Monday, June 16, 2008

Lounge Piranha Live @ Maya

Lounge Piranha played live at Maya on the night of Sunday, June 15. It’s been a while since I heard LP, live or otherwise, so it was a great comeback gig for me. Although sound wasn’t the best, Kamal, Abhi, Rohan and George still managed to put up a pretty good show, sonically as well as visually. There was a ton of new stuff that I haven’t heard before along with enough early days peppering the set intermittently. LP have come a long way in terms of tightness, and considering the amount of time they have spent together, it is heartening to see the camaraderie that is quite evident amongst the band members as well the chord they are able to strike with the crowd, both new and old.

Lounge Piranha is not your usual run-of-the-mill name and hence the music you expect is also not daily stuff. When I first heard LP, the one word that I associated with them was ‘trippy’. Bright colours merging with each other in a dazzling array of fluidity and some substance abuse would make the trip complete. Their music was psychedelic and ambient, yet it had a certain rockiness infused into it.

In the early stages of the gig, I was aghast. LP was sounding quite different from what I had known and there was even a song that sounded like something Thermal And A Quarter would play. But then, The Gun Song came along and with it came the LP of yore. And although subsequent songs saw a certain ambience, the entire gig was starting to sound quite alternative grunge rock, and that is not LP’s sound. They had created a niche and a sound for themselves and they were quickly losing it. Thankfully, towards the end of the gig, they showed that all was not lost and some truly brilliant new material was presented. Song 2 has a delicious Indian sound to it and the rest of the material just envelopes you and caresses your ear. There was a crazy rendition of just a verse of “We Will Rock You” that absolutely won the crowd over.

LP’s sound is definitely developing and it is nice to see the band looking to push the horizon just a little bit farther, but let’s not try to cross the seven seas and lose sight of home now. The band has become heavier and louder and, if I dare say it, more mainstream. But then, the beauty of their music lay in the fact that they could play something that sounded so far out and spaced out and yet present it in a wholly saleable and appreciable form. When you’re playing something that’s not the norm, then experimentation would involve the norm, and it appears to be what LP is currently dabbling in. Experimentation is good and encouraged, simply because it strengthens your belief. And I feel that in the days and gigs to come, Lounge Piranha will not only truly believe in what their original sound is, they will also be able to take that sound international.

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