Bluesy closure to jazz venue

Bluesy closure to jazz venue

A performer at Take5, Indiranagar.

For many, it was a sombre night at Take5 lounge bar on Monday. Viraj Suvarna, owner, was almost in tears as he surveyed his guests coming up to him to say their goodbyes.

The scene will remain etched in his memory: in its 14th year, Take5 had to close down. “It has been a platform for musicians and artistes of all kinds. It really hurts to shut down. I have even had the same staff for 14 years,” he says. By his reckoning, about 200 musicians who have made a mark began their careers here.

Take5 is the first high-profile place to be shut down in the wake of a battle between Indiranagar residents and businesses.

Admittedly, Take5 does not have an occupancy certificate, but that is the building owner’s fault, and not the business owner’s. And Suvarna feels he is being singled out.

“An old lady in the next house sits in her balcony and listens to our music. That is the kind of music we play,” he says, responding to the residents’ charge that loud music has ruined the neighbourhood.

In fact, half the buildings in Indiranagar don’t have occupancy certificates, he says. “Why aren’t they being questioned?” he wonders.

Sabrina Price, vocalist performing at Take5 for 13 years, describes it as “a heart-wrenching moment.”

“If anything has to be changed, it is the laws. From the time Take5 has been around, there has been no problem at all. They are particular about the closing time, and keep the decibels low,” she says.

For her, Take5 is not just another pub. “It’s the face of jazz,” she says.

Patrons are supportive, too.

“Take5 is shut promptly by 11.30. The police should go after places actually creating problems. Located on 100 Ft Road, this place has never crossed any limits,” says Vishal, a customer.

Rahul Chidambaran, full-time musician, says, “My second gig was at Take5. I have been coming here for four to five years. This is home, and I am angry and sad at the same time,” he says.

For him, this was the one place in Bengaluru where artistes were treated with respect. “I really hope they open again,” he says.

“Take5 had a trade licence and we had spent so much on renovation. This is just too sad and depressing,” Suvarna says.

Sprightly number

Take 5 is the title of a famous jazz track composed by Paul Desmond and first performed by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. The lounge bar in Indiranagar took its name from this 1959 classic, the biggest-selling jazz single ever.

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