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Mumbai’s Latest Gig Venue is a Jam Room

Jampacked, hosted by heavy metal band Albatross’ vocalist Biprorshee Das at Benchmark Studios in Thane, will feature artists across the board

Anurag Tagat Apr 14, 2018

Atmosfear - (from left) Shawn Phulpagar, Bruce McKoy and Mayank Sharma. Photo: Kushal Umralkar

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When Biprorshee Das was just about getting into playing in a band in 2005, he recalls one drummer had a huge bungalow which wasn’t just a place to jam, but also doubled up for mini-gigs. “It was always at the back of my mind that this kind of stuff could happen,” says Das, who fronts heavy metal band Albatross.

With the temporary closure of a venue like Antisocial in Mumbai and Hard Rock Café reducing frequency of metal shows, Das was frustrated by the impasse, not just of the metal circuit in the city but also Albatross. He reached out to Thane’s Benchmark Studios co-founder Kaushik Ramachandran (also frontman of prog/fusion band Paradigm Shift) and put together Jampacked, a monthly gig series which hosts three bands to an intimate audience of 25 people. Das says, “Benchmark was the only place that came to mind. If he [Ramachandran] didn’t agree, then this didn’t fly.”

Jampacked hosted stone-age metallers Primitiv in March and have now called upon thrash metal veterans Sceptre, death metal band Atmosfear and thrash metal newcomers Sabotage for the second edition on April 14th. Sceptre drummer Aniket Waghmode says of Jampacked, where they will play songs off their 2013 album Age of Calamity, “It’s like a direct middle finger to the dearth of metal gigs that has slowly crept up. This is what metal stands for and I’m glad Sceptre is a small part of this brave new endeavor.” Playing live is the need of the hour according to Waghmode and that’s something Atmosfear frontman Bruce McKoy agrees with as well. Promoting their 2017 self-titled album, Atmosfear say they’ve never played a show of this kind. “It’s a chance to have a direct conversation with our fans and we know out of the 25 people, everyone is coming to see us as well,” McKoy says.

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To prep for show day, Benchmark suspends bookings for the jam room and runs the air conditioner full blast to keep ventilation moving. Even then, Das notes that with about 30 people in all, the atmosphere quickly turns into that of a hotbox. Das says, “We’re trying to figure out if there’s a way around that ”“ maybe sell refreshments.” Planning future editions, Das intends to keep Jampacked as open as possible. “I don’t want this to be a metal-specific thing, I don’t have a stick up my ass like that. I want it to be another platform for artists.”

Jampacked ft Sceptre, Atmosfear, Sabotage takes place at Benchmark Studios, Thane on April 14th. Stay tuned for more Jampacked gigs on the Facebook group.

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