Join the club in Bandra

Updated: Dec 02, 2019, 09:41 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

The suburb has a new nightlife venue in a lane already choc-a-bloc with pubs and eateries

The lane adjacent to KFC on Linking Road in Bandra is one of the busiest in the city when it comes to nightlife. You enter and there's Bar Stock Exchange immediately to your right. Bonobo is located next to it. Tap Resto Bar lies diagonally opposite that. Turn into a bylane and you'll find The Den. But if you choose to walk further down the main street, you'll hit Monkey Bar first and then Eddie's. It's, in fact, one of the few places in Mumbai where a nightcrawler can go pub hopping on foot. And if you choose to end your drinking spree with a bout of dancing at a grungy club, you can now do that too, since that's what a new venue there called The Council offers to patrons.

We head there on a night when a live gig meant for easy listening is taking place. Enter the building that houses Starbucks and take a lift up to the third floor. It opens to a small corridor with a large door at one end. Push it after displaying your entry stamp to a bouncer, and you walk into a large empty room with a distinctly industrial vibe and a long bar at the back. Two acts play one after the other on a long stage to the left when we visit. But this isn't the usual structure. Nor is the programming normally along easy-listening lines. The place is meant to be a straight-out nightclub in the nature of the warehouses that have been turned into electronic music venues in New York and Berlin. So what you'd usually find are a few tables and sofas in place of the stage that's been set up, and a left-field DJ spinning underground tracks from a console opposite that.

Electronic gigs at the venue
Electronic gigs at the venue

Even the minimalist décor is meant to give patrons the feel of a watered-down rave. There is hardly any furniture around and the ceilings sport long, naked beams. Nawed Khan, who helped set up the club after a hospitality firm called Classic Rock Coffee Company decided to fund it, tells us that the spot earlier housed a bar which, in his own words, was quite "shoddy". "There was no thought put into it and we decided not to add anything. We had to just remove the mess," he says. The venue thus has a cavernous vibe that's suited to bass-heavy music. But Khan reveals that since the building is surrounded by residential properties, he had to ensure that he got the sound-proofing spot on. "All the walls and flooring have acoustic treatment, and my biggest hurdle was getting that completed. I basically turned the place into a large studio. That's the idea I had in mind," he explains.

So what does this mean for a city that hardly has any standalone nightclubs outside of swanky five-star hotels? There's AntiSocial that recently opened in Lower Parel. And now there's The Council. That's pretty much it. Khan says, "Ideally, every suburb should have its own club. Santacruz should have one, Parel should have one, and you should basically have them like you have McDonalds outlets outside every railway station." That sounds like a distant dream, honestly. But at least this venture is a step in the right direction. The plan is to keep it open every Friday and Saturday only with two days in the month reserved for live gigs like the one we attended. Otherwise, you'll find a deep-house DJ like the Berlin-based Acid Pauli, who's scheduled to play a gig at the venue this weekend. Attend it to get a taste of grungy electronic music in a location that's otherwise dotted with pubs and bars that, by and large, have PA systems dishing out popular mainstream tracks.

Nawed Khan
Nawed Khan

On December 6, 8 pm
At The Council, off Linking Road, Bandra West.
Cost Rs 1,200

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