The Bartender serves old wine in a refreshingly new bottle!
I’ll be honest. The words, “Come to Sky Lounge near Novotel, Juhu for a music launch” didn’t inspire a lot of confidence within me. But the moment I arrived at the venue last Wednesday, I was in for the first of several pleasant surprises.
For starters, the place was well designed, spacious and open air (Sky Lounge, get it?) And the event was the music launch of Mike McCleary‘s album in honour of Big B’s 70th birthday. Mike is musician Lucky Ali‘s brother-in-law and the New Zealander is quite a talent in his own right (some of you may have already heard his edgy compositions in Shaitaan & David).
Mike’s band The Bartender has undertaken a musical journey across several of Senior Bachchan’s movies and presented his classic numbers in completely new and delightful avatars. The band’s efforts have been assisted by Saba Azad, Shalmali Kholgade (of Main Pareshaan fame) and Anushka Manchanda (we all know and love Anushka!)
There are many reasons you will like this album. From the choice of songs (Thodi Si Jo Pee Li Hai to Saara Zamaana to Khaike Paan Banaraswala) to the excellent renditions by the 3 girls of what were originally songs sung by male playbacks!
But the only reason I’m buying it is that this is not a remix album. After a long time, someone has tried his hand at retro bollywood and actually added something to rather than taken away from the classics. Mike’s mastery is resplendent in Anuska’s cabaretesque Inteha Ho Gayi and Saba’s jazz-n-soul Dilbar Mere.
His magic is complete in Shalmali’s Kabhi Kabhi (my personal favorite and the crowd seemed to agree). They even premiered two new videos from the album!
The night saw many celebrities like Aayushmaan Khurraana (such an A lister!) and Rahul Bose. Ramesh Sippy came on stage to launch the album. A pity Mr. Bachchan couldn’t launch it himself. The music certainly deserved it. Take a bow, Mike McCleary.
PS. Mike McCleary is hiring! He sent MissMalini this message so if you think you fit the bill give him a shout :)
“Hey Malini, I’m looking for a new person for my team, job description below. If you’re happy to share it on your blog that would be great. Mikey”
Looking for an extremely organized, intelligent, well-spoken person to be Mikey’s personal business manager. The person will be working in a variety of ways to further Mikey’s career in music. The job will have a lot of room for growth but will require a real self-motivator. Interested people can email Mikey directly at email@example.com.