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Tuesday, July 31, 2001

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The rock alternative

FINALLY, HERE'S music for the ears, fresh out of Chennai's rock vending band-machines. On August 4, Museum Theatre will rock with five of the city's bands playing their own compositions.

Ashok Cherian's SoundSuite and Michael Muthu's The Buzz is putting together the `Diggin Deeper' concert featuring Little Babushka's Grind, Wood, Octane, Cosmic Debris and Buddha's Babies. (For tickets call 4460984)

The day before the concert, Vineyard Centre will have a jamming session featuring Unwind Band, Bonesaw, Joose and No Idea as a part of its weekly Friday Live 1o1 sessions. (For tickets call 3740858)

Suddenly, rock's made a comeback to the city and like what! The city that once boasted only of the December festival suddenly seems to have discovered alternative music to keep itself engrossed in the middle of the year. A major credit to that would go to the Vineyard Centre.

``Actually, we floated The Buzz to have weekly sessions in theatre and music. But then the sponsors were not happening at all. So the weekly events became fortnightly, fortnightly became monthly and then once in a while,'' says Michael Muthu a.k.a Mike.

Now, in association with SoundSuite, he hopes to bring about a revival of sorts, making The Buzz series of shows more regular than before.

``Ashok wants each of the five bands to record their own albums through the production house,'' adds Mike. Ashok Cherian, one of Chennai's vintage rock musicians, today heads Cosmic Debris.

Ashok Cherian and his band mates Sanjay (guitars), Shaun (bass) and Vasanth (drums), incidentally, were on stage on Friday at the Vineyard Centre, performing at the Live 1o1 series of concerts - playing own comps. An electrifying performance.

But before they took to stage, David Pascal and Keith Peters paid a soulful tribute to musician Jojoo who passed away last week. Incidentally, Jojoo had performed at Vineyard just three weeks ago at the Vineyard.

A teary-eyed David left the audience captivated with `Can you feel the love tonight' with Keith chipping in with the bass. After a session of Soapbox on `Would Chennai roads be more organised if everyone rode bicycles', Saroop Mathew, Praveen George, Mario and Ranjith went jamming on stage, bringing the crowd up on their feet, making them sing along `Live 1o1-1o1- 1o1'.

The musicians who will take to stage at the Diggin Deeper concert at Museum Theatre on Saturday are:

Little Babushka's Grind: Arjun (Bass and Vocals), Avneet and Aum (Guitars), Praveen (Flute/Vocals) and Vasanth (Drums). Profile: Alternative.

Wood: Rehan and Vishy (Guitars), Sundar (Drums and Vocals) and Arjun (bass). Profile: Progressive.

Octane: Lionel (Vocals), Gerard Joseph (Keyboards and vocals), Rajeev (lead), Pradeep (bass), Shiva (percussion), Immanuel (Drums). Profile: Progressive with a touch of Jazz (Fusion).

Cosmic Debris: Ashok Cherian (Guitars and vocals), Sanjay (guitar), Shaun (bass) and Vasanth (drums). Profile: 70s- 80s with a little progressive touch.

Buddha's Babies: Sanjeev, Vedanth, Cliff and Benny (Acoustic guitars and vocals with bass, drums and a violin too). Profile: `Harmonic' Rock.

By Sudhish Kamath

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