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Live Banned from Bangalore
Live Banned from Bangalore

Behind the scene, a third time

Comedy rock and punk will take centre stage at the latest edition of The Scene, NH7.in and blueFROG's monthly free gig for up-and-coming talent

The autorickshaw has been a long-standing icon of the Indian kitsch art industry. Its black-and-yellow and green-and-yellow avatars have been printed on everything from T-shirts and mugs to boxer shorts and flip-flops. In 2011, souvenir brand Chumbak even launched a bobble head, a sinister-looking speed demon named Auto Raja. But the Bangalore-based five-member act Live Banned knows better than to celebrate irate drivers and tampered meters.

The comedy rockers sing (and sometimes yell) about their personal horrors with “paan-spitting and always swearing senseless auto fellows" in their 2012 music video parody, The Auto Tune. Live Banned will play in Mumbai for the first time along with Chennai’s madcap alt-rock trio The Family Cheese and Mumbai’s progressive-rock act The Hoodwink Circle at the third edition of NH7.in and blueFROG’s The Scene, an indie stage for fresh, up-and-coming talent.

Online communications manager and metal programmer Shadaab Kadri of blueFROG and NH7.in’s marketing executive Nikhil Udupa launched The Scene in April as a community project for the indie music scene. Every edition of The Scene features three relatively new outfits, with at least one outstation act and a young band that’s never played live before, says Kadri.

The first gig was built around high-energy alt-rock and punk and saw the launch of their debut album by Mumbai-based punk band The Lightyears Explode. The second featured a metal-influenced band like Mumbai’s Pangea and Delhi’s progressive/psychedelic rock band The Circus, and the latest is skewed towards humour in alternative rock.

Arjun S. Ravi, the editor of NH7.in’s online music and culture magazine Indiecision, helps handpick bands and also runs a nostalgic e-zine called The Scene, modelled after the fanzines handed out by promoters and fans at gigs back in the days before the Internet and social media boom. Ravi says a specific sonic identity is selected for each edition before the line-up is finalized.

“When a new band really excites us (at NH7 and blueFROG), we’re often the annoying friends on Facebook and Twitter telling everyone about it," says Ravi. “The Scene is just one of the other ways in which we do it."

Besides transport woes, Live Banned performs mashups of songs by Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Pantera and Megadeth. They also sing about religious fasting in Fast Fast and funeral processions in Death Dance. The Family Cheese, made up of Homi Rustumji, Yohan Marshall and Apurv Isaac, who studied together at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Chennai, play everything from blues and jazz to rock ’n roll, even drum ’n bass, in their live sets. The Hoodwink Circle will play new tracks from their forthcoming debut album, With The Flow, that’s set for a September launch.

The Scene, 10pm-1.30am, 2 July, at blueFROG, New Mahalaxmi Mills Compound, opposite Empire Mills, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (40332300).

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