Yes, it’s our 20th Anniversary!
And we’re doing a bunch of exciting stuff to celebrate.
Systematic music education has been shown to greatly increase the intellectual, social and personal development of young children. Unfortunately, until now, it’s been available only to a privileged few. Our initiative, ‘No Wall Too High’, aims to make music education more widely accessible and affordable.
Through this programme, we aim for Taaqademy (our music school) to adopt 3 schools in the city, where our trained and talented faculty will conduct systematic music programs for children of Std I to XII. They will use a combination of their live performance skills, teaching techniques, specially created music education aids and, of course, their love for music itself to bring fun and inspiration to every class. We’re also going to provide a set of musical instruments to each school.
We hope to provide opportunities for these children to experience live performance, studio recording, workshops and more. We’re going to enable them to start composing music and even help them produce and release their own music – audio and video.
What’s more, we’re going to identify talent within these schools and give them the information, tools and techniques to become music educators themselves, allowing them to contribute to their families and communities.
But obviously, all of this won’t work without YOU. We’re crowdfunding this initiative through www.fueladream.com.
We’re playing live every Sunday at the Indigo Live Music Bar, Koramangala, from Oct 9th – Dec 4th.
Twenty years is a long time. And a lot of music. No way can we spin all those stories in ONE gig. So we’ve got TEN! Starting Oct 9th, we play every Sunday at one of Bangalore’s premier venues – the Indigo Live Music Bar. Every gig will feature some amazing talent from Taaqademy, along with us (duh!) and some of the amazing musicians who’ve guested on our shows and albums across the years.
Music. That’s what this is all about anyway, right?
For those of you who still bother to buy/stream music, you might have noticed the lacuna in our available online catalogue – album 1, thermalandaquarter.com. That will soon be available on iTunes, Amazon etc. Also in the pipeline are the 14 previously unreleased songs that we recorded before album 1. Only our alligator fans knew about them. They’re coming at you as well! Keep watching this space, and follow us on Facebook to stay updated!
As you’ve probably guessed, we’re kinda fond of doing things others don’t. And so, in 2015, we release 2 concept albums within an 8-month period. Not a bad gestation, eh doc? Our 7th Studio Album No Wall Too High will be released on October 10th (go on over to www.oklisten.com right away if you want to buy) For those of you in the know, our 6th, The Scene came out around Feb-March 2015.
No Wall Too High features 10 songs on the theme of division. It so happens that this is the 25th anniversary of German Reunification post the fall of the Berlin Wall – an event that brought change to much of the world we know.
No Wall Too High is a project with many firsts, even for us.
Head on over to the album micro-site to listen to clips of a few tracks, check out the liner notes, pictures and more.
The album launch in Bangalore will be at the RockStock 2015 Festival, hosted by Geoffrey’s at the Royal Orchid Park Plaza. And oh, did we mention that front man Bruce Lee Mani is being inducted into the ‘Fender Family’ at the festival? Yup, the man is getting more free guitars .
Stay tuned for more stories – what’s with the old guy on the cover, anyway?
going back to the Fatherland!
A lot of the music we cut our teeth on came to us via ‘Thomsun Original’ audio-cassette tapes carried down to India in bulging VIP briefcases by Fathers and Uncles returning from the ‘Gelf’. A brief vacation in God’s own backyard; replete with
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large easy-chairs, relatives eager for tales and boons, quick impregnations and lots of coconut oil. Then it was back to slogging in the arid desert, squirreling shekels in the Sheikhdoms. And those tapes – ah,
from Boney-M to Steely Dan, Toto to Guns N’ Roses, Osibisa to The Police – that was the stuff that got us going. We wore them out, gleaning the chords to Josie or sweating that solo on Eye in the Sky.
When we played in Dubai for the first time, back in 2007, we promised to return. So, like the, ahem, ‘contraption’ in that book The Naked Lunch, we’re doing it again. On 25th October 2013, TAAQ will play
the Music Room at the Majestic Hotel in Dubai – one of the city’s hottest new venues.
Calling all ye friends and countrymen – show
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After completing 50 (yes, fifty!) gigs across 60
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days across 4 nations we’re back home to close this tour where it all began 2 months ago. See you at the Bflat Bar this weekend, on the 4th, 5th and 6th October . Full of stories and anecdotes from the tour, this is gonna be a special one…err three
October is setting up to be a good gigging month already. We’ll keep ya’ll updated as soon as the pipeline allows.
For 22 years (the longest-running, oh yes), Mervyn Stutter has put together one of the best-loved shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. His ‘Pick of the Fringe’ showcases the top acts from the 3000 or so present every year, making for a highly enjoyable 90 minutes – offering quick glimpses into the best of the theatre, dance, music and more at the festival. Mervyn is an AMAZING performer, songwriter and compere himself, making the entire package one of the un-missable shows at the festival. We’d heard about his gig, and even dreamed that one of his expert minions (for surely, a star such as he would
have them by the bushel) would chance by our show, and deem it worthy to feature on ‘Pick of the Fringe’!
