Kerala Gets A New Music Series
Evolve 1.0, a bimonthly gig series which kickstarts in Kochi this month, plans to host regular gigs across Trivandrum and Calicut as well
For Kochi music fans, 2013 has been a good start. After the launch of venues such as musician Sanjeev T’s Springr Studio and Papaya CafÃ© earlier this year, the city gets another shot in the arm with a new bimonthly music series, Evolve 1.0. The gig series is organized by a bunch of musicians, who set up Trivandrum Rock Revolution [TRR], a platform for alternative music that found its beginnings by hosting D-I-Y metal gigs between 2010-11 in the capital city. “We started TRR by doing a small gig at our friend’s place. It was a bedroom converted into a jam room. So for the first show, when we saw 80 people turn up, we were shocked,” says Ashwin Gopakumar, vocalist of metal band, Purple Blood from Trivandrum.
The bedroom gig soon relocated to Trivandrum’s Purple Lounge, transforming a dance floor into a moshpit, accommodating 200 metalheads and featuring acts such as Mumbai heavy metallers Albatross. However, things fell apart when Gopakumar moved to the US to pursue a course in Music Business from Hollywood’s Musicians Institute, while other members of TRR took up jobs in neighboring states.
Now, after a year-long hiatus, Gopakumar, who has worked with venues such as Bengaluru’s Counterculture and Kochi’s Springr previously, is back as part of TRR to support the local music scene with a new gig series in Kochi. “We always wanted to get a platform for Kerala acts and other acts from India to come here and play,” says Gopakumar about Evolve 1.0.
Starting October 12th, Evolve 1.0 will feature Bengaluru rockers All The Fat Children as they make their Kerala debut. What makes the gig different from those organized at smaller, yet popular venues like CafÃ© Papaya and Springr is the concept as well as its reach. “It’s basically something new. We are trying to bring down different acts to Kerala and merge art as part of the show,” says Gopakumar about commissioning artworks that compliments the music for each gig.Â “So when a band like The Down Troddence [thrash metallers from Kannur known to incorporate folk elements] perform, the venue will feature Theyyam motifs as part of the decor, in the form of posters, background visuals and even merch,” he says, adding that they are hoping for a turnout of about 300 people. Â
Bands from Kerala have often complained about the the lack of performance spaces in the state, relying instead on college festivals. “Some of the biggest bands like Avial and Motherjane are from Kerala, so it’s surprising that there are no venues. Thankfully things are changing now. A whole new generation and a lot of crazy stuff is coming out there, even in terms of movies and art. So you’ll see an explosion of art and culture soon,” says Bengaluru-based vocalist Eben Johnson from the rock band, All The Fat Children.
Gopakumar too is confident of a promising music scene. “I’ve been organizing gigs for a while now and I know that there are three cities in Kerala where people like to go out and listen to music”” Calicut, Kochi and Trivandrum,” says Gopakumar. With Evolve 1.0 the plan is to tour all three cities with bands by the end of the year. “I’ve been planning to put together the first intra-state tour of India. We will start with Kochi and then move to Trivandrum and Calicut, taking the bands on a tour,” he says.Â
Johnson, on his part, is excited to perform their debut show in Kochi this month. “We have judged festivals and recorded music there, but never played live in Kerala. I’m Malayali and I’ve never played there, so I’m excited to play in my motherland.”Â While the trio, formed in 2008 by students of Bengaluru’s Christ College, is currently working on new material for their debut album, ATFC plan to keep it simple this time around. Says Johnson about their 90-minute set, “We want to give them what we have been giving the rest of India so far. The way we construct our music is simple and thus accessible and easy to grasp. Somehow most of our fanbase is Malayali, so it will be fun playing originals like “November Forever,” “I Can Fly” and “My Favorite Heartbreaker.”Â Â
Evolve 1.0 schedule
October 12th, 2013: All The Fat Children [Bengaluru]Â
October 19th: The F16’s [Chennai]
November 9th: Frank’s Got The Funk [Chennai] Â
All The Fat Children perform on October 12th at Loungevity, Kochi. Entry Rs 300 [inclusive of one free drink]. For details, click here