Indian Ocean is a fusion music band with jazz rhythms integrated Slokas, Mythology etc. Their music has a very soothing feel. I have been a big fan of Indian Ocean for about 6 years. I had been to their concert twice before. This time around I heard that the Bengali Cultural Association had booked them for Durga Pooja Festive season. I booked my tickets well in advance. However when I arrived at the venue, I was disappointed to see a sparse turnout. My guess would be around 800 people. We had to wait for 1 good hour before Indian Ocean took the centre stage.
They started off the set with a mesmerising sanskrit sloka number “Khajuraho” from Kandisa album. It set the right mood for the evening. They followed it by playing the new song “Chand” from their upcoming Album 16/3330 Khajoor Road. By this time the organisers realised that there would be no more audience coming in, so they gave permission for people holding low cost tickets to freely enter the “privileged” sections. There was a mad rush for better seats, and no one was actually listening to the concert. I decided to sit a decent place and enjoy the music. During this commotions the wonderful instrumental “Melancholic Ecstasy” was played with hardly anyone listening. Rahul Ram (Bass player of Indian Ocean) informed that it was their very first composition. By the end of the song people have found their perfect place. Still a few buffoons were hunting for better place to sit. To get the tempo up, they played a upbeat number Jhini, which was recognised by most of the audience. Most of them joined in to sing the chorus. Rahul started talking in Bengali and the crowed loved it. Iam guessing that he mentioned that they wanted to do a Bengali Number. I never heard that song and iam not able to find it in their Albums. Nonetheless it was extremely pleasant to listen to. During this time some members of the band were trying to get the crowd on their feet and dance. They were largely unsuccessful as the crowd remained glued to their seat. All that changed with the most popular commercial song “Bhande” from Black Friday Album. Some members of the audience stood up and started head banging to that song. It was funny to watch people head-bang to a song that had no characteristic of a heavy metal number. Nonetheless it got people on their feet. The band followed it up by their lesser known song “Leaving Home”. Rahul did mention that people would not recognise the song by name, but the tune would be familiar. True to his words the crowd did recognise the beautiful tune and started dancing. After the song the crowd complained that they were not allowed to dance, to which the band replied “By whom?”. That was good enough for the crowd to push away the chairs and start tapping their feet. The song “Hille Re” did justice to the mood of the audience. It was indeed funny to watch people go wild in a semi-jazz concert. Boll Weevil was the next song and it forked into a Jugalbandi session. Excellent guitar work by Susmit and fine bass solo by Rahul got the crowd going. By this time a small group of people gathered at one corner and started howling at top of their lungs for repeat of the song Bhande. Luckily for us the band refused to oblige and continued with their set. The next song “Des Mera” was made popular by the film Peepli Live. Sure enough the crowd loved the song and were back at their dancing best. The organisers allowed the crowd to move closer to the band to dance. It was fun to watch the band groove with the crowd. The only disappointment was bad lighting. Somehow the search lights don’t seem to synchronise with the songs. The band announced that they will be closing the day with 2 more songs and wanted the audience to select the song to play. Sure enough there were screams all over and it was decided that the last two songs would be “Ma Rewa” and “Kandisa”. I personally love both these songs and i just sat back closed my eyes and listened to these songs being played. It was as if by magic it started to rain when the mention of “purity of water” in the song Ma Rewa. It was indeed a night to remember. I would catch them live again if they happen to come to Bangalore again.