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Photos: Fake Plastic Friends Bring Porcupine Tree to Life at Hard Rock Cafe Andheri, Mumbai

The newly formed tribute band drew a packed house of over 500 fans of the UK prog band

Nabeela Shaikh May 27, 2016
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Fake Plastic Friends paid tribute to prog band Porcupine Tree at Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai. Photo by Bryan Daniel.

Fake Plastic Friends paid tribute to prog band Porcupine Tree at Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai. Photo: Bryan Daniel.

It wasn’t without a certain sense of irony that Fake Plastic Friends frontman Rohan Rajadhyaksha belted out the refrain to Porcupine Tree’s 2002 single “The Sound of Muzak”: “Demographic/Gives what you want” ”” turns out that the newly formed tribute band knew exactly how much the prog community yearned to experience the British act live, especially considering the slim chances of a reunion in the near future.

And while fans might have to wait until October for the entire immersive experience [courtesy Porcupine Tree frontman Steven Wilson], Fake Plastic Friends made sure to put on a show that’ll keep the prog-parched, Wilson-worshipping community going. For their debut gig, the five-member band comprising members of prog rockers Coshish, alt rock band Spud in the Box and folk act Winit Tikoo pulled tracks from across Porcupine Tree’s discography for a two-hour, 16-track-long set, backed by delightfully obscure visuals. Rajadhyaksha [from Spud in the Box] led the band through lesser-known PT gems””the restless psychedelia of “Cheating the Polygraph” (Nil Recurring EP, 2007], the clap-along melancholy of “Time Flies” (The Incident, 2009) and the plodding heartbreak of “Shesmovedon” (Lightbulb Sun, 2000) to name a few.

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But it was on more familiar tracks that both the band and the audience raised the volume. Drummer Hamza Kazi [from Coshish] thundered through the angsty “Fear of A Blank Planet” [while swatting away marriage proposals from the crowd], bassist Aditya Kadam lumbered on through “Way Out of Here” while guitarists Daniel Rego and Veljon Noronha showed off their chops on the instrumentally-driven “Hatesong”. Rajadhyaksha, who also took up keyboard duties, may have been low on stamina by the end of the evening, but that was hardly noticeable in the face of the ensuing moshpits (“Open Car”) and the accompaniment of nearly 500-strong voices that swelled on cult classics. Sound issues and sweat puddles notwithstanding, Fake Plastic Friends’ tribute triggered Porcupine Tree nostalgia that was only too real.

Watch Fake Plastic Friends perform “Blackest Eyes” below. Fake Plastic Friends will also perform a tribute to Porcupine Tree at Hard Rock Cafe, Pune on June 16th.

Setlist:

“Blind House”

“Fear of a Blank Planet”

“Cheating the Polygraph”

“Time Flies”

“Lazarus”

“Drown With Me”

“Way Out of Here”

“Halo”

“Hatesong”

“Shesmovedon”

“Trains”

“The Sound of Muzak”

“Open Car”

“Blackest Eyes”

“Arriving Somewhere But Not Here/Deadwing”

Photos by Bryan Daniel.

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