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Gig Review: Daira at He Said She Said, Mumbai

The rock newcomers premiered their self-titled debut album with abundant sing-along choruses and dance-friendly riffs

Nabeela Shaikh Sep 28, 2015
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Daira 1

Daira independently released their self-titled debut album on September 24th, 2015. Photo by Fahad Sheikh.

When an indie band manages to sell over a hundred CDS at their debut album launch in a scene where most people are largely reluctant to spend on merch, it figures that either the music is unusually brilliant, or the merchandise is ridiculously cheap — both of which held true in the case of Mumbai rock newcomers Daira.

The five-member band which comprises vocalist Piyush Kapoor, guitarists Chaitanya Bhaidkar and Vikalp Sharma, bassist Govind Gawli and drummer Pratik Kulgod, has been playing a number of competitions, and even earned a slot in Kerala’s music festival Mojo Rising in March 2015. The album launch, however, saw the Hindi rockers return after almost four months of recording and production with renewed energy and their completed 8-track release.

Daira dove right into their set with the riff-heavy album-opener “Har Subah,” even as the crowd which had already built up to about 150 people wasted no time in singing along to the chorus. Perhaps the undersized venue wasn’t the most ideal for an act with such a massive sound, but the audience only grew bigger and louder as the band romped about on dance-friendly tunes like “Sharaab” and “Mere Paas Tha Jo Bhi.” The band turned up the volume on the more aggressive crowd favorite “Meri Soch,” only taking a breather when long-standing musician 2Blue [formerly vocalist of rock band Vayu] took the stage to reveal the self-titled album.

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In spite of being barely 10 months old, Daira already has plenty of original material to their credit, as was evident from the three new tracks [from their upcoming album] they revealed at the show. Whether it was Piyush Kapoor’s resounding vocals, the hard-hitting grooves of drummer Pratik Kulgod or the ambient twin guitars of Sharma and Bhaidkar, the band remained consistently energetic throughout the hour-and-a-half-long set. Daira wrapped up the show with an upbeat set-regular “Maaya” featuring an extended improvisational intro, followed by 2Blue’s little antic of pulling out his wallet to buy the first CD and gushing about how the band has remained self-funded throughout the entire process of recording and production.

But it doesn’t take a musician/radio host to know that Daira are not just another burst of fresh talent that will fade away after a few singles. These Hindi rockers deserve a stage much bigger than a 6’x2’ stage at the back of a restaurant for their next show. And we’re betting it’s well worth the wait.


Photos by Fahad Sheikh and Ashwyn Warrier.

Click here to buy ‘Daira.’

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