Apr 21, 2011

Crunchy OFF, Heavy Alice in Wonderland

Content: Nagaland bands Original Fire Factor (OFF)
                                           Alice in Wonderland

Jumping Bean’s menu for Friday April 15 was a crunchy (OFF) Original Fire Factor and an explosive Alice in Wonderland. The youth and music hangout hosted the 2009 Hornbill Rock winners and complementing the band, the young but gifted Alice in Wonderland, for the April 15 edition of the café’s popular Friday Night Live. 

The course for the night was protest and angst packaged in the time-tested tradition of rock. Liu Tzudir and OFF led the café’s patrons into streets that had no names and introducing them to a musician called Bono. OFF began the evening’s gig by climbing on high mountains and running through the fields with the U2 classic ‘I still haven’t Found what I’m looking for.’ After the poignant classic, OFF performed a rockish version of Lionel Ritchie’s ‘Easy’ before floating into ‘Where the streets have no name,’ another of U2’s classics. The Kohima-based singer and entrepreneur Theja Meru passionately sang the number in almost every show during his early Dream Café music days and OFF’s rendition elicited strong reminiscences of most Kohima performers’ passion for U2. 

After leading the café into nameless streets, OFF introduced the patrons to one of the band’s originals ‘Mr. Selfish’ – a crunchy, blues-driven rock piece “about me” as Tzudir explained. Arguably one of the classiest funk rockers in the state today, OFF demonstrated huge technical command and rhythmical finesse with ‘Mr. Selfish’ and with the second ‘Save me’ another of the band’s harder-hitting works. Concluding its gig, OFF decided that it was time to hand the microphone over to Alice in Wonderland and played ‘I Just want to go,’ easily one of the protest rocker’ grooviest blues rock works.

Young but bristling with unmistakable potential for musical distinction, alternative/core rockers from Kohima, Alice in Wonderland, added to the crunch of the evening’s dish.  Alice in Wonderland had won the sixth Best of the Best Nagaland Art Fusion rock contest in Dimapur in 2010. Primarily playing core metal and alternative rock, AIW proved to be a startlingly tight band. That they were a new band did not reflect in their musicality and performance. They played a number of ‘unidentified’ flying numbers of no-nonsense metal slabs; nonetheless demonstrating potential with their distinct harmonization and easy musicality, not to mention of their extremely natural showmanship.

Earlier on Friday, the eighth, Kohima metallers Black Rose performed in Jumping Bean. Azha Usou, of ‘The Last Serenade’ (2008) fame, leads Black Rose. The next Friday Jumping Bean would be hosting a group of young hip-hop performers who would be dishing out ‘their own thing’. The hip-hoppers are young, fresh, still in school, and needs more than just a hearing, Jumping Bean’s management informed. That the café has been at the forefront of offering free platform to local musicians since 2008, Jumping Bean hopes encouragement and support would come for the young performers.  

(Photo Courtesy: Jumping Bean) 

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