Putting the spotlight on bands
A gig in Lower Parel will involve bands playing stripped-down versions of their songs
There were of course bands like The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin in the '70s that tore up the stage at concerts as if they were looking to start a riot. But there were also some people, like Johnny Cash for instance, who sometimes got up on stage simply with their guitars and played easy-listening tracks for an audience that was largely seated. And even today, there are times when artistes such as John Mayer start a gig with a full band set-up, before the rest abruptly leave the stage in the middle so that the front man is left seated to perform a purely acoustic song, like Free Fallin' in Mayer's case.
It is this tradition of musicians sitting on a chair with the spotlight firmly on them that The Barstool Project, a property that debuts at a Lower Parel eatery this weekend, hopes to celebrate. The evening will involve four diverse acts playing their softer numbers or stripped-down versions of the heavier ones sitting on barstools, with single spotlights illuminating their presence while the rest of the restaurant is dimly lit. The outfits for the first edition are singer-songwriter Taba Chake, indie folk act Ink of Bard, Hindi rockers Daira and hip-hop artiste Shah Rule. They will all play acoustic renditions of their music, which will also allow them to see their own songs in a new light.
Shariekh Farooqui, a brand executive with a music magazine that's co-organising the event, tells us, "You know how there were these blues kind of set-ups around the '60s and '70s, where one artiste sitting under a single spotlight would play a showcase with people around listening to the music? That's basically where the concept of The Barstool Project came from, and it is just a way of getting artistes from across the country to come in and do something different from what their recorded music is."
That's why, Farooqui adds, Shah Rule won't rap over layered beats courtesy a DJ, as he's wont to do. Instead, a guitarist and percussionist will accompany him, providing the sonic background to the rapper's verses. Similarly, Daira — which usually plays a pretty heavy brand of rock 'n' roll — will have its members play stripped-down versions of their songs, which, singer Piyush Kapoor corroborates, will offer them fresh perspective on their existing material.
A live video that will be shot while they play is a further takeaway for the acts. They can later use it on social media to widen their fan base. "Our entire intention is to give lesser-known indie names a leg-up," Sheikh says and for that, we give him and the eatery's management two thumbs up for this effort.
ON September 26, 7 pm
AT Lilt, Mathuradas Mill Compound, Plot 242, NM Joshi Marg, Lower Parel.
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