Its already time to say thanks to you all…

It was sometime around early September when i decided that we should put up an open show exclusively for people who really like yodhakaa’s music because recently we have been doing lots of private shows and outstation gigs. Lots of people kept asking me to let them know when we do a concert. But for some reason or the other we were not able to do public shows where we can invite everyone.

Then it just struck me that we were nearing December 10th which will actually mark one year since Yodhakaa’s album release…i know that completing one year of the album release is not a big feat, but i thought this can be a good excuse to say thanks for all the people who have been instrumental in our growth. and yeah, i thought we should do something where we can give back something to the people who have believed in yodhakaa and have supported us through these years. I could not think of a better way than to put up an exclusive show for all of you. This is how the idea was born.

As soon as i decided that we started thinking of venues where we can do this. First i thought of Spaces, Besant Nagar (better known as dancer Chandralekha’s house). Personally its a very special place for us.But that venue was not available on Dec 10th and i was very keen not to change the date. Then i thought about a much better idea to do it at the beautiful alliance francaise auditorium because thats where it all started…

Yes, the very first Yodhakaa show (then it was called ‘Youdhaka’…can you believe?) was at this very same alliance francaise auditorium on the 22nd of october 2005 with a line up of musicians who are not a part of Yodhakaa today. It was our first gig, Tanvi was singing quite a lot of songs and we were doing a mix of music from all around the world. So yeah, we booked the alliance for our gig. We are really lucky to get it at such a short notice.

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our invitation for the show...thats Subiksha Raman's hand that we shot for our album art last year

Once the show was booked all the ideas started pouring in. We thought of calling up all the musicians who have played for Yodhakaa (which is a big list by the way), our friends who have helped us in some way or the other and of course our followers who have inspired us to make good music…

 

We have worked quite hard to make this show as interesting as possible for everyone. We have planned for video projections for our songs and some surprise elements. Hope everyone will have a good time there. We really look forward to seeing everyone in the show…i guess i’ll have a lot to say tomorrow when the show is over =)

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From Himalayas to Hong Kong to Nellore!

Its been a month of different extremes for yodhakaa. We started off with a show in the Himalayas , actually it will be unfair from our side to call it a show. It was a paid holiday for us. Thanks to Ram, Shobana and Aashish – the guys who are responsible for putting up this show. Ram and shobana are the couple who run this company called soulitudes which specialises in adventure travel. Aashish is the blessed guy who runs this resort called the Himalayan Village on the tip of this place called Sonapani, Upper Uttranchal (above Nainital).

We started our journey from Chennai to reach Delhi first, after a full fledged dinner we headed straight to Old Delhi railway station to catch the night train to Kathgodam (the foothills of Himalayas). We reached there early morning when it was pouring really heavily. We managed to get wet properly before we found our cabs that were waiting for us. Once we got into our cabs our adventure started with hair-pin bends and mud slides on our way. We stopped on our way for a little bite and then it was a glide to sonapani.

We got to Sonapani in four hours with Ram welcoming us with his new flip video recorder to document our arrival. From then on it was just documentation, photos and videos throughout. The place was so beautiful that we just could not stop clicking and recording. We wanted to capture every single thing. Plus we had the ace photographer Shiv Ahuja with our very own ‘awesome’ photographer Priya! But you really need to be up there to feel what it is. There was a really good bunch of people there who found it very easy to start a conversation with us about our music and our band. We also interviewed for a documentary film maker before the show.Our stage was set for the performance. It was a very nice small little hall that i had performed five years back. And as usual this time our line-up was different for Yodhakaa. I was playing bass, Susha on vocals and cajon,Pradeep on vocals and slide guitar and finally we have our very own Keba back on acoustic guitar.

Sonapani performance!

This was how informal the show was, and thats why we loved it.

It was one of the most peaceful shows we have ever played. The place, the vibe, the energy, everything was just perfect for Yodhakaa’s music. It was a trance to be there and playing music. I really felt something different when we played Jataa Kataa, something that i have never felt before. Maybe the song belongs to this place and it was her home pitch. so she was resonating all over.

I guess everyone present there felt that vibe from our music.That’s what they had to say after our performance. Personally it was a big leap for Yodhakaa, and it was a dream for me to stage Yodhakaa in this ambience and when it finally happened i did not know what to feel. Thanks for everyone who made this happen.

We came back from himalayas with lots of new fans for the band. But we had exactly one day to rehearse and get ready for the next thing. Project- Hong Kong. We came home packed our bags all over again and found our way to the airport again to catch Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong. It was a tiring flight for all of us because we just did not have time to get out of the Himalayan hangover. But it was all until we reached Hong Kong. Once we got there it was wheels on our heels. We were just running around  like traders to shop. We bought quite a bit of instruments for the show. We had a really good bunch of people who were organising our show (wherever we go we somehow manage to be in the company of nice people). This time it was Ram-Sam (the gadget gurus), Narayana Moorthy (friend, philosopher and guide) and Ravi (all-in-all). They made sure it was a good trip for us on all aspects.

