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“Totully Tullified!”

I see that my smart cat has kept you updated on my moves. It’s true, I’ve been distracted lately.

But first things first. Let me tell you what happened yesterday.

For starters, I had nearly left my entry pass to the Tull-Chaurasia show behind. I remembered at the last moment and scurried back home to retrieve it!

Then, on the ride to the venue, I suddenly noticed a January 31, 2004 date printed on the pass.

My heart did a double take. It sank. I had trouble breathing.

Did they accidentally send me tickets for the wrong day? Had I missed the event I had been preparing for the whole of the week?

Then across the other corner, I noticed the February 1, 2004 date printed. Aaahhhhh….. I let out all my relief.

Reached the venue nice and early. There was quite a crowd. All dressed up for the show. I passed my time looking around. There was a woman in tight leather trousers. Another in a shiny black and white top with silver thingies dazzling in the light. I thought I’d accidentally strayed into the wrong hall. But the average age of the people around was enough proof that it couldn’t possibly be a boy band concert!

The Homi Bhabha auditorium is a pretty decent hall. The seating arrangement is good and you get a decent view even from the last rows. Unless a really tall guy sits in front of you, that is. And it’s quite compact fitting a little over a thousand people. A lot of people apparently missed out because of the size of the venue. Ideally, a concert of this nature would have been perfect at the Rang Bhavan, which seats about 5000 people. But apparently the government has sent a directive against holding such events there because of noise pollution.

The evening began on the dot (what a surprise) with Chaurasia and his accompanists. Worth mentioning is the tabla player Vijay Ghate, who was really good. The tabla is a really rich instrument and it’s quite amazing the depth and variety of sound that can emanate from it, especially under the hands of an expert player. I really enjoy live Indian music, especially jugalbandis.

Then it was Tull’s turn with the team of guitarist Martin Barre, keyboardist Andrew Giddings, bassist Jonathan Noyce and drummer Doane Perry who came on stage. Ian Anderson then followed assuming his trademark flute and piper position.

What followed was a truly amazing session, a feast for the ears, especially for Tullaholics who have grown up with their songs and were finally witness to their masterful performance in person.

They performed many of the classics. Living In The Past, Nothing Is Easy, Bombay Valentine, Thick As A Brick (an excerpt), With You There To Help Me, Bouree, a medley of songs (Songs from the wood, Too Old to Rock ‘n Roll, Heavy Horses), Aqualung, Locomotive Breath.

Of course, it would be impossible to accomodate all of them. And most were accompanied by a minimum of lyrics, with Anderson singing just portions of each song. But it was pretty awesome watching him juggle between his flute (s), his little guitar (which he said, makes him look big!) and his vocals of course. Barre displayed his prowess with a few mindblowing guitar stretches.

The last bit was a fusion performance by all the artists and though it was Anderson and Chaurasia who were supposed to be in the spotlight, the guys who stole the show were Ghate jamming with drummer Perry. Brilliant.

What can I say? I wish the concert would have lasted longer. It just wasn’t enough. I could have sat there and listened for a few hours more! The band apparently were catching a flight back to England the same day, while Anderson is off to Goa for 4 days along with his wife. So if you glimpse a long haired guy with a flute on the beaches of Anjuna and Calangute, you’ll know who he is!

Came back to Bandra and grabbed a midnight coffee and a burger at Mac’s to break the long journey back home. While paying off the cab guy, he said he didn’t have change so I had to part with an extra 10 bucks. ‘You don’t have the change or you don’t want to give me change?’ I asked him rather nastily, banged his door and then walked off.

A few minutes later, inside Mac’s, I heard a jangling noise and the cab driver holding up my house keys in front of me. I had dropped it on the backseat. I felt like a little insect just then.

The day before, I watched Maqbool, yesterday Tull and am hoping to catch the third installment of LOTR on Friday. I think it’s the week of cultural excess for me, but I’m not complaining!


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