This Saturday promises to be special for Mumbai's music buffs. Not only will they get to watch five musical bands from across India perform live but they will also get to be part of a day-long event with food, merchandise and jam sessions with the bands. The event is the finale to the Road to Converse Rubber Tracks, conceptualised by Converse and co-executed by NH7.
Richardson & Cruddas in Byculla is being readied for the finale. Pic/Bipin Kokate
It will be held at Richardson & Cruddas, an industrial warehouse converted into a musical venue for the first time, and will be open to fans from 11 am to 11 pm. For the first half of the day, the main stage at the venue will resemble a recording studio. It will be enclosed in plexiglass so fans can observe the goings-on inside.
"The five finalists will get an hour each inside the studio during which they will record one song each. At the end of the day, every fan will leave with a copy of the compilation album that was recorded that same day," shares Arjun S Ravi, Co-founder, NH7.
The five bands that are participating in the finale are Spud In The Box (Mumbai), Frisky Pints (New Delhi), Ganesh Talkies (Kolkata), Space Behind The Yellow Room (Bangalore) and The F16s (Chennai). The winner of the competition will earn a trip to New York where they will record at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn.
More than a gig
At the venue, there will be a jam pad where fans can drop by through the day and jam with some of the bands. "We've also got a screen-printing set-up where fans can get band T-shirts screen-printed in front of them.
Spud In The Box were the Mumbai finalists
In addition, we've got a young artist, Harshvardhan Kadam, who has been using the front facade of the warehouse as a canvas; he will be adding the finishing touches on Saturday," adds Ravi.
There's also a photo booth, a merchandise stand, and some great food options on offer for attendees. The gig is slated to begin at 5 pm with each of the five finalists performing before three headliners — Pangea, Superfuzz and Zero.
While just one band will make it to New York, it's win-win for the other bands as well. Says Ajay Chablani, Business Head, Planet Sports, "The shortlisted bands will record their tracks live (which they can use as demos), attend workshops on touring, production and recording, promotion and PR, design their own album art and merchandise, perform live and win new fans."
Ravi adds that while most of the artistes performing are Rock-oriented, each find their roots across musical genres. "We were looking for bands that had a fresh sound and had great live chops."
Ravi explains that the venue is also generating a lot of buzz. Explaining its significance, Ravi says, "Richardson & Cruddas has been a part of Mumbai longer than the Gateway of India (it was established in 1858).
It's as integral a part of the city as VT Station, which incidentally was built by Richardson & Cruddas. While its premises have been used for film shoots, it's never been used for a gig. And we're proud to be kicking off Rock 'n' Roll in Byculla with this event."
On April 19, 11 am to 11 pm
At Richardson & Cruddas, JJ Road, next to Sir JJ Hospital, Mazagaon.
Log on to www.nh7.in OR https://www.facebook.com/converseindia1
Logistics before the event
The structure (an industrial warehouse) was meant to accommodate heavy machinery, and to convert it into a Rock venue took a lot of work.
Manish Chandnani, the head of production, needed to install air conditioning at the venue. Ravi comments that the venue was selected, as it worked well for the event.
"We needed a venue that would not only host a large number of people (this warehouse can accommodate over 2,000 people), but also host a recording studio, a jam pad, a screen-printing set-up, photo-booths, food stalls and more.
Richardson & Cruddas gave us the opportunity to accommodate all of this, and more. The history lesson was a lovely bonus. Hopefully, we will host a lot more musical performances at the venue," he signs off.