Carnatic music is revered worldwide but its soulful vibrations are rarely felt in north India, especially Delhi.
South Side Story, an experiential music and food festival organised by Red FM, is changing this trend by bringing two regional indie bands from the southern states of India to the capital. Thaikuddam Bridge from Kerala and Agam, a Bengaluru-based contemporary Carnatic rock band will be performing in Delhi today.
Chendavadyam, a percussive ensemble of drums from Kerala will welcome visitors at the venue. Also on the cards is the traditional Keralite feast, Sadhya, curated by Delhi-based restaurant Mahabelly and a theatre show which will showcase tales from the princely times in the south.
The bands, highlights of the festival, will offer the best of Carnatic rock, pop and electronic music to the audience.
Vocalist, violinist, and founder of Thaikkudam Bridge, Govind P Menon, says the band has performed in north India before and he finds it delightful that people enjoy its music even if they don’t know the language.
“Music itself is a language and can survive without any lingual roadblocks. And mutual respect is what makes these barriers disappear. We are not saying ignore or let a language fade. But to get used to the fact that every language has its culture, lineage and impact. Respecting that can go a long way, and help you enjoy it more.”
Menon further delves into their interesting medley of songs in Malayalam, Hindi and English. “The soundscape of the band is built upon elements of folk and classical sounds of India interspersed with layers of progressive, pop, ambient and electronic textures.”
Few popular songs by Thaikkudam Bridge are Fish Rock, Urumb, Saalaikal, Navarasam, One, Theevandi and Chathe.
“The band literally had its inception near Thaikkudam Bridge at Thaikkudam, Kochi, in early 2013, and that’s why the name.” With its 15-member team from parts of India, it appears that the band’s key strength lies in its diversity.
Agam, too, is innovative in its rendering of the music and plays variable classical notes with heavy-duty guitar solos.
“Most of our songs were from the Golden Era of Carnatic written by the Trinity of Carnatic Music. We’ve also taken songs from Tamil literature, like Thirupaavai for one of our recent EPs titled Thoomani Madathu,” says guitarist Jagadish Natarajan.
According to him, the band started off as a bunch of college friends trying to make music and have a good time.
“Over time, we evolved our thought process. Even in our various collaboration, one of those win Coke Studio, is to maintain the Carnatic essence of our songs. One of our goals, is to make sure our audience have a good time while taking back the thought that Carnatic is still relevant and very much in vogue,” says Natarajan. And it is likely that Agam will perform their popular numbers such as, The Boat Song, Kooth over Coffee, Swans of Saraswathi and Rangapura Vihara.
Tickets available at Bookmyshow
At: Zorba the Buddha, 7, Tropical Drive, Delhi
On: 7 September, 1:00pm onwards