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The Bombay Black Revival

The first edition of a new gig series in Mumbai, Daddy’s Toxic Thursdays, marks the reunion of experimental band Bombay Black and will also feature electronica producer DJ Ankytrixx

Rolling Stone India Mar 05, 2015
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Bombay Black

1999 ”“ the year Bombay Black was formed. Long before bans began trending, Bombay Black [yes it was Bombay back then], a collective of some of the finest artists from the city got together to create music that challenged genre typecasting. Guitarist Randolph Correia, electronica producer Samrat B, guitarist Paresh Kamath and drummer Lindsay D’Mello were some of the musicians who were part of Bombay Black, which was mashing up drum n bass a full decade before anybody dropped a version of “Bangarang.” Bombay Black was into post-rock much before it was cool to have a five-word band name and release lo-fi recordings on the internet.

Randolph Correia

Randolph Correia

Bombay Black performed at the Inland Invasion Festival in Los Angeles in 2001, three years before playing at international festivals had turned into a status post. Facebook wasn’t born as yet. Bombay Black stood for indie when the term wasn’t being peddled to alcohol brands or colas. Hell, nobody was buying back then. Bombay Black was punk before punk sold out too. After members of Bombay Black went their separate ways in 2005 – Samrat B moved to Delhi and set up Teddy Boy Kill, an electronica band unrivaled in both production and sound, bassist Naresh Kamath and Paresh alongwith drummer Kurt Peters became a part of folk rock project Kailasa (Naresh was also part of the original lineup of folk rock band Avial), Correia formed Shaa’ir And Func with Monica Dogra) – their sound continued to inspire and inform the work they did. Says guitarist and one of the founding members Paresh Kamath, “Though our music has evolved individually and we listen to different music now, the two major sounds are funk and electronica with rock and jazz.”

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From the sound of the show tonight, Bombay Black is as rebellious in its music as it was back then. Says Correia of the reunion gig, “I love putting myself in situations where I don’t know what the fuck is going on and try making sense and beauty out of it. That process is brutal and rewarding. We had no idea this [gig] was going to happen. This strange bunch is in town together after ages and it would be stupid not to jam together .. so we have been writing and recording for a little bit now.” Joining Bombay Black on the drums for the first time is UK-based Pravvy Prav, who has previously played with Correia’s electronica project Shaa’ir and Func. Says Prav, “It’s been a while since I’ve done a show on drums with Randolph so it’s going to be dope to be behind the kit playing with him again. It’s cool to be doing something slightly more on the free form side so I’m so happy to be doing something that’s really going to keep me on my toes the whole way through.”

Paresh Kamath performing with Hipnotribe Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

Paresh Kamath performing with Hipnotribe Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar

Sameer “Daddy” Malhotra, who has been helming the Jack N Jones All Starr Jamm series of gigs in Mumbai since May 2012, is responsible for bringing Bombay Black to stage again at TAP, a restobar in the suburb of Bandra. Says Malhotra, “Tyrone [Fernandes, guitarist] was in Thailand and I heard he was back. I just took a shot and asked him [if he would like to perform]. When I contacted Naresh, he told me they had been meeting up and making music again. This was a tailor made situation.” While Bombay Black will jam on the terrace stage, dedicated to bands, an indoor stage, meant for electronica acts, will have DJ Ankytrixx performing later. Adds Malhotra, “I have just been waiting for a venue that has the three golden aspects ”“ bang in the middle of Bandra, an open terrace and beer at Rs. 100! These three things together  contribute to a good live venue, and that is what is missing in Mumbai.”

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At a time when freedom of expression seems to be at threat, the sound of Bombay Black is just what the city needs. And we’re told that there is a new album in the works. Says Paresh Kamath, “Today will be a soft launch, to reconnect with the people from the scene. We have jammed a few times recently and are currently sifting through music ideas to select the sounds we like. We are planning to put out a reunion album by the end of monsoons.”

Daddy’s Toxic Nights will be held at Tap in Bandra, above Global Fusion, off Linking Road, on March 5th. Time: 10.30 pm Entry: Rs 500.

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