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CATHERINE RHEA ROY
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MUSIC Thermal And A Quarter leave on an invited international tour — Three Wheels, Nine Lives

Thermal and a Quarter, which in a nutshell is Bruce Lee Mani, Rajeev Rajagopal and Prakash K.N., has for over a decade responsibly represented a the community of Indians who think and speak in English. “Musical exports from India have always been Bollywood, Indian folk music, classical music,” says the band's drummer, Rajeev Rajagopal, “Music that is meant for the Indian audience abroad is a very small percentage of a cross-over audience. What we are doing is playing on an international stage for an international audience — taking India to the world, in a language the world understands.”

This time the band is being sponsored by La Bella, the company that guitarist Bruce Lee Mani endorses. Says Bruce, “For an American company to want to showcase us abroad is a big deal.” The group's music has always addressed India and shown off the local lingo. “Yet we have always been accused of aping the west, but if some guy makes us look like apes, it is okay,” says Rajeev.

Thermal and a Quarter understand and recognise that there are many great Indian bands who create original music. Says Rajeev, “We play original music that is a reflection of the chameleons we are, and are not imitating somebody else. There would usually be set lists of songs that they wanted us to cover, and when we started playing our own music we received a lot of flak. So being invited to play our music to an international audience is a big deal and not the tour itself.”

Named after a song that has not been recorded, Thermal And A Quarter will leave for their international tour titled “Three Wheels, Nine Lives” from March 13 till March 29, starting at the Mosaic Festival in Singapore and then head to America where they will play in New York, Dallas and Point West. The tour will be followed by the launch of their fifth album. The details of their tour are available on their website www.thermalanda quarter.com

CATHERINE RHEA ROY

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