Some original acoustic tunes

Some original acoustic tunes

Warm feeling

Some original acoustic tunes

The ‘Sarjapur Blues Band’, one of the oldest functioning blues bands in Bangalore, performed live recently at ‘Atta Galatta’ in Koramangala. The band comprises Dr Shekhar Sheshadri, professor and head of the department of child psychiatry, Nimhans, on acoustic guitar and vocals; Saumitra Mukherjee, musician and writer, on the nylon string guitar along with vocals; and Vinoo Matthew, research consultant, on the electric guitar.

The band played a foot-tapping set of original songs like ‘If You Have an Ego’, ‘Phoenix’, ‘Lady Nicotine’, ‘Halcyol Days’, ‘Blue Bird’ and ‘Rain Song’. Their listeners were swayed by the feel and originality of the rhythms and beats. There was a lot of interaction and joking in the house, which the audience seemed to enjoy whole-heartedly.

 “I loved the way they chit-chatted with the crowd. I think it made us all feel like we were in the same boat, unlike most live acts in Bangalore. It made us feel closer to the music and people appreciate that better,” said Shimona, an architect.

“Our shows are usually very interactive and have that element of an intimate and acoustic feel. They are not the stadium rock types. It’s an informal way of performing, where at times, we also have the audience sing along with us. We never do conventional or traditional blues. Our music is a space filled up by different kinds of influences,” claimed Saumitra.

Varun Sharma, a software engineer, was seen humming tunes played by the band even as he was making his way out. “It was really nice to see all the three musicians play guitars and add a little piece of themselves into their compositions, especially in an acoustic set of songs, that we don’t get to see much of lately. My personal favourites were ‘Lady Nicotine’ and ‘Blue Bird’. I had a great time and enjoyed the music. It was amazing,” he said.

The musicians contributed to their original compositions with their unique flavour. “We only play our own music. We like to call our sound an ‘ephemeral serendipity’. The idea is a very used concept, where we have a melody, tune or a word and we wrought it into the kind of sound that is created by us,” said Vinoo.

“It’s a chronic competence, where you’re supposed to take chances and do something that’s not already done. It’s like running downhill. You can’t stop and you can’t run too fast, but if you manage to somehow pull it off, it comes out well. We prefer small, enclosed spaces to perform because they have that warm feeling which is absent in usual gigs,” he said.

“Shekhar and I met 25 years ago and that’s when we began playing together. Saumitra joined us shortly later. Since all of us happened to be staying around Sarjapur Road at the time, we named the band ‘Sarjapur Blues Band’,” recalled Vinoo.