of four Oz rock bands – Big Scary, The Aston Shuffle, Jinja Safari and Sheppard – played for these underprivileged children, who were anxiously waiting for them and had some compositions of their own to share.

The bands, who were in Delhi to perform at The Aussie BBQ under the aegis of ongoing Oz Fest, were welcomed by a rock song O Dharti, composed by kids who have been learning music at the Sound School of Salaam Baalak Trust. Sound School is a series of Australian music events and initiatives aimed at raising money to purchase musical instruments, teaching aids and provide tuition for underprivileged children.


Post the kids’s performance, it was the turn of the professionals to take centre stage, making children groove to tunes of their music, while also dancing along with them. The children had little idea about rock music and what the bands were playing for them and so, the performance turned into an occasion for shaking a leg.

The energy of the children was seen to be believed as George, vocalist of Sheppard, an Indie pop Brisbane band, sang Let me down easy, even though the lyrics sailed right past their untutored minds. While Sheppard continued performing, the other band members gave company to the children, dancing with them, talking to them and clicking their pictures with their mobile phones.

For most band members, it was their first visit to Delhi and to the country. When asked how it was to perform in a small room and front of little fans, George, who sang and danced energetically, said, “We also started from small places. It was enjoyable for me because the kids were enjoying like anything. It is a different show everywhere but this one is really special.”

Amy, another band member and George’s sister who danced along with the children, said, “When we play in big concerts and fans shout and enjoy our music, that is special, but this was special too. While I was scared as they were jumping very close to me, I was also enjoying as they danced without being conscious. It’s been only a few hours since I have been here and I am already loving the atmosphere though I had very mixed reviews about India.”

Avid music lovers, the children aspire to become as big as these bands some day. Lalit Mishra, a vocalist from the Sound School’s band, hopes they will get to perform with all musical instruments. A student of Std X who has been in DMRC’s children home for the last three years, Lalit said, “We practice every day for about three hours when exams are not around. We do perform outside very rarely with all the instruments. I hope we play regularly with all members and people start recognising our band.”

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