Listen to a legendary Bangla rock band concert in Mumbai

Mar 14, 2018, 10:46 IST | Shunashir Sen

Not a single audience member was left seated in the auditorium within five minutes of the starting of the gig

Rupam Islam
Rupam Islam

We had once been for a Fossils concert in Kolkata. It had been an almost religious experience, because imagine the sort of fervour that a gospel band - playing rousing music in praise of the Lord after Sunday mass in a church - might elicit from the pious congregation.

That's the sort of energy we had seen around us while watching the Bangla rock band live. Not a single audience member was left seated in the auditorium within five minutes of the starting of the gig. Many had taken over the aisles, dancing as if their lives depended on it, with hapless security personnel having given up all hope of restoring order. And front man Rupam Islam was prancing around belting out hit after hit, taking on a practically demigod status with his onstage avatar.

The audience at a Fossils concert
The audience at a Fossils concert

None of this is hyperbole, and now, Islam and company are bringing their infectious music to Mumbai. Fossils' sound falls within the hard rock spectrum, infused with elements of psychedelia. The lyrics often deal with myriad afflictions that beset the human condition, such as poverty, loss of affection and drugs. All the words are in Bengali, however, which is precisely why two generations of angst-riddled teenagers from the eastern state have found such a connect with the band's music that it has cut deep into their psyche, as we experienced for ourselves at the live gig.

But what sort of audience response does the band get when they perform outside of West Bengal? Does the language barrier prove to be a burden? Or is it that music itself has such a universal language that the lyrics, at the end of the day, don't matter as such? "I would disagree," Islam tells us in answer to the last question. "As the lyricist of the band and someone who is also an author, the words I write are extremely important to me. But yes, there might be three kinds of people who come to our concerts. People who love us for what the lyrics convey to them, those who like us for both the words and the music, and others who listen to us for the music alone. And of course, we are happy if all of them come for our shows," he says.

Islam adds that for tomorrow's performance, they will be playing songs from the band's last album, Fossils 5, as well as some older material. "But I can tell you this - we will only be performing our biggest hits," he reveals, meaning that if you do go for the concert, don't expect a seated audience. Instead, expect the sort of musical mayhem that threatens to bring the roof down.

On March 15, 8.30 pm
At St Andrews Auditorium, 55, St Dominic Road, Bandra West.
Log on to
Entry Rs 750 (cover)

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