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Aum on the move

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Music Aum The Band is back in action and ready to rock the stage

On song(From left ) Sam Ji Babu, Preeth P.S., Joe Johnson, Daya Shankar and Balachandran make Aum the Band
On song(From left ) Sam Ji Babu, Preeth P.S., Joe Johnson, Daya Shankar and Balachandran make Aum the Band

Members of Aum The Band, an independent, city-based rock band, has been rocking stages across the country. After a brief lull, the team is back with more music. In addition to a bunch of regular concerts in and around the city, the band is looking forward to a major performance at VJT Hall on January 18.

“We didn’t take a break. There was a tragedy – our lead singer, Manu, passed away– and we had to get the right replacement. The lead vocalist is one who keeps the band live and kicking with his energy and performance,” says guitarist Preeth P.S., one of the founding members of the band.

It was Manu, Preeth, Balachandran a.k.a. Balu (bassist) and Shibu (drums) who came together to form a band for the National Youth Festival, and that association led to the formation of Aum The Band in 2005. “AUM stands for Addictive Universal Mantra. It is a play on ‘Om’, the first sound of the universe,” says Presanth P.S., who manages the affairs of the band.

In 2007, the band was judged runners up at the ‘Kingfisher Kerala Rocks’ contest and were finalists at the ‘NLS Strawberry Fields 2007’ event in Bangalore. When Shibu left, Daya Shankar came in. After Manu’s demise, the band has had two other singers before they finalised on Sam Ji Babu. An addition to the team is young Joe Johnson on the keyboard.

While Joe is a Plus Two student of Christ Nagar Higher Secondary School in the city, the others are full-time musicians and guest artistes for various bands and music troupes. Preeth has shared stages with maestros such as Shivamani, Louis Banks, Benny Dayal, Renjith, Balabhaskar and Suresh Peters. Daya has performed all across the world with artistes such as Karthik, Hariharan, Vijay Yesudas, Sujatha, and Bennet and the band, to name a few.

And what has led to their upcoming concert in January is a gig they held in memory of Manu in the capital city in October.

“A few members of Beatroute Circle, once an active forum of genuine rock music lovers in the city who often met at the Coffee House at Statue, were at the concert and they enjoyed our performance. Later, they came forward to organise this concert for they felt that our music was good enough to be promoted. It is ironical that though our band was born in Thiruvananthapuram, we were never treated as a frontline band here. Whatever we’ve achieved, has been outside Kerala.”

In fact, Aum has performed at leading Hardrock Cafes across the country.

Besides playing numbers of leading musicians, the band has been performing its own compositions. “They have had a good response from gig goers for their songs ‘Media Wars’, ‘Crying’ and ‘Ocean of Hypes’,” says Presanth.

The band has major performances coming up in Bangalore and a couple of events around Christmas and New Year in the city and Kochi. It currently plays at The Leela, Kovalam, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and for the Sunday brunch.

Athira M.

It is ironical that though

our band was born in Thiruvananthapuram, we were never treated as a frontline band here

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