Unwind Café's recent show, Live 101, saw Chennai-based bands Goldfish, Distortion, White Lady and The Borrowed Halos perform, packing progressive, classic and punk rock into an evening of diverse and peppy music.
Goldfish took the stage sharply at 7 p.m., with Surya Goutham on lead and backing vocals, Shakti Raheja (rhythm), Elvis Ragland (drums), Akshay Shroff (bass) and Kavya Sriram (vocals).
Up next was Distortion, featuring Stefan Antony, with Reuben (lead guitars), Nitish (rhythm), Ashwin (drums), Prithvi (bass and backing vocals), and Rian (vocals). They covered Green Day, amongst other bands, before a young crowd comprised mainly of hollering teens. They were good at what they played, but the lack of mature music narrowed their appeal .
Following them was White Lady, with front man Amit Sivashanmugam (vocals), Darren Netto (lead guitars), Isai Amuthan (guitar), Conrad Simmons (bass), and Eugene Savio (drums). Heavily influenced by Scorpions, Guns N' Roses and Aerosmith, the band opened with their own composition ‘White Lady', followed by AC/DC's ‘Highway to Hell', that set the semblance for good ol' rock. Up next was another original called ‘The Next Big Rockstar'. By playing the acoustic version of Steelheart's ‘She's Gone', they managed to touch on both hard and soft numbers , making sure not to disappoint those who weren't heavy metal fans. Following this, was another AC/DC track ‘Back in Black'. When their set was over, the crowd roared for more, and White Lady finished with the well-known GN'R song ‘Paradise City'. Their covers were unusually good, and with their classic rock getup and Amit's near perfect vocals, one could only wonder why they didn't work more on originals.
The last act for the evening was the punk rock band The Borrowed Halos, with Saketh (lead guitars), Harsha Iyer (vocals/guitars), Prabhu (drums) and Anirudh (bass). Strongly influenced by The Birthday Party, Stooges and The Sex Pistols, the band played a unique set of originals that kept the crowd on its toes. They described their genre as “raw, grimy, noisy, and aggressive punk music with pop sensibilities of clever hooks and structures” that makes everyone dance. Their song list consisted of ‘Blackjack', ‘Tight Shirt', ‘Occupied', ‘Chance', ‘Through Your Gate' and ‘Asylum'. With the show-goers demanding for an encore, they neatly wrapped up their set with the track ‘Don't Stop'. Iyer's showmanship was indeed commendable.
Unwind Café's Friday Night Live 101 concerts are a great place to enjoy, in their words, “neat, unadulterated music.” It provides a platform for people to relax, interact, and learn from others, and is a site of many opportunities for those interested in original music. Live 101 has featured many well-known acts such as Null Friction, Skrat, Nerverek and more. So, if you missed this gig, make sure you are there for the next one; it's a fun way to spend your Friday nights!