BLEK to Release New Material
The Mumbai alt rockers, who regrouped earlier this year, take to the stage at Blue Frog this week
Ever since Mumbai alt/dance rockers BLEK’s frontman Rishi Bradoo returned from studying music and production at Alchemea College in London late last year, the band have been low-key, except for their first reunion gig in over a year at the Spiro Festival in April, where they played about a half-hour set of entirely new material. In March, they contributed a new version of their hit “Fog + Strobe” for Bollywood film Detective Byomkesh Bakshy!, and Bradoo, who has now turned producer, mentioned that in addition to working on Mumbai pop act The Awkward Bong’s debut album In The Brightest Corners, he was co-writing and producing new BLEK material that they plan to release as singles in the coming months.
This week, BLEK takes to the stage at monthly gig series Ribbit, hosted by TV channel Pepsi MTV Indies, at Blue Frog, Mumbai with a longer set comprising new material as well as reworked old songs. Says drummer Linford D’Souza, who joined the band in July 2013, “Right now, we are just focusing on writing a really kickass live set and getting back to live gigging. I’m not too sure about an album right now, but we will definitely be releasing a couple of singles soon.” New songs include “Dance With Wolves,” which was originally written for their second EP in 2013, but is now being retooled, along with “Composure,” which D’Souza says the band wrote after their reunion gig in April. Other set staples that are also being reworked include “Back at the Start,” “Minus the Makeup” and “Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou.” D’Souza says the band has about three to four new songs in all, but mentions they all sound different from each other – whether it’s dance-y rock or alt leanings or punk energy. The drummer adds, “We still have to test it live for us to know if it works or not.”
In addition to playing with BLEK, D’Souza will also be playing with Awkward Bong at Ribbit. While the drummer mentions he’s learned a lot from touring with singer Monica Dogra’s solo project as Shaa’ir last year in terms of how to sound live, playing with two different bands is a challenge he’s up for. D’Souza says jokingly, “I’m not nervous but I just have to make sure I pace myself, eat like a dozen bananas between each set to make sure I don’t faint or something.”
Ribbitft BLEK, The Lightyears Explode and Awkward Bong perform at Blue Frog, Mumbai on June 24th, 2015. Entry: Free. Event details here.