Licence to sing

To describe Akshay Deodhar’s love for music as enormous would be a joke. His twitter account describes him as ‘Singer, Songwriter, Jhumpak guitar player, Yachtsman, Pilot and an all round adrenaline junkie’. In real life, when we meet at a Bandra coffee shop, he is all that and more. He sails when he can, and plays music “all the time,” he claims.

Members of James Bond theme band (l to r) Wilson ‘Kenny’ Kenneth, Crehyl Pereira, Kaizad Gharda, Akshay Deodhar and Chirayu Vedekar at Bandra. PIC/ Pradeep Dhivar

¬†Little wonder then, that he’s the man behind Shaken, not Stirred — a tribute to James Bond, which will be performed on November 29 at Blue Frog in Lower Parel. The two hour-long programme has been conceptualised as a musical tribute to James Bond by 27 year-old Deodhar, who is a trained pilot by profession. “I have always been a fan of James Bond movies. They all are such classics.

There is so much to learn from them. Take Skyfall, which has done so well. I wanted to create something that could be some sort of tribute to the pop culture icon. I think that’s where the idea came from,” he explains. With that in mind, two months ago, he pitched this concept to the organisers of Blue Frog at Lower Parel. “We have six key performers including myself. Roshni Baptist, Apeksha Dandekar and Rachel Verghese will also join in for the vocals. We will be adding a few other guest vocalists to the line-up very soon,” he adds.

He had to go through what he calls a “selection” of members to find those suited best to the gig. “Some of them aren’t even acquaintances. We just came together for our love for James Bond. I have performed with Crehyl Pereira (piano and keyboard for Para Vayu) and Chirayu Fernandes (bass for Supervibe). The others, I just met right now,” he says with an impish grin.

How did he bring together this motley group of musicians? “The aim was to bring together the best people for this gig. I called my friends and they suggested that if I wanted the best in keyboard and programming, then I should choose Kaizad Gherda of Alien Chutney fame. If it was for guitar, then it had to be Kenny from Caesar’s Palace. I am very grateful. I just had to call them once and they agreed to do it.”

The group will perform some very well-known tracks from the James Bond films, such as From Russia with Love from Russia with Love, Another way to Die from Quantum of Solace, Jack White and Alicia Keys’s song and Adele’s Skyfall, from the latest Bond flick starring Daniel Craig, to name a few.
The other band members are just as enthusiastic. Twenty seven year-old Gherda says, “Akshay just called me and I had to be there. Who wouldn’t like to perform for the ultimate James Bond tribute?”

Are they expecting a large audience? Gherda confesses, “We will be happy even if five people attend the show. But why wouldn’t somebody want to watch a performance on the James Bond classics?”
Wilson ‘Kenny’ Kenneth, the lead guitarist of Caesar’s Palace thinks theme-based shows are a unique concept. “A theme-based event is always very appealing. People in India have very distinct tastes in music. You should just know what you are good at. You will surely find an audience,” he believes.

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