Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Independent bands

Behind the scenes

There is an endless list of independent bands and musicians who strive to gain recognition and popularity. Their main motive is to be known and today it’s done either by going viral or by word of mouth marketing.

Taking account of that, artistes feel that playing live at cafes and restaurants serves as the ideal start to their journey. It gives them exposure and helps them grab eyeballs. However, their journey is not without its share of challenges. Be it the diverted attention of the audience, matters of less or delayed renumeration after a gig, or issues related to sound quality and the performing space, there are many such difficulties that artistes have to face while playing at such places.

“Performing at cafes, lounges and restaurants is a different experience. I personally believe that music and food together make a great combination, and is a very good stress buster. Obviously, every artiste feels unhappy and sad when their audience is indifferent towards their

talent. There are times when the crowd is musically very inclined and respond amazingly, but there are also times when we just perform without any attention from the audience. It is not a very upbeat feeling to perform minus any attention,” says Kabul Rishi, from the band ‘Kabul & Rock Veda’ which is into progressive fusion. It was formed six years back.

The money which such bands make by playing at these places is not enough for them to survive.

 And so, band members have to find alternate means to earn a living. Apart from making music, all the members of the band ‘Zephyr’ — Sahil Nagpal, Karan Bedi, Sparsh Sangam — are working full time to support themselves financially.

“Money is not great in cafes and lounges in comparison to other private events. Obviously, the commercials are pretty low when you talk about a cafe show. All of us are working full-time and doing music too,” says Nagpal, vocalist of the band, who also works as an event manager.

He adds that despite not being good payers, some establishments, especially the highly professional ones, create problems for artistes when it comes to paying after the gig. “A lot of them try and push it a lot,” he says.

While newer venues are opening up for bands to showcase what they have to offer, the inappropriate stage at the­se places is a big constraint for them, especially at times the place gets overcrowded and claustrophobic. “The ma­in problem is the space as some lounges are huge and some are so claustrophobic that we as a band can feel each other’s breath on our backs. So, we have to keep shifting ou­r line ups according to club space,” says Jatin Arora, lead vocalist of the band ‘Zikrr’, wh­o is soon to release their fir­st album.

Another issue is the sound quality. Many places don’t have a good sound that a band can play on. “Sound is also an issue as sometimes the lounge owners, in order to save that extra buck, compromise on the sound we require. Hence, hampering the performance and ultimately their own evening,” he adds.

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