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Open Mic Night and Grime Riot Disco Return To Mumbai This Weekend

The events are part of We Love Bandra, a five weekend-long pop-up festival in the Mumbai suburb

Rolling Stone India Nov 30, 2012
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It’s raining gigs in Mumbai this weekend and Shaa’ir+Func vocalist and songwriter Monica Dogra has taken on the challenge of hosting two gigs in one night. 

Monica Dogra

On December 1, she will first play host at an open mic night that will also see performances by singer-songwriter Ankur Tewari and Arijit Dutta [of Hindi rock band Airport] among others. Dogra has been hosting open mic nights in Mumbai since 2008, when Zenzi, one of the biggest music hubs in Mumbai, threw its stage open to upcoming talent. While Zenzi downed its shutters in 2011 and has been replaced by a new beer bar, Dogra has been looking for new spaces that would host open mic nights.

One such venue is The Bandra Base, opened by Whistling Woods and design outfit, Wetheppl to help a community of city artists with workshops in music, dance, photography and film. “It’s a really small space that can accommodate about 50 people and I’ve already got so many queries. I hope we can fit everyone in,” says Dogra. The event is open to poets, artists and musicians, who can sign up at the venue at 6.30 pm or sign up via email at [email protected]

Later, the party will get bigger with the  11th edition of the underground dance party, Grime Riot Disco, where partygoers can expect everything from disco to house to techno. Though GRD started off as a monthly series in 2011, the last one took place in April this year. “It’s very difficult finding a venue in Mumbai and we have all been traveling so much. But it’s season time now and we are hoping to make it a monthly series,” says Dogra, who recently returned from Scotland after shooting the last episode of The Dewarists’ season 2 with producer and percussionist Karsh Kale and East India Company frontman Papon. In fact, Dogra has pulled off a coup of sorts by roping in Kale for this weekend’s GRD. “Karsh would  normally never be asked to spin at a place like H20, so it will be interesting to see that,” she says, adding that DJ Ruskin, the resident DJ at Blue Frog, will also take turns at the console at GRD.

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Ask Dogra how she plans to tackle the double shift and she says, “I do feel a little burnt out since I haven’t had a day off in a really long time. But this is what I had wished for about seven years ago, to have a hectic life doing what I love to do, so it’s nice.”

Open Mic Night on December 1 at The Bandra Base. 8pm – 11.00pm Entry: Free sign up via email at [email protected] Go here for details on We Love Bandra pop up festival.

Grime Riot Disco on December 1 at H20. 10.00pm. Entry for Grime Riot Disco: Rs 250. 

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