BANGALORE: Saturday night was certainly a night to remember for the Bengali community, as a unique tribute concert to the pioneers of Bangla rock, Mohiner Ghoraguli, gave fans a chance to once more relive the magic of one of the most iconic acts of the genre.
Combining elements of rock and jazz music with themes from every day Bengali life and incorporating a chamber orchestra, Mohiner created an eclectic, wide-ranging sound that spanned a number of musical genres at the same time. And Levi's First Rock, organised by founding member of Mohiner Ghoraguli Ranjon Ghoshal, certainly captured that spirit of diversity with a grand stage show of 31 instrumentalists and eight vocalists. In both age and style, the collection of musicians encompassed a great range, from grey-haired original members of the band such as Bula Chatterjee to maestros in their own right such as Hindustani slide guitarist Prakash Sontakke to younger musicians such as Anubrata Ghatak, who did an admirable job on the acoustic guitar as well as conducting the Atelier Musique orchestra. Hauntingly beautiful, sweetly comic and just plain rocking by turns, the ensemble led the audience through a well-rounded, wholesome package of emotions and expressions.
Besides giving the audience some great tunes to listen to, the organiser's had some charity on the cards. As the ensemble performed, painter Hiran Mitra made visual magic in his corner of the stage by creating two art works live. These impromptu works were donated at the end of the evening to the Bangalore School of Music and to the Concern India Foundation to be sold or auctioned at a later date to raise funds.
Of course, bringing together the creative energies of 31 musicians is no easy task, and many parts of the performance did suffer from a lack of cohesion and tightness. Though the ensemble brought to the stage more enthusiasm than technical skill, there was more than enough nostalgia going around the room for the evening to be a hit.