Mumbai: This gig on a bus at Marine Lines should not be missed!

Updated: 15 November, 2018 08:59 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

An annual gig with a reconstructed bus as the stage returns this weekend


The first time we had attended Off the Roof — an annual multi-act event in the city's musical calendar — was in 2014, its second edition. It was the first time that a gig was being held at Byculla's Richardson & Crudass, a defunct manufacturing unit for engineering goods. And it was also our first year in Mumbai, having moved here from the comparatively barren musical landscape of Kolkata. So, we were naturally curious about how a big-ticket concert in a funky new venue would pan out and eventually — it must be said — our socks were knocked off.

That's why we went back there the next year with high expectations. But such was our luck that the heavens opened up during our cab ride to the venue. It hadn't been a gentle pitter-patter either. So by the time we reached, the gig had been called off mid-way, leaving nattily dressed youngsters sloshing in the mud, scampering for cover from fat blobs of rain.

Amit Trivedi performs at the 2015 edition

Opportunity beckons
The next two editions were then shifted to a venue right off Marine Drive, with the sea as the backdrop and the setting sun making a guest appearance. Unfortunately, we had missed out on both occasions due to pressing issues. But now, we have the chance to make amends and finally attend the gig a second time when Off the Roof returns for its sixth year this weekend, with a line-up that has something for everyone.

An eclectic set of performers, though, has been a feature of this event right from its inception, since 2013 witnessed a post-punk band like The Supersonics share the stage with hardcore metal outfit Scribe, live electronic artiste Dualist Inquiry and folk-rock act Swarathma, among others. "Our philosophy while programming this gig has been all about equal representation. So over the years, we have had alternative rock, electronic acts and Bollywood as well, to name a few genres," says Dharam Saraviya, who is part of the events management company that's helping set this show up.

Amit Trivedi performs at the 2015 edition

Another mixed musical bag
It follows, then, that the list of acts this year includes The Ladies Compartment, an all-women project that plays a mishmash of jazz, blues, indie and Carnatic tunes; Madboy/Mink, who have shifted gear from an electro-funk to a space-disco sound with their last album; and The Local Train, a Hindi rock act from the national Capital.

"But we feel that the pulse of the musical situation in the country right now is centred on hip-hop, and we want to support that mood. So we are ending the show with DIVINE and Raftaar, with the latter also lending his Bollywood flavour to the occasion," Saraviya informs, adding that the weight that Raftaar adds with his Bollywood music is something that would appease the masses in the 4,000-odd expected audience members, part of whom, unless misfortune befalls again, will be us.

Time November 17, 5 pm
At PJ Hindu Gymkhana, Nethaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road, Marine Lines.
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Cost Rs 499 onwards

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First Published: 15 November, 2018 08:16 IST

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