Gig Alert: Sridhar/Thayil
Sridhar/Thayil are probably the most adventurous set of musicians we know of. The duo of singer Suman Sridhar and guitarist Jeet Thayil make a distinct brand of electro-pop, one that’s spiked and injected with liberal doses of spoken word, rock, jazz and blues. But this would be, at best, a loose description of their sound. Last November, they staged a two-person opera that showcased both Thayil’s storytelling skills (he’s a poet and an author) and Sridhar’s singing and acting background (she’s a classically trained soprano). They’ve spent much of this year tweaking their sound for a number of off-kilter collaborations. These included appearances in the avant-garde variety show The Medicine Show, and concerts that paid tribute to Andy Warhol’s Factory and Woodstock.
Expectedly, there will be some experimentation on the cards when they take the stage at Blue Frog tonight. For one, they will appear as a five-piece band with Paul Rodrigues on trumpet, Amit “Amz” Ahuja on bass and Viru Kaith on drums. “A lot of the songs that were using programming before are now completely live,” said Sridhar, who will be playing the harmonium on crowd favourites “Punk Bhajan” and “Bring Me Rain”. “We’re weaning ourselves off the laptop.” Among the dozen tracks they’ll perform tonight will be three songs they’ll be playing in Mumbai for the first time: “Psycho Activated”, “Presents” and “In The Morning”. Also look out for “Molasses” a song that was born out of their reworking of Richie Havens’s “Freedom” which Thayil performed at the Woodstock tribute gig in August.