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Gig Preview: Live From the Console ft The Ska Vengers, MoonDogs and Sid Vashi

This month’s edition of the gig series includes the Delhi reggae band’s video launch for their single “Badda” and Jammu indie rockers’ debut gig in Mumbai

Rolling Stone India Oct 18, 2014
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The Ska Vengers at the Ziro Festival Of Music Photo: Pranab Doley

The Ska Vengers at the Ziro Festival Of Music Photo: Pranab Doley

We’ve been waiting to check out Jammu-based  indie rockers MoonDogs ever since their name showed up on our radar in 2012. The band tells us that getting out of the state  to perform even in the close-by city  of Chandigarh has been difficult. Says the band’s vocalist-guitarist Syed Aqib, “There’s no activity here, and our management is actually based in Chandigarh, so we get most of the gigs in that area.” Road blocks, military imposed curfew and riots have been some of  the biggest challenges. Recently,  most of the band’s  equipment was ravaged during the floods.

Aqib’s brother Hamza, who also fronts the band, adds that it’s much more peaceful in Jammu compared to Kashmir, which is why they’ve never considered moving. Says Hamza, only half joking, “It’s a very groovy place, actually. There’s a lake and lots of buffalos roaming around. It’s quite inspiring.” Formed in 2011, the band started performing at club gigs and went on to open for established acts such as rock veterans Parikrama and psychedelic rock band Indigo Children in Delhi. At their Mumbai debut this week, the band will perform singles such as “Invaders,” “Brief Grief” and their latest song, “Billy Monkey.” Says Hamza about the new song, “It’s actually a pretty random song. You know, there’s always a lot of pressure exerted on us [as young people]. I take out my frustration on a guitar, not by picking up a gun.”

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Returning to Mumbai after a gap of more than two years are Delhi reggae group The Ska Vengers, who are also launching their music video for “Badda,” a song off their 2012 debut self-titled album. Says keyboardist Stefan Kaye, “We launched the video in Delhi earlier this month, but it wasn’t finished yet.” Going by the sneak peek photos from the video shoot uploaded by the band, there’s a lot of new avatars in store ”“ from a sari-clad vocalist Begum X to a brown-face harmonium player version of Kaye himself. The Ska Vengers are also roping in trumpet player Kishore Sodha, who has worked with the who’s who of Bollywood composers ranging from R.D. Burman to Vishal-Shekar and more recently, featured on jazz/grime duo Sridhar/Thayil’s debut 2012 album STD. Sodha joins the band for their new song “Cumbanchero,” what Kaye describes as a “seven-minute Latin Afro-Cuban track that segues into dub.” The band will also play another new song off their upcoming second album, “Shut Your Mouth.” Kaye adds that a Mumbai show at Live From the Console has been on the cards for nearly two years. Says Kaye, “We’re an outstation band and there’s a lot of us [Ska Vengers comprises seven members], so that’s why I guess it’s taken so long.”

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Live From the Console ft Sid Vashi, MoonDogs and The Ska Vengers perform at Mehboob Studios in Mumbai on October 18th, 2014. Entry: Rs 250. Event details here. 


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