Not a dull moment

Not a dull moment

Bangalore will always be known for its deservedly over-hyped music scene. But while pubs continue to play classic rock and international DJs tour the clubs to play EDM sets, it’s festivals like the recently-held ‘An Ode to the Blues’ that will put the City on the map.

Held at CounterCulture, the festival featured guitar legend ‘Guitar Shorty’, Shillong-based blues band ‘Soulmate’, Mumbai-based trio ‘Blackstratblues’ and local acts like ‘The Chronic Blues Circus’, ‘By2Blue’, Velvet Mojo’ among others.

The evening of blues started fairly early and extended upto the new deadline, with people refusing to let the music stop. The venue was packed, the scale of production and lights were a wise additional investment to the overall experience and there was little to complain about the music itself, which was a mix of various sub-genres of blues.

For the entirety of the festival, there was never a dull moment, with live music spread across two stages – the Robert Johnson Stage and Roots Blues Stage. With scene legends like ‘Soulmate’ and ‘Blackstratblues’ on the line-up, there was no doubt that the festival would be a fun reminder of the good ol’ blues.

But the extent to which the music would be enjoyable turned out to be much higher than what most expected. Especially when it came to the veteran ‘Guitar Shorty’, the confidence and passion with which he performed was a sheer pleasure to bear witness to.

Ravi, who attended the show, said that there is a growing need for such festivals. “It was an awesome night of the blues. We need more venues that bring down acts that more people would automatically come to watch because they’re of such high quality. I’m sick and tired of the electronic music scene and was amazed to see the likes of ‘Soulmate’, ‘Blackstratblues’ and of course, ‘Guitar Shorty’,” said Ravi.

Sunil Abraham, a frequent concert-goer, called it a ‘brave attempt’ by CounterCulture. “I really hope that this venue and the organisers get more support when it comes to making such festivals possible. All the bands that performed tonight were well-known ones with their own forte but the set by ‘Guitar Shorty’ really extended my life in some way. At his age, he was a revelation and played some real mean blues! I’m sure Jimi Hendrix will soon rise from the dead,” he joked.

It was an unforgettable night, said Akhil, another member of the crowd. “It was a really well planned and executed gig. The sound and lighting was great and the general atmosphere went well with the music. It had that mini-festival vibe going for it, which was cool. Personally, my favourite artiste for the night was ‘Blackstratblues’’, who played an absolutely mesmerising set,” he said.

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