Something Relevant
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Something Relevant

Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India | INDIE

Mumbai, Mahārāshtra, India | INDIE
Band R&B Funk

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This band has not uploaded any videos

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"Something Relevant: Feels Good 2 B Live"

The web site of Bombay’s Something Relevant features creative, graphic novel-esque art, teeming with often-overlooked details of urban life. A dog eating out of a discarded drum. Autos swerving left and cars skidding right. A man, arrow through the heart, wondering who shot him. A giant, black, and slightly goofy monster towering over a charming rendition of Bombay’s skyline. (Okay, so it’s not exactly true to life.) But in many ways, Something Relevant’s music is exactly like this: carefree, detailed, a little larger than life, and full of the vibe of an imaginative, pulsing Bombay.
Self-described as a group of “typical Bombay boys” with a penchant for food, basketball, Rang Bhavan, and performing in Bombay’s dwindling number of gazebos in outdoor parks, the band consists of seven members, all alumni of St. Xavier’s College. Something Relevant, in their highly anticipated debut album ‘Feels Good 2 B Live!’, have created an album buzzing with the energy and feel of both a live show and a live city, encapsulating their natural flair for live performances into about 35 minutes of optimistic goodness.
The album is full of easy solos (guitar, saxophone), clean and crisp production, and a traditional set-up, which the band manages to turn around into a sound of their own. The band doesn’t try to impress the listener with flashy tricks or practised speed. Instead, it banks on pleasant, laid-back buoyancy, easy on the ears and fun to listen to. The concept of a good jam band, not to mention the mentality and personality required for the creation of one, is somewhat rare in the Indian scene, and Something Relevant, in this regard, is in a league of its own. Simply put, Something Relevant’s album sounds like India’s answer to Dave Matthews Band.
The album kicks off the with “Mr Invisible”, a great song with an outrageously catchy chorus (“Now tell me / Who you think you are”). Talented drumming and keyboards sync perfectly with the bass, before a winding solo meanders into the music. “Horn OK Please”, a humorous take on Indian traffic, and the eponymous phrase seen on the back of many trucks, is a fun track; a crescendo of the plethora of noises found on the road segues into their trademark slick confidence.

The best track on the album, however, is the poppy “Aaha”. Within the first 30 seconds, the laid-back guitars, the addictive chorus, and the clever lyrics get you hooked. This is Something Relevant’s crossover hit, the one that can propel them from a live act (albeit a hugely successful one) into a band of household-name status. Lyrically, it’s a break-up song, but given the non-stop fun of the song, you forget that lyrics even exist. Maracas and saxophones make perfect interludes into this upbeat song, making it sound like a jazzier Vampire Weekend.
“Eddy on a Roll” takes things down a notch; the mellow saxophone and Aazin’s smooth vocals make it easy to visualise this song being performed in, say, a lounge, more than at a manic rock concert or a breezy park. What could be a nondescript song is transformed into something better by the frequent interludes of staccato beats, throwing the vocals into sharper relief. “The Comfort Song” starts slowly but breaks down into an almost Jamaican concoction of sunny pop and sunnier optimism.
“Harry Mole”, a behemoth track (the original is nine minutes long, and the radio edit is over seven), begins as the sonic equivalent of a film noir movie, or perhaps a murder mystery. The story of a lovesick character called Harry Mole unfolds over the duration of the song, peppered with details that make you smile (“Met him on a train last time / Said he had someplace to go / St. Mary’s Church, I guess”). It is this knack for storytelling, coupled with the dizzying jazz solos and the zest of a Mexican party, which makes Something Relevant so good.
From the scatting on “Tomorrow” to the funk on “City in a Situation”, Something Relevant’s debut album captures the essence of a live band. This is not an album that’s supposed to introduce you to the band. It is an album that should serve to make you reminisce about the times that you’ve seen this band live, because that’s how Something Relevant should be experienced.
Every track on the album can probably do well on the radio; such is Something Relevant’s wide appeal and accessibility. The album itself is more like a collection of singles rather than a cohesive series of songs. However, this proves to be their biggest undoing: while all the tracks are individually good, they sound somewhat similar while listening to the album at a stretch.
Overall, “Feels Good 2 B Live!” proves to be a unique record from a popular and talented band. A listen through the entire album is guaranteed to put you in a good mood. If Something Relevant can take the energy they’ve exhibited on this, and add just a tad more innovation, then we can really expect great things from them in the future.
- Split Magazine


"Feels Good To Be Live - Album Review"

Spirit of the yuppie, sensitive youth. This quite describes the debut album of this boy band from Mumbai. Something Relevant has been on the gig circuit for about six years now. Its members — eight of them — are a talented bunch who write their songs and set them to music that forms an instant connect with the urban youth patched between hope and despair, trust and distrust, a happy-go-lucky youth and the call of duty-bound manhood.

