The band’s songs are influenced by a melange of world music styles

Soulmate, the popular blues rock band from Shillong, could not have asked for a better opening act when they performed at Hard Rock Café in the city last week. Lagori, a Bangalore-based fusion band, gave a perfect start to Rudy Wallang and Tipriti ‘Tips’ Kharbangar of Soulmate, as they set the stage ablaze with their rhythm.

With a name taken from the popular game played with seven stones, the five-member group believes in entertaining listeners with playful music.

Loyal fans

During their 30-minute-long gig, the band got their audience to sing along to the ‘alaaps’ (tunes without words) with lead vocalist Tejas Shankar. As if his powerful vocals weren’t enough, Tejas, also the funny man of the band, entertained the audience with his antics. Lagori mostly sing in Hindi and Kannada, and have been influenced by folk styles of India. A listener can also clearly hear a melange of other influences — Hindustani, soul, funk, rock, blues and metal — in almost all their songs.

They don’t flaunt wacky or traditional Indian costumes; sporting simple kurtas, they look like regular youngsters on the city roads.

Just a year old, the band already has quite a few followers. This was evident when members of the audience requested them to play their popular numbers Kashmir and Aasma.

Urban tales

Be it Aasma or Jeene Do, Lagori’s music narrates tales of the modern urban youth. Their lyrics have a fair share of angst, but always end with a note of optimism, of hope for a better future. As the band members say, they sing about “love, life and nature”.

“The best thing is that they sing in Hindi and Kannada, bringing native Indian sensibilities to the fore,” said Sushma Sinha, who was in the audience. “Their music is a reflection of modern issues in Indian, needs and aspirations, and that is the fun element.” At times, when the performance staggered a bit, especially during a short power cut, Tejas improvised swiftly to keep the tempo alive. The chemistry between guitarists Geeth Vaz and Edward Rasquinha, and drummer Vinyl Kumar gave some well-needed cohesion to the performance.

Lagori are set to release their first album by October.

Keywords: rock band