Kyra is the kind of place Bangalore needs. A venue planned around performance, acoustically designed, with a good-sized stage, appropriate sound installation, lights… They call it a ‘dinner theatre’, and it’s a bit odd on stage at first; dinner tables are set right up against it, and the audience is seated in vertical rows so they can turn a few degrees to watch. But it sounds good in there. The ‘atmosphere’, we’re sure, will follow soon enough. And by the number of acts performing there already, that shouldn’t take too long.
Sound check was early this time around – we were supposed to do the Live Gig at the Music Strip in Cubbon Park in the afternoon, in memory of Sunbeam Motha. Straight away, we know this is going to be a good gig – there’s a nice drum kit, everything works, and it sounds good even without the warm bodies of your audience to soak up those frequencies. You know how it is sometimes in these indoor gigs – soundcheck is one big boomy waffly affair with random howls and suspicious wolves (notes, that is). But here, everything is nice and tight. You feel like digging in and playing.
Had some trouble with the acoustic guitar – really need to a) invest in one with a kickass pickup system or b) somehow get said kickass pickup system and install in current axe. Anyway, manage to get it sounding ok by bypassing all the floor gizmos and plugging right into the board.
Trek to Cubbon after soundcheck to find everyone rather sodden with rain-grief. One brave band manages to belt out one song standing in the freshening drizzle. Interestingly, there was a blue tarp being held over the dry drummer, who, not being plugged into anything with electrons buzzing through it, wasn’t in much danger of said electrons fizzing up his nostrils or anything. The guitar player and bassist dripped – but walked off unscathed. Kudos! Needless to say, that Gig was called off before things got any Live-lier. Hope to play there again another day.
Back to Kyra – we start just after 8 (nice minty chocolates, those), with our brand new version of How Can I Get Your Groove. Nice crowd in there – can see some regulars, new faces… and they’re singing along. Do our still-cooking version of It’s Probably Me and jump into all the brand new stuff – Jazz Yuppies, The Song, Mighty Strange – and all of it is going down well, I say!
Pony up for the acoustic set and actually manage to pull off Andy McKee’s Drifting without completely mangling it. Rzhude also steps up and does some old favourites before getting in an acoustic version of Brigade St. Second set has all the usual suspects – Jupiter Café (The Work Song cropped up again in the jam) Chameleon, Simply Be (which went down really well) with grand set-closer Motorbyckle. Gave away our free This Is It CDs for all those designated drivers, signed a few. Good gig! And the food is pretty good too…
Photos courtesy Akhil Gupta
And suddenly… unexpectedly… just like that… Bangalore gets a world-class performance venue.
Despite being the IT/BT capital of the world for over a decade, all that progress hardly made a whisper of a difference when it came to sound and lights available at any of the performance venues in our city. Progress, if any, was reflected in the pricing of the food and drinks. The only place that has great, world-class sound is apparently the Infy boardroom where Murthy and Nandan jam on their Midas XL8 digital console (known to be the world’s best board). No kidding, they’ve got the works in there, I hear. While we mega rockstar guys have to shut up and play with whatever comes our way. Not to forget the standard pre-gig scenario of haggling with the organizers for that extra sub-woofer or a slightly bigger mixing board or removing a few tables at that pub to make that stage just a tad bigger so that I don’t have a guitar neck going through my ears or have my boom stand up the frontman’s rear.
Finally, here’s a venue where all of that bad stuff is history.
Kyra, with its 30/40 stage + JBL VRX compact line array system with multiple dual 18″ subs powered by QSC amplifiers, processed and managed by a DBX Driverack + VRX delay speakers designed with ‘EASE’ to ensure even quality of sound across the venue. Not to mention the Soundcraft GB 2-24 24 channel mixer + Truss with 36 lighting points handled by a LSC Maxim M dmx lighting console with 48 faders.
Phew…I’ll stop for now, but there’s plenty more. For all the yada yada yada visit the one and only www.acousticcontrol.com, who have done a fantastic job at Kyra.
And the best part is Kyra promises that this is just the beginning… they are just starting off. Some standard teething troubles, etc. happening but lots more stuff is gonna be put in there.
And if you are wondering why yours truly is being so nice to this place, hear this: Finally, man, finally… finally… finally somebody decided to respect the work of the humble drummer and invest in a high end professional acoustic drum set. My eyes flood up as I thank the person whose decision it was to put in a good high-end kit in there. Contrary to what everybody (including my wife) thinks, we drummers do put in a lot of work into our sound, and for time immemorial we have been disregarded when it comes to spending that lil extra on making sure there’s a good kit at the live gig.
Thank you Kyra. Bangalore desperately needs you.
All the very best, and whatever happens the show must go on.
Gig review by Bruce coming soon.
Team TAAQ: Vinay Kewalramani (Sound + Gig Mgmt), OB-Wan and Guzuru (Guitar/Bass/Drum Techs)
Kyra: Navneet, Chris, Shimrei, Anand, Ajit and all the staff
RajeevPhoto courtesy Akhil Gupta