A friend of mine once said that if you take all the Mallus (all in good spirit…: D) out of Bangalore, you’re not gonna be left with a single band in the whole city. So when you have three and a quarter (well, not anymore though) of them coming together to make music, you are bound to be transported to a whole new world of eclectic music.
Hyderabad had its tryst with the Bangalore (yes, no Bengaluru for me) Power Trio Thermal and a Quarter on September 7.
The venue… er, well let’s not talk about that. The “Only Couple Entries” sign is not very welcoming to a rock audience and I had to sorta impose the situation on my friend Priyanka (Thank you so much)… Yes, I was not going to miss this for anything in the world!
Bruce in his shades, Rajeev in his ‘Chainese’ beard and Prakash in his HUUUGE hat were finally hereee…. Beautiful bass lines, excellent control over the solos and some slick runs all along the fret board; yes the new kid on the block had announced his arrival in the TAAQwagon. The level of proficiency Prakash showed with the other two on the songs would amaze any bass player – hats off to you! (no puns intended..: P)…
Rajeev was as usual at his brilliant best with the chops and the rolls and complimenting on all the varieties of songs that the band has in their repertoire…
Bruce Lee Mani, which is he better at exactly – singing or guitaring??… Tight throughout as usual, TAAQ provided a brilliant ambience to an otherwise below average pub. Be it the bluesy new number Grab Me “a Boost in the mug with no happy encore”, a teetotaler’s delectable intrigue against the upbeat “I’m drunk… I’m stoned… I’m high… I’m done” or the groovy Mighty Strange speaking about the heavily dependent IT world or their ever-popular song, the jazzy funky Paper Puli, they were all excellently textured to satisfy us all.
“We come from Bengaluru, earlier known as Bangalore. You guys come from Andhra Pradesh and you don’t know what it’s gonna be called very soon… This is something you should have done a year back”…oh yes, it was time to Shut Up and Vote. The latter part saw Where The State Has No Name, a grim reminder of the political hullabaloo in the state. Oh, and of course, we were also entertained to the ‘Thermalised’ versions of Hey Jude, Wonderwall and Hoedown.
Wonderwall came out all jazzy, fresh and new-born, bearing little or no resemblance to the original Oasis version. Hey Jude was AWE-TAAQ-SOME. Bruce’s guitar patch had a lovely orchestra-chorus vibe to it that left you wondering “How the hell did three guys just manage that shit !” – something that has been provoked very often by the works of Rush, Cream, The Police, ELP et al. The crowd happily sang along to the surging reeves of the coda as Bruce broke out on Vocal Mumbo-Jumbo… …
“You think Paul would’ve liked that??”…Ya right, ‘like’… what an understatement!! And along came the most awaited song of the evening… people following them on Youtube and Bookface (.. ) greeted it quite enthusiastically… Kickbackistan speaking all about the travailed ‘common wealth’ flowing into political pockets. The song truly had all the flavours of a musical hit and people were seen leaving the pub humming along to “Let the Games begin. Let the shame begin.”
Well, our thirst was quenched by the Thermal range of the music… for here before us stood a band which has championed the cause of original music when the whole country was still reeling under the shades and tunes of repetitive covers and also went ahead to make a mark supporting various social causes and to put the icing on the cake, came up with the stunning world class TAAQADEMY.
So next time when these True Messiahs of Indian Rock decide to drop in your city be sure to fix an appointment and taste the sparkling shot of TAAQuila!!
P.S. Word around the pub was that the number of Bruce Lee jokes had exceeded those of Rajnikanth and Chuck Norris…Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a new hero!!!
Photo: Anish Banerjee. View his gig album here