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News |  12 Feb 2016 15:54 |  By RnMTeam

Why we need more gigs like Party La La La

MUMBAI: "Born out of the will and desire to be truly independent, as musicians" - these words are probably the best way to describe Party La La La and the intent behind its existence.

On 27 February, three bands from Mumbai will come together to throw a party, the likes of which the ‘indie music scene’ in India has missed for a long time. Post grunge band- Blakc, Hindi progressive Rock outfit- Coshish and the decade old ambassador for Heavy/Thrash Groove metal in India - Zygnema will gather at the Sitara studio in Lower Parel for four hours of a gig that promises to genuinely represent a DIY ethic, with a hope to revive the underground scene in the city.

To say the desire to curate and execute similar scenes in the city has diminished would be unfair. However, the number of such ‘scenes’ have not increased as expected. Last month, for the South Mumbai college S.I.E.S.’ annual festival ‘Thunderstruck’ held in Shanmukhananda Hall, progressive metal stalwarts Pangea and post-rock/shoegaze band Aswekeepsearching orchestrated a musically refreshing night of 'no-festival-nonsense' gig that the fans of the respective genres were craving for. For the ones who attended, the Thunderstruck gig brought back the B69 memories, as far as the nature and music of the three-hour long event was concerned. What Shanmukhananda Hall lacked from the ideal rock venue perspective, the Sitara studio provides with the proper amount of space for over 400 people.

To promote a DIY event with no extra financial muscle could be a challenging task, and the vocalist of Blakc - Shawn Pereira- acknowledges the hurdles that need to be addressed. “Party La La La provides that platform not only for the artists, but the fans to express themselves in the most genuine of manners.” The first edition of Party La La La did not have entirely the same line-up, but the assessment of the post-gig review motivated the bands to bring the event to the city of Mumbai. “After our performance at NH7, we went busking on the streets of Pune. We informed them about the idea only a few days earlier, and yet people turned out for our little jams. So we figured, why not do this in Mumbai? Plus, these bands are well-known in the city and we have always loved performing here,” adds Pereira.

Growth in a number of music festivals surely acts as an encouraging factor for the scene’s evolution, but with time, the importance of music in these music festivals seems to fade away. On how he looks at music festivals these days, Pereira says, “Music festivals are important. But right now, it has become more of a '’you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’. The headlining acts are no longer independent artists, a lot of commercialisation has taken over the emphasis on quality and that is why you only observe a few people who attend every festival, while the rest are there for the sake of it.” A dozen bands crammed into the slot of a few hours may provide the fans the satisfaction worth its money, but from an artist’s point of view, things could get a bit tricky. “Performing at these festivals is always a funny business. You perform, go back home and update on your social media – ‘Performed in front of 10000 fans’- but these fans turned up for the festival, or the headlining act. How many turned up for YOUR act?” remarks Pereira.

Alright, Party La La La sounds promising and surely justifies the need behind its existence. But how does one execute a DIY event without the support of big sponsors and heavy spenders? “That is exactly the point. DIY events are tricky. In this case, Blakc, Zygnema and Coshish have tied up with a bunch of offices, colleges and malls where the bands would perform their original acoustic sets and create the necessary awareness of the event. So far, we have over 30 venues where Party La La La will be promoted before the main show at Sitara studio on 27 February."

With cool hashtags like #diyordie and constant video releases of their ‘busking’ scenes on social media, the bands are leaving no stone unturned for a cause that may possibly re-open the doors of the independent music scene that shut a few years ago.