Hong Kong performance

It was a really nice auditorium. The toughest part of the tour was to communicate with the Chinese crew there to get our sound right. All my trade tricks fell flat. Finally we got a decent sound-check done with some sign language skills. We were actually playing with Harmonize projekt and La Pongal. So Yodhakaa was supposed to open the show. We did it in our own style, starting with ‘shree hari vallabhe’….. It was a small half hour set. We finished with Jataa kataa followed by an unexpected thunderous applause from the crowd. Then it was time for Harmonize Projekt to take over. For the first time we sold our cds on a foreign soil in exchange for dollars. So now we are an international selling band =)

Our recent show was a very new experience for us. We were booked to perform for the launch of Sathyam theaters’ multiplex launch. Where? in Nellore! i never ever thought Yodhakaa will get a chance to play in Nellore which is in Andhra. The event was a big set up to be attended by some of the biggest celebrities of the state. We took a road trip to Nellore and reached there in four hours. We had the taste of real Andhra food for lunch, and we had too much of it that we felt our mouth literally burning.

This is real spice!

 

We had an evening sound check, show was supposed to be on the next morning. We had nothing else to do than just to go back to the hotel and crash. The next morning was a proper celebrity affair, we were not even let in because of the high security. Thanks to our all-access passes, we made it to our green room. We started the whole ceremony with ‘Mudhakaraatha’, while we performed the song we saw on the giant screen that the theater was inaugurated with a traditional ribbon-cut. We did a small half-hour set and managed to pack up and  leave in between the crowds that were thronging to have a glimpse of their favorite stars. Then it was a reverse action replay to get back to Chennai.

So now you know why our last three shows have been different extremes literally! Will keep you all updated about our future Yodhakaa shows on our facebook page…

Moral of the story – Himalayas,Hong Kong,Nellore : highs,buys, spice (that was proper fourth standard material…sorry!)

bye bye september. we loved you.

artists are as artists can only be. distracted and very bad at promising anything except good music. we promised to update you guys every step of our tour, but with all the shows, lugging bags around (refer- kalyani’s monster bag) jumping on and off trains, mountains, building… and bridges, we barely had time (or internet connection) to blog. we are all back now in chennai, far from relaxed, only charged with more work as we return to take up our usual work and new projects, we are sure will keep us busy for a while.

breakfast rumination

lights, camera, action every waking second!

starting with the himalaya tour, we were happy to be traveling with two wonderful photographers- priya, our designated photographer and shiv ahuja, someone we met at ask earlier show in delhi. both had agreed to document our tour, so along with the instruments, we had tripods and camera’s to look after. half way up the himalayas (you know thats just a figure of speech) sonapani village unfurled green and surprisingly warm, with lovely hosts that baked us fresh cookies every evening! ram and ashish had put a great few days together, filled with fresh air, wonderful audience, smacking food and handful of cheerful children and altogether a great opportunity for us.

barely a peek into the peaks

the peaks were beautiful and elusive, everyday we’d get about three minutes to look above the clouds and find a faintest of lines, outlining the peak of nandadevi…  and no matter how many times we looked, every time we searched for it, it was higher up than we imagined. our cottages were cozy and every morning was a pleasure to wake up to, for we had rehearsals, shows and the himalayas lined up all day. in the process of all this, we were getting photographed continuously… who’d have thought to complain?!

as usual yodhakaa had a warm, reverent response while la pongal blasted open with sound and dance, we are sure echoed all over the mountain.

well, hello hong kong!

from the himalayas, we went to the absolute opposite. crowded, tench savvy hong kong, full of lights, metal, people and noise… and we loved it just as much! harmonize projekt, yodhakaa and la pongal came together in hong kong with a three hour long show that felt too short for all we had to say! three big things besides the concert happened in hong kong-

1. we bought loads of new instruments… in fact we travelled empty handed and empty boxed, and filled up the hard cases with instruments at ‘tom lee’ artseek unofficial supplier as of now, because all our instruments are currently from their store!

the beginning of a new relationship

music man, i am


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. we made three awesome apple purchases. two macbook pros and one i phone. thats two future tie ups right there

we really did inaugurate the apple store. believe us. music is larger than you thought. =/

3. the third and my most favorite- disneyland… where everything is magic. we rounded off our perfect and eventful tour with a far-from-peaceful twelve hours at disneyland hong kong.

stitch and sully. we now make our own cartoons.

closer to end of september, we have a couple of shows left, practices full swing, and our monthly newsletter in the making for you guys. watch out for updates, and remember, missing an artseek show is NOT an option. =)

We are off to the Himalayas!

ok… so finally we are all set to leave for our much awaited trip to the Himalayas. This is going to be awesome…we will keep you all updated about our every move. This time we have Keba, who is joining us after a long time. We are going to perform as Yodhakaa and La pongal in this trip… We also have ‘Doubts’ Kalyani with the band this time and she has already started her doubts. Priya is our official photographer in this trip. So there will be some amazing shots from all possible angles. Here are some to start with….Be with us on this trip.

kalyani disturbing our very first shot...

Work is worsheep...Keba with straightened hair...wow! he irons it everyday...