Sunday, July 03, 2011

Riding with the King

How many times are you truly presented with one and only one opportunity to do or witness something. And how many times have you passed on it only to regret it later. Well regret was not part of my plan this time.

The King was riding into London and I was determined to ride with him. At a golden age of 85, BB and Lucille waltzed into The Royal Albert and blew about 5000 fans away. And accompanying the legend were (legends in their own right) Slash, Ronnie Wood and Mick Hucknall (Simply Red) along with Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi.

BB is old but when he sings its still sweet. He relied a lot on his supporting cast, his very excellent band. They have stood by him through his best years and continue to do so. BB also had a lot of stories to tell. Some funny and some strange and quite honestly I could not hear a lot of it as I was in the choir section. However, his voice is still as glorious as it used to be especially when in harmony with Lucille. BB enthralled the audience with his voice and his guitar for over an hour. He then invited the husband and wife duo of Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi who entertained at par with BB.

This is when he unwrapped the big surprise he had promised. Out walked Slash with Ronnie and Mick. What followed was an hour long jam session over some of BB's best hits including Sweet 16 and The thrill is gone. Watching these greats all on one stage was watching greatness unfold minute by minute on stage.

As BB walked off stage, i could only remind myself that this is probably my only change to see the king in flesh and blood. He is frail and needed to be wheeled out and as he waved at us as he walked out, I could only feel an emotion never felt before. That said, the king and I had walked together for over 3 hours.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kaat Kaleja Dilli

Mera kaat kaleja Dilli, mera kaat kaleja dilli le gayi kaat kaleja dilli mui Dilli legayee

I am loving the energy Amit Trivedi has injected into his soundtracks and background scores. By using a grungy guitar riff a la Green Day and Foo Fighters, Amit Trivedi has established himself as the lad to watch out for. Somewhere along the way he also flirts with soundtrack elements heard in Quentin Tarantino or Guy Ritchie films. Amazingly he is doing this with new singers that the industry has only recently seen like Raja Hassan, Shriram Iyer and Tochi Raina.

Rock has just not been something music directors have been comfortable with in Indian Cinema so far. It had been far too harsh a sound for mainstream audiences. It's only with Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Pritam, Salim Suleiman, Vishal Shekhar, Vishal Bahardwaj and Amit Trivedi that we have seen long guitar solos making the core of the track. SEL gave us Rock on! Pritam (though still fairly 80's rockish) has given us some good guitar solos. Vishal (of Pentagram) has rock written all over some of his tracks (e.g. Tashan me). Vishal Bharadwaj gave us Dhan te Nan!

Let the awesomeness continue!

The voice of Band Baaja Baraat's Ainvayi Ainvayi

This catchy made-for-shaadis and baraatis track from BBB has been on air for a while and in spite of a very unique male voice doing the honours, I hadn't been curious enough to find out who has sung it. It was only yesterday that Salim Suleiman (the great composer duo) appeared on a reality show and Salim Merchant sang the song on stage. I am absolutely amazed as this is a pretty fast paced rap-rock-bhangra track that has proven that Salim not only composes fabulous tracks but also has a giant and technically sound voice to go with it! Go brothers!

I also salute the uber awesome Suniddhi Chauhan for nailing the track and establishing once again that this genre is hers and hers only!