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Dhoble impact? Blue Frog Mumbai axes its electronica sets

City has no choice but to watch its most vibrant nightspot shut down early

Rolling Stone India Jun 13, 2012

The Eddie Halliwell show at Blue Frog, Mumbai came to an abrupt halt last week due to a police raid

After the South Mumbai restaurant and nightspot Café Zoe, its neighbor, Blue Frog, takes the brunt of ACP Dhoble’s actions. Blue Frog has planned to cut down or do away with its electronica sets and down shutters early every night. When contacted, Tina Kapur, head of communications at Blue Frog declined to comment, but the Blue Frog gig calendar for the month is up for an overhaul, as we discovered when we asked for their schedule at the club’s front desk.

Most recently, the venue was raided by the Mumbai police when the much-awaited international DJ, Eddie Halliwell, made his India debut on June 8th. Halliwell was to begin his set after Nikhil Chinapa had wrapped up his opening set. Said Halliwell on Twitter: “That has to be one of my shortest sets ever”¦club got shut down by the police 10mins in, gutted! Hopefully can reschedule soon.” Twenty-one-year-old student Mallika Bendre, who hoped to catch the celebrated DJ’s set showed up at the club only to be turned away with a refund for the ticket that she had purchased earlier that night. “I was extremely upset,” said Bendre, “The club never shuts before 2.30 or 3am. Big names such as Halliwell don’t come down often. I had bought the ticket at about 10.30pm and came back to the club at 12.40 am only to be told that the police had busted the place. Halliwell hadn’t played for more than 10 minutes.”

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Artists seem to have Dhoble on their mind too when performing at the South Mumbai music club. While Mumbai punk rock band Split chose to attack Dhoble’s crackdown on Mumbai’s nightlife with a rousing, angry set at Blue Frog, Mumbai on June 12th, Delhi’s Reggae Rajahs plan to show more restraint at their show tonight. The trio that includes Raghav Dang (Diggy Dang), Mohammed Abood (DJ MoCity) and Zorawar Shukla (Mr Herbalist), who got together in 2009, have been playing a mix of reggae-influenced DJ sets and collaborative gigs with fellow reggae enthusiasts such as the Delhi-based rapper Delhi Sultanate. Their gig tonight at Frog is programmed to be a live set. “We’re taking precautions. We’re going to have a didgeridoo, a keyboardist and two vocalists. I wouldn’t want to speak on behalf of Blue Frog, but I don’t want anyone to get into trouble there. We’ve always been a live act. We have 2 MCs and a DJ along with other live instruments,” said Raghav Dang of their Mumbai show tonight.

Considering that the club has been one of the most important performance venues for bands and DJs alike, the new closing policy may just result in Frog suffering the fate of Bengaluru’s biggest clubs, which are dead past midnight.

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