Rocktoberfest, Day One, Decibel at Samrat Hotel, Delhi

I’ve never been comfortable with discotheques as venues for rock shows. They’re cramped and the sound from the drums and the bass guiter tends to drown out the vocals and the lead, particularly in the mosh pit, where the speakers were placed. In fact, my ears began ringing at times, and even as I sit here and type this – They’re still ringing. But I’m happy, cause it was one hell of a rock show. And hey, discotheques are air-conditioned. 😀

Kingfisher Rocktoberfest began in Delhi on an extremely loud note. Joint Family, a band that I’ve never heard before, started things off with a lot of thrash metal, or whatever it is that you call screaming into the mike, words that people can’t understand, or don’t want to. Don’t get me wrong, the guitarwork was quite good, though primarily bass. The crowd seemed to enjoy it, but I wasn’t able to get myself to headbang much. Not my kind of music.

Decibel has two floors and soon enough there wasn’t much place left. The balcony was full and the seating was grossly inadequate. But then again, who goes to a concert to sit? Certainly not me. The mosh pit was certainly in the mood – jumping, headbanging and shoving, and enjoying getting shoved around; what was surprising was, that with all that running into people, and shoving everyone around, not a single person fell over.

Everyone was waiting for Them Clones to take stage.

I’ve heard Them Clones play four times in the past year: at the British Council, at The Great Indian Rock, at Turquoise Cottage and (I think) at another concert at Hamsadwani Theatre at Pragati Maidan. They’re showmen. They play the same songs again and again, and yet you seem to enjoy each and every performance. This time, they played the usual Rage Against the Machine numbers, and a couple of their original compositions, including Zephyretta, which is acoustic. What differantiates them from most other bands that I’ve come across is the way their intensity, and the way they involve the crowd.

Them Clones

I wish, though, that they’d be a little more adventurous with their song selection- I’ve heard ‘Killing in the name of’ at every single one of those Them Clones gigs. At the British Council, on the eve of GIR, they’d played Pearl Jam covers quite well. But don’t get me wrong – there are very few bands that can work up the crowd the way they do. I wonder if they have to even practice these songs anymore – they play them so well. And, of course, I’m usually right up in front. If you’re interested in their music, do go to and download Zephyretta. I still can’t believe they didn’t win GIR this year, given that their performance was the best of Day One.

A lot of people were shocked when No Idea won GIR, including me. Them Clones are a very tough act to follow, especially on home turf. Which is what made things difficult for No Idea. After all the jumping (my feet are aching), the screaming (my throat hurts), and the shoving (I probably have a few bruises) and headbanging (my neck hurts), they brought give us No Idea.

No Idea is a lounge act. Their lead singer has a lovely voice, their music is original, soulful, and very well composed; some really neat lead guitarwork there. The problem was that after the adrenalin rush that Them Clones had created, this just killed it. The first couple of songs hardly had anything impact on the crowd. The same crowd that was jumping around was now squatting on the floor, spent, but listening.

No Idea

Midway through the second song, people began leaving. Sad, but if you’re going to be lost in your own world while singing and don’t play the crowd, they’re going to get bored. I’ll play their CD, but I will probably not sit up and take notice of the song. ’twas alost 1AM when they began their second song, and I left. (Note to Crudo: they weren’t as bad as we’d initially thought. Toro probably didn’t get a you-know-what. ;))

The next gig is on the 16th, at Mirage. I’ll probably go for that. And better photographs next time. Promise. 🙂


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  1. I liked Decibel with its two floor deal…not sure how it is when the drums and bass gets into the ears…but i believe it would be a great deal thing…

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