Well, an expert did show up. His wife, Moira. Beautiful,
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on a Saturday night, watched the whole thing and then waited 15 minutes (our pack-up time) in the cold outside to speak with us and welcome us to Mervyn’s show. It was kind of hard, at the
time, to stop jumping up and down and whooping etc. Grinning like idiots we walked back home. Thanks to Steve Cardownie and the Bellevue Street Party gig (more on that later) we happened to have a drum kit and amp available. Ah serendipity.
Well, Wednesday the 14th was as fantastic as we expected. Great crowd, great venue, some fantastic other acts… and us, wrapping things up at the end, getting everyone to holler the ‘Hey’ in Look at Me and dance in their seats on Hoedown. Watch out for that video, coming soon.
Mervyn puts everyone at ease, chatting with each performer, putting all the right promo stuff out for people to see and hear, ensuring that each act gets the attention it needs, thus sending more people to the shows. It’s an amazing thing to do. And it’s done so well.
It was a real honour, being invited to be a part of this
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iconic Fringe event.
If you thought this couldn’t get better, it just did.
Mervyn called us today. Himself. To tell us that we’d just won his ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ award, and would we like to reprise our showcase gig for his finale show on Sunday the 25th? Naturally we hummed and hawed and eventually accepted . Mervyn’s Spirit of the Fringe Award is one of the longest-running awards at the Edinburgh Festival, given out every year since 1992! Apparently, the Scotsman (local big media) launched its own ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ award a few years ago, without acknowledging Mervyn’s precedence! Ah, well.
So there we are, folks. Our first Fringe,
and it’s raining and pouring and we’re loving
it. Wish you were here!
Check out more pics from our first showcase gig here. Videos etc coming soon.
Well in the middle of the Fringe run, TAAQ has been assembling a fair smattering of reviews from the crowd and the critics. The gigs have been fabulous and the band was featured on Mervyn Stutter‘s ‘Pick of the Fringe’ show (which only picks the best of the best, we’ve been told – some 5% of the 3000+ acts at the Fringe this year). More and more local gigs have been coming in, thanks to some lovely people who’ve CCNP 642-902 stepped out of their way to include TAAQ in
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their events. Lots of friends made. Lots of sausages (the veggie kind too) eaten. Lots of miles walked. Lots of flyers, well, flyer-ed. Let’s get to the reviews. Here’re some quick excerpts: “Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. These folks play boldly and 642-902 dumps brilliantly across all genres wrapped up in solid driving rock. They challenge themselves with a unique set every night. It matters not where they
viagra online no prescription for – is… are from as they are an excellent force in the universe of Rock.” – –
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are from as they are an excellent force in the universe of Rock.” –Christopher Frick (audience review, on EdFringe.com) “Excellent band with terrific instrumental fluidity; saw the show twice..”
–Steve Kelsey (audience review, on EdFringe.com) “Clapton, Bruce and Ginger
Baker eat your heart out! Saw them live last night (7th). These guys are a seriously good power combo and deserve to be playing in front of 1000s. Intelligent and visceral rock music with funk and edge. See them now.” – Mark Hardcastle (audience review, on EdFringe.com)
a formidable rhythm section at the heart of the trio; meanwhile guitarist and frontman Bruce Lee Mani also has fantastic technical ability and a clear love for what the band do, but never takes himself too seriously, offering often humorous lyrics and jokey patter. As well as being enjoyable and entertaining, their songs are also
musically very interesting, one example being the fusion of southern Indian folk with blues. This is rock with a twist at its finest.” – Elspeth Rudd, Three Weeks Edinburgh **** (that’s four stars, baby!)
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Skelton, Broadway Baby *** (read full review here. Jack was quite unhappy with the vocal levels in the mix)
Yep. That’s Thermal And A Quarter on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine.
A big ‘Thank You’
to Air India and
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their support on the tour!
Kicking off the Bangalore Rock tour!
Inter-national flights are always bloody inter-minable. But the Air India 787 Dreamliner was a darned comfortable ride, and the crew was fun, plying us with much drink and drink. The most (ir)rev. Leslie Charles experienced a somewhat unsettling personal vidscreen – it stubbornly displayed only the flight path, with the little grey jet stuck somewhere above Kandahar, Afghanistan. Maybe he was intending to bail out there
and attempt some mass conversion of the natives…
Landed in Heathrow 10:30am, get through immigration without a hiccup and get all our bags too. Our tour bus is somewhere outside; the driver, Mark, finds us easily enough and we step into the warm London sunshine (with the heatwave on, it’s a balmy 20+ degrees and there is dancing in the streets). Quick detour to pick up two acoustic guitars from Gibson – kind enough to loan them to us for the entire Fringe run and beyond. Thanks Heena for setting that up! Meet David at the Gibson office, and get some kind advice and insights into
the Fringe and what it takes to make the most of it.
