That’s right, one of my favorite Bombay band’s have just finished their month-long tour in Edinburgh and Ryan Sadri (aka their sexy saxophonist) filled me in on the rest of their epic tour!
It’s been done!! Finally finished our maddening 24-gig run from the 5th to the 29th of August at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival!!
So much for the “Tour Diary” I’m afraid! It was so totally non-stop… barely had any breathing space. Thought I’d write you a little recap of the entire month so here goes…
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the place to be whether you’re an artist or a lover of arts. It’s officially the world’s largest arts festival purely because it runs for an entire month and attracts so many different acts, tourists, artists from all over the world. Edinburgh is a small, beautiful city and the Scotts are a truly wonderful, beautiful, warm people. During the Fringe, there are over 2000 venues to choose from. It’s amazing to see how churches, halls, museums, offices, parks, parking lots, shops, tents, graveyards, restaurants, caves, tunnels all get converted for the duration of this month into some form of a festival venue or the other.
There’s a lot of stand-up comedy which is what this festival is reputed for as well as theatre, musicals, bands, hybrid genres, art galleries, literature… you name it! Its impossible to see all the good stuff even if you’re here for the entire month. There weren’t too many bands like ours around for the entire month which sort of worked in our favour in creating a buzz around town.
Each act has one venue where they perform at a set time every single day of the festival. The ‘Feels Good 2B Live’ show was at 10:30pm every night at the highly reputed – Universal Arts’ New Town Theatre on George Street which is one of the more prominent locations in Edinburgh. Tomek and Laura who run this venue and their entire crew were fantastic people to work with. The New Town Theatre had a great programme to choose from which had a nice mix of oriental and western cultural performances. Among them was a Chinese Circus act; a solo performance by Rodney Bewes of the famous ‘Three Men in a Boat‘; an unmissable act by Rainer Hersch who is coming to the Comedy Club in Bombay this October!! as well as a brilliant Flamenco dancer named Miguel Vargas and his troupe of dancers from Seville, Spain who we hung out with a lot of the time.
We also caught a lot other amazing acts at other venues like comedian Jim Jefferies, the Axis of Awesome (the best comedy rock band ever!), Soap (fantastic musical), Camille O’Sullivan (beautiful singer & band), The Soweto Gospel Choir (from South Africa), The Zambezi Express (african music & dance troupe), The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Zakir Hussain who performed to an American Ballet Troupe lead by Alonzo King, Shooglenifty (a band who plays funked up traditional Scottish folk music… v cool!), Jennifer Coolidge (aka Stifler’s Mom so did a comedy act about her take on Hollywood!) and a whole bunch of other super acts.
Over the 24 nights at the Mysterious Theatre where we performed we had some insane dance parties! Festival crowds make incredible audiences as they’re always spirited and looking to have a good time. Crowds wouldn’t wait past the second song to get off their seats and fill the dance-floor for the rest of the night! Also at every show we gave away a gold “Feels Good 2B Live” medallion to the person who danced the best. Was so hard to choose winners on some nights cause everyone was on the floor! So this one time we actually had to give it to the one person at the back of the room who was sitting throughout the show… the Fringe photographer!
The Fringe is a true stamina test for any performing artist because you have to maintain the intensity of your performance each and every single night. There are times when there aren’t too many people in the audience and suddenly the next day you have a full house so it can be quite grueling for performers to keep up the tempo every single night regardless. Attracting people to your show is also a challenge when you’re participating for the first time ever and are suddenly one of 2000 performances in one city! Busking was a totally new experience for us and we got the hang of it as the month progressed and had a lot of fun with that in the process. I gotta say that we truly surprised ourselves by the end of the run when we still had some juice to spare! We were on a real high throughout and the responsiveness of the audiences was amazing!! It helped that we kept shuffling our setlist around. We performed about 10 tunes each night and had a good 30 odd songs to choose from. So it kept things fresh through the month for all the musicians on stage as well as our listeners.
Here’s a reviewer’s POV of our gig.
And here are some glimpses of our gigs at the Fringe:
We collaborated with a number of musicians and dancers at the fest. On one particular night, towards the end of the festival, we called all the musicians friends we’d made over to one gig for one massive jam. We picked the song ‘The Chicken’ by Jaco Pastorius to jam on. So on stage we had 2 bassists, 2 saxophones, 2 trombones, 1 trumpet, a bagpiper, 2 guitarists, 4 percussionist, 2 singers, 1 keyboardist, a drummer and 4 flamenco dancers! We got plenty of video’s which we’ll be uploading on our website: www.somethingrelevant.org so have a look there. We’re also going to be releasing a “Live at the Fringe” album very soon. There’s also quite a few stories which you won’t find on our website or anywhere else except over a beer after a gig somewhere. For eg: Mid month we brought in JJ’s birthday. As we were walking through the streets from one pub to another we bumped into none other that Jennifer Coolidge (aka Stifler’s Mom from American Pie) whom we’d gotten to know over the past few weeks. She gave JJ a ‘birthday hug’. Have a look at his face :)
This was an exciting, big step for the band into unknown waters (talking about the entire Fringe experience not just JJ’s birthday hug) and is a new beginning for us. We hope to be playing many more festivals and tours through UK and Europe in coming months through the contacts we’ve made at the Fringe. There’s a lot of great music being churned out of India which would do really well in these markets too and I’m sure we’re going to have many more indie bands from India hitting the road soon. Imagine an Indian Indie music festival in London!! Bet you’re gonna be there for sure! Exciting times :)
But before that, come by Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai on the 23rd for our long overdue debut Music Video Launch :)
Leave you with our trailer for now: