In terms of gigs, Bangalore was the most fun. We fell into the cliche and saved the best for the last.We had so much energy on-stage because after hanging out together for more than a week we all were sounding tight as a unit. All the seventy musicians were giving their best and it was just flowing. All of us were grooving and i could feel that from the eye contact and the appreciative smiles we exchanged with fellow musicians while someone plays an inspiring fill or lick.
Am trying to match up Dan's height with Dan's help!
It was a very hectic schedule in Bangalore. We were supposed to play four gigs in two days at The Bishop cotton school. So that was, a gig in the morning for school kids and a show in the evening open for public. We had to do this for two days. It was a decent auditorium and on the first day all of us were happy to see some really good sound equipments, because it was handled by Reynolds Sound company – one of the best guys in the business. The happiest was Darrell, our sound engineer. After our experience in Coimbatore, this looked like heaven with the kind of amps we got for our guitars and bass. I was set with the slick pearl drumkit that i had already played in Bangalore before.So the sound was such a relief with good monitors around.
The first show was for the junior bunch in their school. The auditorium was packed. The teachers had kept the students under control, but they just cut loose when Sunil grabbed the mic and asked them ‘why are you guys silent? this is not your classroom’. The roar that came in after that was epic. Judith came in and gave us her signature confidence boost smile and her animated four counts for us to start swinging the first song. The kids where having a time of their life, they knew that this was their only chance of glory. We knew that the kids were enjoying, that gave us that extra energy to push our performance even more than we did in our earlier shows. The kids were not just letting us go and made us do an encore.
The evening show was attended by the musically inclined crowd of Bangalore. They were singing along some of the songs and applauding for solos. It was a good feeling to play for a crowd that knows what they are listening to. After the gig,we did not have much time to chill out. We had to quickly get ready for the next two shows and the feeling that its all going to be over the next day made it a bit sad for me.
The last day started with a show for the kids again, but for a much senior bunch this time. They knew how to have fun with our music and they were rocking more than us. The evening show was the best of the whole lot.The energy was just awesome. Because we knew this is our last shot we were all giving our bestest best on this one. I heard so much music in this show that i had never heard before. I played a long drum fill at the end of our last song and we came to a final bang and closed the show with rattling cymbals and horns. I remember Judith winking and giving me a thumbs up right after that. I knew it was not for the drum roll, but for the entire tour that we managed to pull off together collaborating. It was such a great gesture that just relieved me.
Look at all of us staring at our score sheets!
After the shows we had lots of pictures with each other. We just could not manage to gather the right words to explain how terrible we felt that this was over when we just got into the groove and started enjoying our music and each others company. But i guess all things in life are like that. I was personally very happy with what i learnt from this tour, its something that has helped me reach my next level as a performer, it surely is. For that matter it was such a big learning for Yodhakaa as a band overall. As a musician everyone of us got so much to take back, but we can work on what we learnt or no is what really matters.
Judith, Strings section, Brass band and Yodhakaa
Judith, as a band leader and a conductor is such a big inspiration for me. The way she led this whole orchestra makes me wonder how this is done and how much does she go through to get this done. i find it so difficult to run a five piece band! Sunil, another guy who really made me wonder. Putting together such a big event in India with Seventy people from Ireland and India is not a joke. While others had sleepless nights partying, i guess he had sleepless nights working throughout for the next days logistics. I just LOVE to work with people who just don’t get tired of working. I think this is a way of living, this is not something you can learn in a fortnight.
Thats Sunil, the man who put this all together.
After the gig there was an after-party, everybody was there. I just wanted to peep in and say bye to Judith, Sunil and the rest of the gang. Everyone was having a great time there,i could see the job-done signs on most of the faces. I knew the party is going to hit the daylight. So i finished my byes and left. I was really not up for partying, personally that was not my time for partying. There was so much for me to finish for things that has to go right the next day.
And i always have a funny feeling towards partying in a tour.This might be weird, i always get a feeling that its not yet the time to party because there is still so much to do. And partying with musicians does not feel like a party for me. It looks like an extension of work.Instead, i like to jam when there are musicians around and see if there is something interesting that we can come up with. I might as well get back home and party with my friends and family.That sounds more like a real party for me.I don’t know if these are signs of becoming a workaholic, but even if its that way then am glad! I think finally we all stand for what our work has been right? and not for the number of hours we can stay awake in a party…
In the entire tour, the only thing i felt bad was about missing out on a chance of jamming with those wonderful musicians especially Tom,Alex,Stephanie,Dan, The amazing Irish folk band, David, Derrick and his brass band. I wish i had one session with them to make music. But i guess it will happen soon when we get to their place. I would love to make you all see how it will sound with them playing Yodhakaa’s music. I can already hear it in my head, and believe me it sounds great.you will all hear that soon. Will catch you all on the next blog =)