Straight from the heart

Straight from the heart
The band may be trying to revive old school music but one can’t catch this motive at first sight. The five-part ensemble of ‘Eastern Fare’ is fresh and lively with tunes for the ears of the young. 

‘Eastern Fare’s musical journey started in 2009 with a motive to promote acoustic rock in the country. “We realised that this genre was being brushed under the carpet in the City and wanted to create some awareness and promote it,” says Jim, the lead guitarist. Although they were not sure about the response after their first show, the wide  appreciation and applause convinced them to take their band forward.

Their current line-up includes Siddharth and Queen on vocals, Suchin on bass, Harish on rhythm guitars and Jim on lead guitar and keyboard. They also get session drummers for their gigs.

The dedication to music and the will to experiment have pushed the band to perform around the City and ‘Eastern Fare’ has now become a popular name in the music scene.
Some of their best shows include ‘Tribute to Eagles’ and ‘Acoustic Evenings’. However, Jim recalls that his first big concert was the acoustic rock performance in 2009. “It was a big jump off point for us as many people invited us to their concerts. We also had a great set then, with Fahida Fahad from Bahrain, Prakash Rajagopalan on bass and Anand Pilakkat.”

For him, the City has always been a music hub and he feels that the growing pub culture has contributed to this robust music scene.  He says, “Although open venues like Palace Grounds are no longer available for concerts, the increasing number of pubs and closed venues are definitely an encouraging sign for emerging musicians. But there have been times when some of these venues wanted bands to perform for free. This is a recurring problem that musicians have to deal with.”

And it doesn’t end here. Jim adds that it is very difficult for an upcoming band to earn money by selling their music. “After the ending of the ‘cassette and CD’ era, the digital platform is the only way for musicians to reach out to their audience. But it is not very easy for newcomers to utilise that fully; the digital platform is proving to be handy for established musicians. Hence, either the government should come up with a proper plan to promote artistes or we need private revenue sharing sources.”

Aware of these challenges before them, the band continues to play music for passion. Jim says, “There are already a couple of gigs lined up. Apart from that, the band is planning to collaborate with other musicians from across India. So far the band has released two originals, but by the end of the year ‘Eastern Fare’ will try to release its first EP.”

Jim believes that an artiste has to be rigidly tutored to take his music forward. “There is no lack of talent in India but because of the rat race, there are many musicians who want attention. There is lack of mentorship. The soul and purity of music gets lost.”

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