Agam, a seven-member Carnatic rock band, performs on Monday at The Music Academy

The phenomenal response from a ‘knowledgeable’ Kochi audience thrills Carnatic fusion band Agam no end. The Bangalore-based group put on a stellar show in the port city last week during the The Hindu Friday Review November Fest, coaxing the once fringe fusion concept into the mainstream. “It was phenomenal, one of the best crowds we have played to in recent times. They were incredibly knowledgeable, and also very supportive towards our experiments,” violinist Harish Sivaramakrishnan says.

The eight-member band is in perfect harmony on stage, but getting an SUV-capacity bunch of folks together for jam sessions and shows cannot be easy. Harish states that it is the “belief” that carries them through. “You always have time to do what you believe in, if you truly believe in it. That’s how we manage our day jobs and the music. There are instances where we turn down shows, but it has almost never been singularly due to work conflicts,” he says.

Agam’s unorthodox musical style cannot be neatly stocked in one shelf at your favourite music store, it is a complex mix-and-match which defies easy labelling. Was it hard to assemble musicians for a band which combines such peculiar and intricate interests? “Since most of us had grown up in a similar music atmosphere, listening to lot of straight rock and fusion, our inclinations and inspirations converged over the years,” says bass guitarist Vignesh Lakshminarayanan.

The band puts the knowledgeable Chennai crowd to the test with a performance at The Music Academy on Monday (7.30 p.m.), as its packed November Fest tour makes a stop in Chennai.

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