Highway star


Abhi Tambe travels across 20 Indian cities on his Royal Enfield, performing in intimate spaces as part of his Silver Bullet Tour

Armed with his guitar, astride his Royal Enfield Bullet ‘Mosquito’, singer-songwriter Abhijeet Tambe has embarked on the Silver Bullet Tour, presented by Natsukashii, on November 21, travelling across 20 Indian cities to play 30-plus shows, covering over 7,000 kilometres. For music connoisseurs, Abhijeet Tambe aka Abhi Tambe needs no introduction. The founder of the alt-rock band Lounge Piranha (2004), Abhi, since 2011, has evolved a unique musical style, described as melodic, soulful and introspective. He has also composed music and done the sound design for theatre, films, and art projects. Ahead of his performance at Hubli, Abhi talks about why he chose to do embark on this musical tour. “The format (of the tour) combines two things that I like a lot: riding a motorbike and music. I am accustomed to long rides on an Enfield. I have ridden around South India on several occasions in the past, and also ridden through Ladakh and Kashmir a couple of times.”

Highway star

Musical adventures is not new for him, though. In 2003, he went on a six-month trip through South America and Europe, before reaching India, with his friend, Steve Clack. They recorded songs and jammed with other travellers and locals to create a fusion music album Still In Transit. In 2008, following the release of Lounge Piranha’s album Going Nowhere EP, the band went on a seven-city trip on their own tour bus. This is the first time, though, that Abhi is travelling solo and he admits that it sometimes feels like a big undertaking. “I have still not got over the panic of having started this and thinking ‘what am I doing?’ ‘Is this going to work?’” he jokes.

Road tours in the US, he says, is not such a big deal as compared to India. “Americans love road trips and they have a very strong infrastructure for live music from their biggest cities to their smallest towns. If you want to get your music heard more widely there, you get on the road and go from town to town playing gigs along the way. In India, that is not been easy to do because it is mostly the metros that have infrastructure to host a full band. For this tour I am not with a band, I am playing solo. And in recent years there has been this big jump in the house gig culture, not just in India but world wide. So now you can do intimate gigs in non-metro cities such as Hubli, Surat, Udaipur, and Bhopal places that I would have never considered visiting in the past with a band. They are perfect for a solo gig tour like this one!”

Highway star

The idea for going on a musical bike tour emerged after a discussion with Vishruti Bindal from Natsukashii. “Having my own vehicle allows me flexibility. If there are last minute changes in the schedule it is no problem, I can just re-route. I happened to have a motorbike, which I had bought about a year ago with the intention of doing some long rides. When Vishruti and I started talking about an India gig tour for me, it occurred to me one day that I might be able to do it on my motorbike. At first I thought the idea might just be a passing fancy. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it was actually a good idea. So we got excited and started planning.”

Abhi says he thought beyond performing in big cities such as Mumbai and Delhi, “A road trip like this wouldn't make sense if it was just four or five cities spaced far apart like Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi, and Chennai. You’d have to ride such a long distance to get to your next gig. But on this tour almost every gig is just a day ride (or less) away from the last one. So it works.” And he is not into flashy performances to draw in huge crowds. “I am a singer-songwriter with an acoustic guitar and a voice. I want to play small intimate shows and establish a rapport with my audience. You don’t need a lot of equipment to host shows like that.”

Highway star

He will be performing his own songs, among them the famous ‘Prodigal Son’. At the end of the tour, in January 2020, Abhi plans to launch an album in the summer of 2020. After Hubli, Abhi plans to tour Mumbai and Nasik next week.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:49:24 PM |

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