The album has eight tracks, their wordings drawn from the myriad dilemmas of city life, love, loathing and even traffic jams. That the city (Mumbai) itself is on a churn finds way into their song “City in a situation”. The lines are loaded, full of reflections nuanced in tiny details. The result: not bad. But the tracks that stand out are “Mr Invisible”, “Aaha” and “Eddy on a roll”. On hearing them, don't be surprised if you tap your feet to the guitar strums, the thuds of the drum, the saxophone octaves, the magic of the percussion beats and the lilt of the piano. And of course the delightful voice of Aazin Printer. - The Hindu


"Refreshingly Disorienting"

Feels Good To Be Live is a formidable confirmation of Something Relevant’s creativity.
By Mathures Paul


Charging the microphone with a manifesto of sorts, Something Relevant comes across as refreshingly disorienting, pro-experimental but anti-avant garde on their debut effort, the cockily titled Feels Good To Be Live.
Hitting listeners with the intellectually challenging lyrics of Mr Invisible ~ “Have you ever been there / Standing in corner / Not knowing what you want to say / Have you ever been there. / All alone, seeking solace – / In front of this microphone…” ~ the team of Aazin Printer (vocals), Tanmay Bhattacherjee (lead guitar), Stuart DaCosta (bass), Ryan Sadri (saxophone), Aalok Padhye (percussion), Luis Chico (keyboards) and Jehangir Jehangir (drums) have truly outgrown the simple handshakes on the basketball court at St Xavier’s College that led to the group’s formation to become a leading light of the emerging alternative scene in India.
Impossible to bracket the group with generic terms, the selection of tracks score high on technical mastery, both vocal and instrumental, thus speaking volumes about the young group’s versatility which is complemented by gliding lyrics and free-flowing imagery, like in Aa1ha or Tomorrow (I’ll Be A Working Man).
Held together by a fine streak of optimism, Something Relevant is not subsumed into the standard jazz, funk or R&B formula, instead they go on to highlight the extent to which each is instinctively attuned to the others’ requirements.
If Comfort Song verges on bathtub jazz with its “I’ll show you love, make you feel brand new… / When you fall, I will be there for you, / That’s what I’ll do, / I’ll pick up and wipe those blues away… / Cause it’s a long road out tonight… / I know we’re going to make it alright / When you see the light”, Harry Mole is brilliantly dark.
You don’t have to go by the illustrative jacket of Feels Good To Be Live to pick up a copy of Something Relevant’s debut album. - The Statesman


"Mumbai makes them feel good to be alive"

Mumbai-based band Something Relevant is out with its debut album, Feels Good To Be live. The Guide tuned in

"The city is one of our biggest influences," says Jehangir Jehangir, drummer for Mumbai-based band Something Relevant. You believe him too, soon after the eight-member ensemble's debut album Feels Good To Be Live is placed in your hands.

Not exactly an advertisement for Mumbai Tourism, the sleeve features everything from road rage to murder victims, and dabbawalas to movie posters. There's also a snide cartoon of a tiger holding up a "Save The Tiger" banner. So, yes, Mumbai certainly is an influence.

It's in the music, too -- the lyrics of the track Horn OK Please, the bluesy melody of Tomorrow, or album closer Harry Mole, which sounds like the last song played before a small bar closes for the night.
"We all grew up in the city," adds Jehangir, "and a number of tracks on the album reflect that."

How these eight guys -- Aazin Printer (lead vocals), Stuart DaCosta (bass), Tanmay Bhattacherjee (lead guitar), Aalok Padhye (percussion), Ryan Sadri (saxophone), Armeet Panesar (trombone), Luis Chico (piano), Jehangir (drums) -- came together is a whole other story. What they do on stage is what ought to matter, considering they clearly love to play live.

When asked to describe their music, the drummer mentions an emphasis on emotions rather than the need for a strict verse-chorus-bridge format. The influence of jam bands like the mighty Phish is obvious, and Jehangir also lists Dave Matthews Band, Kings of Leon, James Brown, The Beatles and Miles Davis, among others.

As an album, much of this holds together. The I'm so high refrain on Aha is infectious, Eddy on a Roll is mellow, and The Comfort Song is a definite surprise. It's sweet, poignant, and like something Bob Marley and Paul McCartney would collaborate on, were they to find themselves on a Borivali local together. Though one suspects much of this would sound better live, primarily because the fluid nature of the arrangements makes it easy for the musicians to slip in and out of predetermined roles.

