Band members of Point of View bring along Bumblefoot of Guns N Roses to the city for a concert, RANJANI RAJENDRA reports

How often does a celebrity guitarist offer to launch your debut album and perform at a gig with you? Chances are never. But not when the band is Point of View (POV) and the guitarist is Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal of Guns N Roses. What started as a casual Facebook acquaintance soon turned into a lasting friendship and association with Bumblefoot for the Dubai-based POV. Today, less than a year after releasing their album, the band is on a five-city tour of India accompanied by the celebrity guitarist.

The mainly Indian band, which performed at the Hard Rock Café on Tuesday night is excited about their maiden tour in their home country. And the fact that they are accompanied by Bumblefoot only makes the whole experience better. So how did they meet Bumblefoot? “I’d attended a GNR concert in Abu Dhabi and messaged Bumblefoot on Facebook saying I loved his concert. Like it goes with most celebrities, I never expected a reply from him. But he did. In fact, he makes it a point to reply to every email or message sent to him, by no matter who.

That is how we got chatting and one day he asked me what I do. I mentioned that I was a musician too and that Point of View was working on an album. Though hesitant, I shared a couple of our mixes with him and he loved it,” says the lead vocalist Nikhil Uzgare or Nik as he is known.

One thing led to another and soon Bumblefoot agreed to launch their album in October 2012 and even played all the 11 tracks with them at the launch. Quiz the GNR musician about why he chose to associate with POV and he says, “Sometimes you just have to trust your gut. It was a great sounding album and we were in touch for quite some time before I decided to work with them. I had faith in them and we had become great friends as well. Besides, it is not just about the music these days. It is also about the people making the music. The music is an extension of them. These are great people making great music.”

The five-piece ensemble band which comprises of Nik, Chiro, Royden, Joe and Fabian, received a great response to their album and has also won several awards for their work. However, what sets this band apart from most others is the fact that they feel very strongly about charity and donate most of the proceeds from their gigs towards animal welfare.

The band, which has worked with animal welfare groups in Dubai in the past, is currently in talks with a few such charities in India to tie up with them.

Even the band’s songs are message oriented and speak strongly about issues like corruption. With most of the band members being Indians, there is a lot of excitement about performing in their country.

“We are very excited about sharing our music with more people. Since most of our music is in digital versions and in CDs, this is a great way to connect with a live audience. Besides, since ours is music with a message there can be no better way to spread that message,” says the lead guitarist Royden. On the whole though, Chiro, the drummer, says they are looking to have a blast and soon begin work on their second album for which they hope to rope in Bumblefoot for a couple of tracks.

POV captures hearts

That their gig was a huge success would be an overstatement. Simply because there was a poor turn out at the show. However, the few who did make it to the concert thoroughly enjoyed the two hour session and were seen enthusiastically head banging and singing along with the Dubai-based band and Bumblefoot. The band put up a good show with a few songs from their debut album like ‘Revolutionize’, ‘Déjà vu’ and ‘Living On The Edge’. Bumblefoot too performed a few of his solos like before they played some GNR hits like ‘Sweet Child Of Mine’, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Doors’. They even sportingly played a Led Zepplin song on the insistence of the audience. Needless to say it was an evening of good rock music that even little children enthusiastically danced and head banged to.