It was a golden era for ‘Bombay’ when live Jazz music would stream out of restaurants where people would enjoy dinner, a glass of wine and maybe even a dance with a bejewelled lady. Later, Disco dominated the city and slowly after several bureaucratic restrictions and lack of money and interest, restaurants just stuck to serving food.
Of late now, several eateries in the city are trying to bring the old days back by having special nights dedicated to music in order to attract newer audiences. And it is not just Jazz but also Retro, Indie and the un-escapable oontz oontz or Electronic Dance Music (EDM) that are thumping the tables in a big way.
One such place is The Little Door in Andheri that has dedicated its Thursdays to pubcasts. Pubcasts are re-playing radio shows (podcasts) of several prominent DJs. “It helps us save cost over having an artiste here. Also, you get to hear good music instead of just some regular DJ playing his favourite tracks. This way, the age group of 21 to 25-year-olds, who are keyed in to the EDM scene, become regulars,” says Bhuvan Narang, co-owner of the happening place.
On Tuesdays, they have acoustic bands playing music across genres such as Sufi, Rock and Soul. “We don’t want it to be very noisy and we also don’t charge for entry,” quips Narang, whose place has become synonymous with good music.
When The Pier opened in SoBo this year, it seemed ideal for indulging in some fine dining or a pretty cocktail at their long bar. But they have tried shaking things up a bit by introducing Sobo Bar Nights, which is held once a month. Here too, pulling in young blood seems to be the motive behind this enterprise. “
With the Bar Night held once a month, it is not just a regular music night but an event in itself. Also, we have a lot of young crowd coming to Club Alibii next door who do drop in before heading to the club. The music and the long bar helps add a lounge feel. Plus, we don’t blast the music as we don’t want to take away the fine dine experience,” says Ketul Parikh, the spokesperson of The Pier.
The Local has also been trying to boost the local music scene with its Sunday Jam Sessions since the time it opened a few months back. Owner Meldan D’Cunha had informed us that he wanted to take a trip back in time when places across the city would have music jam sessions without worrying about competition. The bands will keep changing and D’Cunha also has karaoke in store.
Lower Parel has been on the music map because of Blue Frog but their neighbour, The Barking Deer (TBD) surprised us by launching Latino Nights and Retro Nights at the brewery. “We don’t want to take away from the food but the music nights were designed in such a way that they add to the ambiance and the overall experience of the space and Retro fitted the bill.
People appreciated Classic Rock, ‘70s and ‘80s music, Funk and Blues that we played. Our aim is to not distract from dining but also reach a different crowd. We have Blue Frog next to us who are the best in music, so why compete with them? People will go there for music, while here it would be for a different experience,” says Gregory Kroitzsh, co-owner of the TBD.
And since we are speaking about music, Bonobo has always been a place to go to for great music, be it playing Dubstep back in 2011 or live gigs. Anup Gandhi, co-owner of Bonobo, tells us, “Music has been an integral part of the Bonobo culture. Also, we have always evolved with regards to the music scene all the while and that’s why we have regular music lovers who come to listen to different genres of music.”