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Gig Review: Claver & The F Band, Mumbai

The guitarist was in great form with his clear lead lines and some amazing power chords

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Narendra Kusnur Dec 23, 2019

Rock outfit Claver & The F Band performing at Mumbai venue The Stables. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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A popular rock guitarist for well over two decades, Claver Menezes recently released his album Diverse Delusions, featuring an assortment of guest vocalists. He’s been pushing the songs through live shows with his Claver & The F Band, and after a successful gig at Hard Rock Cafe, Andheri, on December 8th, he performed at The Stables, Andheri East, on Saturday.

Originals formed a good part of the setlist, but what delighted the crowd was the way they were interspersed with popular cover versions. Here too, the focus was on medleys, and we had U2, AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses sections at well-spaced intervals. Naturally, these turned out to be sing-along sessions for the audience.

Vocalist Prasad Salian, who also compered most of the show, began with three originals. Interestingly, they were sung by others on the album – “Spotlight” was rendered by Sherrin Varghese, “Faces” by Nikhil Raj Uzgare and “Second Guessing” by Shawn Pereira. Challenging as the task was, Salian was spot-on in his rendition.

The other senior vocalists included Uday Iyer, formerly with Agni, and Teemeer Chimulkar, who was with Sceptre and Cirkles. Iyer rendered “Masters Of The Game” from Diverse Delusions, but one of the show’s highlights was his sudden entry on “You Shook Me All Night Long,” the final part of the AC/ DC medley. Chimulkar was impressive on the new song “Hyde Within,” and also chipped in with Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper.”

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A welcome feature was the presence of many upcoming and talented singers. Ashwini Torvi rocked it on “Deer On Ice,” showing perfect control on the higher register. Christina Andrew began with the Imagine Dragons song “Radioactive,” marred by a technical fault in the sound on the opening lines. Her rendition of the album song “Rue” was tight.

Sanya Afreen came in place of Suzanne D’Mello on “You,” but since she’d written the song herself, she was at ease. Sukhbir Kalsi and Siddharth Saxena completed the line-up of vocalists, teaming up on “Game’s Over.”

For his part, Menezes was in great form, as usual. With his clear lead guitar lines and some amazing power chords, he dazzled throughout. Moreover, the new songs had plenty of variety. The band, also comprising Janus Sayal on bass, Micu Patel on guitars and drummer Aniket Waghmode, was consistent.

There was a mix-up moment when, thanks to a last-minute change in set list, Salian announced AC/ DC and ended up singing “Dead As A Doornail,” his song on Diverse Delusions. His rendition of AC/ DC’s “Highway To Hell” and the Guns N’ Roses hits “Knockin On Heaven’s Door” was outstanding.

One missed the presence of Gary Lawyer and Sidd Coutto, who have contributed to the album. Overall, the acoustics were good, despite a few rounds of sudden feedback. The judicious mix of new and known material worked.

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One of the popular venues among the suburban Mumbai rock-hungry community, The Stables is largely frequented by visitors from the vicinity. They surely had a fabulous pre-Christmas Saturday night.

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