The Gibson office is apparently close to Abbey Road. Beatlemaniacs all, we’ve gotta go. Get there, find a place to park and find many other similarly affected souls attempting the great crossing. Lots of passing traffic, all with long-suffering smiles. Leslie, the most hardcore among us, does it barefoot. It’s a lovely place and with the great weather, we lollygag about, soaking in the vibe…
Back on the bus, we have a quick chat with Mr. Sunil Chandy (our founder bass player) and his lovely wife, Luiza. Seems possible the man will make a trip to Edinburgh to catch one of our gigs. Rah! Stop at a Tesco for snacks and supplies and then we floor it on the motorway. Some stunning scenery. Get in to Edinburgh late – about 10 pm – and it’s still blinking bright, not even twilight yet. Drop in to another friend’s house – Dr. Rayner Lazaro – he’s got the keys to our apartment in town. Rayner is the original Dr. Feelgood, if anybody wants to know. Find the place after a bit of faffing about with the GPS, and discover it’s three flights up to our apartment. 24 bags in total. Aaaaargh.
Next day spent stocking up the kitchen and getting used to our rather neat and cozy apartment – which is amazingly right next to High Street and all the town hotspots. Super!
On Thursday, we decide to catch a gig at the Tron Kirk – a 17th cent Chapel, now used only occasionally for gigs and suchlike. It’s a few steps from our apartment. Beautiful, cavernous interior, wood ceiling, crumbling stone walls and some stunning stained-glass. Halfway through the first act, The Rosie Nimmo band, we meet Steve Cardownie, make an instant connection (he’s been to Bangalore) and a few beers
and a couple of pizzas later (his treat), this wonderful outspoken man has gotten us a gig at this venue on Saturday! What a trip.
We get to the Tron again
on Friday, this time to watch the Bill Kemp trio – billed as ‘a rare performance by this great jazz drummer and his swinging trio’. Google isn’t
giving us much on the man, but we go anyway. And what a treat that was. With Ian Mathieson on piano and Peter Lowit on upright bass, they ran through some standards and oddities (including a tune by Nina Simone, and Holliday’s ‘God Bless the Child’). Watching Kemp play was inspiration, education and more, all at the same time. Jaw-dropping mastery of technique, texture, swing – he had
it all. As Rajeev put it – “the man is singing with the drums”. Met them after the gig and share a few words and pictures.. discover that Bill has been in India, 1960, to play a gig! Gracious and kind, he wishes he could watch us play, but
has to leave back to Aberdeen for another gig.
Spend the rest of the evening at Rayner’s and we have a barbeque. Stuffed to the gills with Bratwursts and bread rolls we delve into old and new times…
Saturday: Gig night! We get a quick rehearsal in – during which there’s a power cut. We kid you not. Feeling right at home, we carry on, ‘unplugged’. 9:30 pm, we get a line check and then we’re off! Sizable crowd, seated and there for the music. Blast through a 90-minute set and it looks and feels like they’re lovin’ it! Good start eh, me hearties? Now’s when the real work begins…
Some quick pics from the gig:
…and thanks to
Charlie Kang (@King_Kang) for this pic:
you need a prescription for propecialocally strands result friend.
Bangalore Rock Tour
While the rest of India comes to terms with the monsoon season, TAAQ is all set to head out on
an epic voyage. With 36 dates in 4 countries (and hopefully a few more to be added), the Bangalore Rock Tour will be the largest tour ever by an Indian English rock band, as far as we know. Right here and now, we’ve got to thank Air India and ProFx
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for their unstinting support on this venture.
The highlight of the tour will be a 26-gig run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the largest arts festival in the world. At the Fringe, our peripatetic players will be performing a completely different set each night of the week, with no repeated songs, drawing from a shortlist of 60 songs.
As is only fitting, the home team will get a preview of this through an epic trilogy (shades of Star Wars, anyone?): a 3-night stand at Bflat, Indiranagar. In another first for Indian rock, this will consist of three 2-hour+ sets on three subsequent nights with no repeated songs from night to night. Use the force, eh?
These are the dates and venues TAAQ will be playing (keep following this blog for gig reports and added dates):
July 19th,20th,21st – Fringe preview The BFlat Bar Bangalore
Aug 1st – 26th – Edinburgh Festival Fringe #Edfringe
Aug 30th – Glasgow, Scotland
Sep 1st – Edinburgh Mela Festival
Sep 5th – Dublin, Ireland
Sep 6th – Kilkenny, Ireland
Sep 7th – Galway City, Ireland
Sep 8th – Mullingar, Ireland
Sep 21st – Kathmandu, Nepal