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Jester’s a band I want to watch on stage

Lalitha Suhasini Sep 11, 2013
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In the year 2008, when ROLLING STONE launched in India, we found that Delhi was where all the music was at. Away from din (and allure) of Hindi film studios, bands had begun setting up their own studios inside their living rooms and hitting MySpace with a vengeance, uploading a new song every other week before you could say “mp3.” Constellation Project, Oidua and Da-Saz were three new acts that had caught my attention back then. 

Last year, we had a tough time finding a promising, new sound for our Artists To Watch Out For section and were rather put out that Delhi’s music scene seemed to have lost its edge. Of course, prog rock band, The Uncertainty Principle, promptly set things right for us. Fronted by the young Raghav Meattle on vocals, the band not only had a powerful sound, but were equally compelling on stage. When they made their stage debut in Mumbai in December 2012, they won us over with their self-assured stage presence and tight, prog rock set. Raghav had skipped an exam to play this gig, a piece of news that his sister loudly made public as she sat in the audience cheering for the band. The Uncertainty Principle most definitely deserved a place in the Artists To Watch Out For list (this had nothing to do with Raghav’s hatred for exams), but before we could celebrate the new find, Raghav, who seemed to be driving the band, quit citing creative differences.

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The build-up is to underline my hesitation to write about another new group that popped up on my playlist earlier this year. For a band that was formed in 2008, I was surprised that electro pop rock band Jester from Delhi showed up on my radar only recently. Jester had mostly played at Delhi campuses and the Area 79 Music Festival in April earlier this year turned the spotlight on them. I’ve played their debut album Myths & Fables on repeat, and hoped to see them perform in Mumbai or at some festival soon. The band’s gifted vocalist Dhruv Goel clearly holds the reins to the synth pop and wall of cymbal shimmer that you hear on “Sepia,” a track from Myths & Fables that has stayed with me.

Dhruv had a bit of Uday Benegal in him. “La Questa” was another track that stuck with me, simply because its old school sound filled me with a sense of nostalgia. And not the kind that reminded me of Nineties American rock bands, thank god for that. I don’t know if Dhruv had been consciously chaneling the Indus Creed vocalist. He wasn’t around long enough in the band for me to have that chat, and has taken a break to study music at Berklee. I’m all for polishing the chops, and Jester’s found a replacement, but I hope Dhruv’s back when some of us run to the front of the pit or stand right next to the barricade to watch them on stage.

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In the mean while, check out Myths & Fables. It’s found a permanent place (yes, there is such a thing) on my playlist. 

 The album is available on OKListen and Musicfellas


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