The Great Indian October Fest(TGIOF), which happened over the weekend served up some great music, gallons of beer and wholesome entertainment. The only difference from the previous editions was the addition of artists related to bollywood. Though it helped in bringing in more crowds, it stood out as a sore thumb amidst the metal and rock bands on display. So, lets forget about the all pervasive bollywood for now, as I dig deep into one great band I discovered this sunday. Soulmate, the blues band from Shillong, is one which I been dying to listen for long. Having heard one of their tracks on an online radio before, I was left craving for more. And, all of those cravings were satisfied when they came on stage as the penultimate band of the 3 day music fest.
Soulmate consists of Rudy Wallang and Tipriti 'Tips' Kharbangar doing both the guitar and vocal duties. They are accompanied by various session musicians, who change from tour to tour. For someone like me, who swears by metal and hasn't listened to less of blues, this band served as a great intro into this great genre. With vocals that covered the whole gamut, Tipriti stole the show. Looking like a hippie from the 70s in her flowing outfit and big sunglasses, she was at her best when she was screaming at the mic and roaring the verses. And, then there was the little dance she did in between, in accompaniment to one of Rudy's solos. She was at her adorable best when she went into one of their slow numbers. In one of those moments, I just fell in love with her. Rudy Wallang needs no intro. A veteran of the music scene, Rudy, in a career spanning more than 30 years, has played with many bands, one of the most famous of them being 'Great society'. With solos that ring like heavenly bells in your ears, this is a man still at the top of his game and is easily one of the best blues guitarists in India. Together this duo has carved a niche for themselves in the Indian blues scene. They are now one of my most favourite Indian bands.
I recommend Soulmate to everyone who loves those easy going songs with free spirited lyrics, that you can enjoy with a cup of coffee on a lazy sunday afternoon as well as on a hectic weekday midnight. You can listen to them at http://www.myspace.com/soulmateshillong. And if you liked it, do go on and buy their 2 albums at http://www.bluefrogsounds.com/musicstore/?artist=30. Yeah, am waiting for my copy of 'Shillong'.
your crusader Praveen