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Soulmate Perform in Mumbai and Pune this Week

The Shillong blues rock band are also plotting international gigs for later this year

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Aug 20, 2014
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Soulmate at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai in February. Photo: Prashin Jagger

Soulmate at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai in February. Photo: Prashin Jagger

Soulmate have been steadily gigging across the country since the launch of their new album Ten Stories Up in February. The album, which released at the Mahindra Blues Festival in Mumbai, has already picked up critical acclaim, including the Best Non-Film Album award at the Indian Recording Arts Awards at PALM Expo in May. Says guitarist-vocalist Rudy Wallang about the award, “I was surprised when Shantanu [Hudlikar, producer] posted a photo of it. He took a lot of pains to make it sound the way it was.”

Awards aside, the band agrees that gigs are also a good meter for the album’s popularity, in addition to album sales. The band – comprising Wallang, guitarist-vocalist Tipriti Kharbangar, drummer Pal Pyrtuh, bassist Leon Wallang and keyboardist Karan Joseph – are performing two shows this week – in Mumbai and at the newly-opened Blue Frog in Pune. Says Kharbangar about their Mumbai gig, “We know the energy is going to be really good tonight.” The vocalist adds about the Pune show, “We’ve heard it’s a really cool venue [Blue Frog Pune]. Plus, we haven’t played in Pune for almost two years. We have a lot of friends waiting for us.” Soulmate’s set for their Mumbai and Pune gigs, their first in two months, will include reworked versions of material from Ten Stories Up such as “I’m A Woman,” and “The Blues Is My Soulmate” from their debut 2005 album, Shillong and famous blues covers such as blues pianist Pinetop Sparks’ “Every Day I Have The Blues” and “A Real Mother For Ya” by Johnny Guitar Watson.

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In addition to Soulmate shows, Kharbangar has also been performing solo gigs – mostly covers and jam sessions – as Tips and the Mad Fingers. But Kharbangar says the solo shows are “all for fun.” Wallang, too, has been occasionally performing with fellow blues guitarists such as Ehsaan Noorani and Amyt Datta as part of The Fender Benders. But Kharbangar confirms that more Soulmate gigs are around the corner, including shows in Malaysia in October and in Kolkata and Bengaluru later this year.

Soulmate performs at Blue Frog, Mumbai on August 20th [event details here] and at Blue Frog, Pune on August 21st, 2014. Event details here.

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