One of the best things about Bangalore is that despite curfews and deadlines, the city is still a hotspot for international bands and artistes touring the country. Today, as part of Seagram’s 100 Pipers – Tribute Tour Series, Elevation -The U2 Experience, will enthral Bangaloreans.
Comprising Stuart (Bono) on vocals, Alan (The Edge) and Tony (Adam) on guitar and Mark (Larry) on the drums, the Liverpool lads came together over a decade ago. In a candid chat at their hotel lobby, Mark says: “When a band sets out, they hope to be able to travel but they’ve got to wait for the perfect opportunity. We’re so privileged that the sponsors approached us, that we responded quickly and that this tour is seeing fruition.”
Excited about performing in Bangalore for the first time, Stuart who has been to India before is quick to point out: “Provincial cities have more of a music scene than a country’s capital. We’re from Liverpool that is best known for its musical heritage. There are more bands from there and Manchester than from London. So I think Bangalore is a lot like Liverpool in that sense.”
Speaking of how they got together, Alan recounts: “There was a period about 15 years ago when tribute bands were popular. We were each doing our own music and had come to a point when we wanted to explore what else we could do. I’d been playing with Mark and Tony in bands before and then I met Stuart who I instantly believed could be our Bono!” A few days after, the quartet found themselves jamming in Mark’s living room and that’s how Elevation came to be.
Given U2’s vast repertoire of songs, it must be difficult to put together the perfect playlist but Mark informs: “ We prefer to go with numbers that are more universally popular. One can’t go wrong with songs like With or Without You, New Year’s Day or Sunday Bloody Sunday, for example.”
The band has performed in different parts of the world from small venues and theatres to large scale tours. Stuart says: “Whether it is a group of 10 people or a throng of 10,000, we give our best and our all.”
In terms of how they’ve evolved since they started out, Mark says: “We evolve instinctively. We have this great chemistry among us. Being together to make memories is what we’re here for.”
When asked to describe their signature sound, Tony says: “Ours is a rockier version of U2. It is powerful and passionate.”And do they ever get requests to play music by other artistes? Mark responds: We’ve done a lot of stuff by other bands but we do it for ourselves and for fun in a rehearsal. So there are times when we play even Johnny Cash.”
They’ve all heard of Bollywood music and Mark says he’s even watched a Hindi movie. “Tony is familiar with the music of Pandit Ravishankar.” On that note, the members say they hope to be back in India soon enough.
Elevation have the rest of 2013 already charted out with gigs in the UK and a spring tour next year. They play tonight at 8 p.m. at Catholic Club.