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Advaita

By Suchet Malhotra of Da-Saz


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Photograph by Khushali Shah

Musically, Advaita has taken its time to evolve its sound. My one criticism of the band used to be that their music was lethargic. It would begin mid-tempo, stay mid-tempo and end there as well. They still play those songs, but at a recent gig, the boys had me and a few hundred others on our feet with ‘Dhoom Ketu,’ their now signature jump-along song. And Shekhu was actually killing us with well-crafted solos on his Gibson Les Paul. So what makes them tick? Firstly, they’ve got excellent musicians in there. Anindo is a cat on keys, Kumar can nail down a beat with precision and panache, Chayan and Ujjwal are both excellent vocalists at their respective western and Indian styles and most importantly, stick to them. Mohit (tabla) and Suhail (sarangi) are seasoned gharaanedaar musicians who also perform classically on their own. And Gaurav’s bass playing is both intelligent and groovy. Secondly they’ve chosen to go big (with eight members it’s nearly an ensemble), unafraid of the cost-to-pocket such a large number throws up. It gives them the advantage of being able to play arenas and get that big sound. Plus there’s plenty of variety in their songs. Finally, and most importantly, they’ve stuck together. No egos, lots of ribbing, and, did I mention, the slew of young, pretty and talented ladies that follow them around? That certainly brings in a crowd.

By Suchet Malhotra of Da-Saz

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