It was an evening of interesting renditions of popular Hindi and English songs when Neethusha Cherckal and her band performed at Phoenix MarketCity recently.
A singer since she was 14, the now 25-year-old Neethusha quit her job as a computer science engineer last year to pursue a solo career in music.
But this February, she decided to start her own band, which comprises of Neethusha on vocals, Joston Mario Pereira on keyboard, Billy Langhu on lead guitar, Pranav Ramesh on bass, Linton Samuel Pereira on rhythm guitar and Vivek Sharma on drums.
A bolt of fresh energy, the melodic vocals and guitar hooks slowly filled up the courtyard and people not only cheered them on from in front of the stage but across the different floors of the mall too.
The band played close to an hour’s worth of material, which included mostly covers and two originals, namely ‘Zara Sa’ and ‘Colours’.
Asked about the lack of original compositions, Neethusha said, “We’re still a very new band and this is our first public show on such a big stage.
For now, we’ve taken the approach of creating a larger fan base by playing songs that the audience can relate to. Once that’s done, we’ll start focusing on originals and incorporating those into our set.”
There were plenty of fun songs to keep the crowd cheering — from ‘Fix You’ and ‘Paradise’ by ‘Coldplay’ to ‘Mind Street’ by ‘Motherjane’ to ‘Radioactive’ by ‘Imagine Dragons’.
Among the more singalong tunes were numbers like ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams and ‘Get Lucky’ by ‘Daft Punk’ while their surprise Hindi-English medley of yesteryear pop hits made the crowd jump and dance.
When asked what she thought of the crowd, Neethusha replied, “I’ve been to Phoenix before as I live in Whitefield and I’ve noticed how a lot of times, people don’t care about the band performing.
But in our case, the audience not only stayed throughout the set but also came up to us after the show and took photographs and congratulated us.
It was an uplifting experience because as performers, we get our energy from the audience.”
The audience was excited to be there and some even broke into impromptu jigs during the gig.
“I had a lot of fun and knew many of the songs that the band played.
It’s nice to see malls being utilised for such concerts,” said Kanika, an audience member.
Her friend Suneetha added, “What I liked most was how young the band members looked.
They could be my age and are just so talented. I had a surprisingly good time listening to them.”