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The Raghu Dixit Project, Tough On Tobacco and Scribe Hit The Road With Stand-up Comics

Bands will jam with stand-up comedy collective, All India Bakchod, to kick off new series of shows across six cities this September

Megha Mahindru Aug 29, 2013
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Raghu Dixit, Sidd Coutto, Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy with All India Bakchod

Raghu Dixit, Sidd Coutto, Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy with All India Bakchod

Most Indian bands don’t do funny. It’s scary as hell to be on stage, we get it, which is probably why some of them forget to introduce themselves and their songs or burn holes into their shoes all through the performance, wishing that the audience would magically disappear. This doesn’t happen when Mumbai bands Tough on Tobacco, Scribe or The Raghu Dixit Project from Bengaluru take stage. Luckily for Rohan Joshi and his comedy collective, All India Bakchod (AIB), the three bands are set to share the stage with them for Bournville Not So Sweet Nights, a new comedy and music collaborative series, organized by Sony Music India and chocolate brand Bournville. Launching in Pune on September 4th, the series will travel to six cities including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and Delhi where the comedians and a band will showcase a special two-hour set. Says Scribe frontman Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy, “I think for us comedy was a very natural fit because there’s a fair amount of humor in our lyrics and our stage personalities as well. But I’ve always had musicians with me in the band and now to have comedians as part of the stage will be like adding an extra scoop of icecream in your sundae.” In the past, Scribe has managed to throw their own stand-up party when they showed up on stage in bathrobes, cracked up the audience with their stage banter and threw beach balls into the crowd just for kicks, with the audience cheering on every single time.

The new collaborative show, inspired by shows like Saturday Night Live and other late night chat shows that merge music and comedy, will be split into three parts ”” beginning with a half hour stand-up show, leading into a dialogue  between the band and the comedians and culminating with a one-hour long set by the band. Adds Sridhar Subramaniam, President, India and Middle East Sony Music Entertainment, “It’s not just bringing two random groups together, it’s about mixing them in a way that they interact and create both music and comedy.”

Sidd Coutto, who’s been part of stand-up comic Vir Das’s comedy rock band Alien Chutney and is the frontman and founder of Tough On Tobacco (TOT) has also won a following for his part-nutty, part-witty stage persona. Says Coutto, “Humor is very important to us, especially if you see where we come from. When we were together as part of Helga’s Fun Castle, we wanted to make rock music but ended up having a lot of fun.” An effortless improv artist, Coutto is also known for engaging his audience to come up with songs on the spot, be it a track about Katy Perry, sex, cuckolds or all of them thrown in together. As part of his set with the stand up comics, the multi-instrumentalist plans to involve his audience again. “It’s fun cooking up lines for a song that is created that minute and will only be played at that show for those people,” he adds.

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For over a month now, the comedy collective has been working on their material with the bands in Mumbai. Joshi, one part of the four-piece comedian group AIB, which also includes Gursimran Khamba, Tanmay Bhat and Ashish Shakya, has learnt a few things over the course. “What I’ve learnt about Sidd Coutto is that he may be the hardest working man in music,” says Joshi, “I think Sidd Coutto has been in every band in the history of India. I am pretty certain Sidd Coutto was there somewhere in the background when Sarojni Naidu and Lata Mangeshkar sang the national anthem in 1947.” Though the event organizers believe that not every Indian band would fit into the show, Joshi feels otherwise: “You don’t have to be a funny band to have a sense of humor about you. Raghu’s music is not funny, it’s soulful, but the guys are great fun so that makes all the difference.”

Organizers hope that the mix of comedy and music will draw bigger crowds to the show. Says Subramaniam of Sony Music, whose company has also been organizing monthly music series, Live From The Console since 2011: “Typically, while programming a show like LFTC, we try and get three different genres, since each band brings their own crowd. You may or may not like it [other band’s music] but it’s a discovery process. Similarly, we are hoping that now a Raghu Dixit fan will discover a Tanmay Bhat and vice versa.” Scribe’s Krishnamoorthy adds, “The thing is most people who listen to metal music might have been to a comedy gig but most people who have been to a comedy gig might not have been to a metal gig. In that sense it will be a cool trade off though I have a feeling that either sides are going to get picked on [by fans].”

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Five funny lines I wish I’d come up with”” Rohan Joshi

Rohan Joshi

Rohan Joshi

“Rice is great when you’re really hungry and want 2,000 of the same thing”- Mitch Hedberg

Love that line. Nobody does one-liners like he did. Such inspired wordplay about such basic observations.

“I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal isn’t over when I’m full, it’s over when I hate myself”- Louis CK

We’ve all been there. Way too often. But the economy with which Louis CK (the best comic working today) states it, genius.

“We don’t need gun control, we need bullet control. If each bullet cost like $5,000, people would think twice before they killed somebody. Like ”˜MAN I’MA BLOW YOUR F****NG HEAD OFF”¦ If I could afford it” ”“ Chris Rock

Gun control is such a touchy subject in America, but that’s such a great comedic perspective on it from the master, Chris Rock

“A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff”- George Carlin

Sometimes good comedy is depressing, just like that observation by him. The more you think about how true that is, the more pointless life seems.

“A lot of Christians wear crosses around their necks. Do you think that if Jesus comes back, he ever wants to see another cross?” ”“ Bill Hicks

He’s the angriest, smartest man to ever tell a joke.


Bournville Not So Sweet Nights Schedule: 

September 4th - Tough on Tobacco with All India Bakchod (AIB) - The High Spirits Café, Pune. Entry Rs. 350

September 11th – Scribe with AIB - Counter Culture, Bengaluru. Entry Rs. 300 

September 18th - Tough on Tobacco with AIB – Hard Rock Cafe, Hyderabad. Entry TBA

September 26th – The Raghu Dixit Project with AIB – Blue Frog, Mumbai. Entry Rs. 500

October 3rd – Scribe - Princeton, Kolkata. Entry Rs. 300

October 10th – The Raghu Dixit Project with AIB – Blue Frog, Delhi.  Entry Rs. 500


The article appears in the September 2013 edition of Rolling Stone India 



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