Like thousands of other Mumbaikars, Something Relevant also miss performing at Rang Bhavan. Their message to the powers that be: "This is a venue of sentimental and emotional connection to the music-loving community. Can't we reach some sort of compromise?" Like them, a large number of us live in hope.
Something Relevant, Feels Good To Be Live, Relevant Records, Rs 250. Available at all leading music stores. - Midday


"Getting Jiggy with Jade"

Mumbai: After a long wait, popular jam band Something Relevant finally released their debut album Feels Good To Be Live recently. After listening to their CD, Heritage Jazz (a music organisation) offered the band to do a couple of gigs in Goa. People loved it so much that the band got offered two more gigs.

“We were offered a college gig so we extended our stay in Goa. Then we also did a show in the courtyard of a chilled out Goan guy called Armando Gonzales. It was lovely,” says bass guitarist for the band, Stuart Dacosta.

Interestingly, the band bumped into Mick Jagger’s daughter Jade Jagger at the gig, who was accompanying her boyfriend DJ Dan Williams for his tour. “She was there at the club we were performing at. She was quite sweet and spoke to us for quite some time. We had discussions on music with her,” says Stuart.
There are many sly references to the state of affairs in Mumbai in their songs and in the artwork in their album. Another interesting aspect of the album is that each song was played from start to finish about four or five times, and the band together selected which version they felt sounded the best. The band has been performing all the songs on the album which include Aha and City in a Situation, Tomorrow, Harry Mole and Eddy on a Roll, Horn OK Please, Mr Invisible and Comfort Song at their concerts.

The band has been soaking in the sun at band member Louis’s villa alongside performing at various places. Goans have also been allowing the band to sell loads of CDs and merchandise. “All of them have allowed us to sell our CDs right after the gig and we have managed to sell a lot. In Mumbai, many places, especially some club chains and big clubs, have policies about not allowing bands to sell. We respect their policies. But look at the Goans, they are so chilled out,” he smiles.

- DNA


"Something Relevant is soon going to jam with the police"

Mumbai: The rhythms of a brass band will challenge the jazzy tunes of a jam band when in a unique act the police band will rock the stage with Something Relevant (STR). The bands will play at the Hanging Gardens on Saturday as part of an ongoing initiative to revive the bandstand culture. It will go on till May.

The boys from STR are kicked about the innovative collaboration. “We got just an hour to do a rehearsal before we go into the final act. The police band is totally disciplined and military-like while we are the junglees! So it should be fun,” says STR bass player Stuart, adding, “They are well-trained and can read notations very well. They are way better than us!” The jam session will be a good mix of jazz and pop as the police band does play some Police and Madonna!

SB Singh, bandmaster with the police band, has trained professionally through the Lesson In Military Music Examination (LMME) after his retirement from themilitary. He’s excited as they have never played on a professiona l level with a civilian band. “It’s an amazing experience for us to play with a civilian band. We had a lot of fun. Also, people will become aware that the police band plays good music and different kinds of international and Indian songs,” says Singh, who can play all the instruments in the band.

Thirty out of the 61 band members will play with STR tomorrow. The band has instruments ranging from clarinet, trumpet, flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone to Oboe, French horn, drums and percussions. Stuart thinks that it’s all about spirit and taking music to more people. “The revival of the bandstand culture can take music to people who cannot come to pubs or clubs to watch independent music. And jamming with the police band is to make it more of an experience for us and the audience,” he says.

- DNA


"Something Relevant"

A jam band from Bombay, I'd say they dont get any fun-ner than Something Relevant! A unique smooth sound, the band draws its influence from artists such as Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Grateful Dead, Dispatch, Buena Vista Social Club, Thermal and a Quarter, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan, Bela Fleck and the Fleckstones, among many others! Their music covers a wide range of styles like jazz, blues, reggae, rap, rock - almost everything. I haven't had the opportunity to watch them perform live yet but youtube helps some in seeing these guys perform and the only thing that comes to mind when you listen to their music and watch them perform is that they seem to have tons of fun. Their occasional on-stage theatrics, their improvs, the smooth, flawless music makes them a supremely great band! They have a pretty erratic line-up but the most stable members are Aazin (Vox), Stuart (Bass), JJ (Drums), Aalok (Percussion), Luis (Piano), Tanmay (Guitar) and Ryan (Sax). Their song 'In the Kitchen' seems to be quite the favourite and is most definitely my favourite track. They came up with it while they sat one of the band member's kitchen in the night after a long day of performances- the song is very random with funky beats and a laidback fun attitude that seems to characterize Something Relevant. They also cover my favourite bands and do an awesome job at that, making them all the more great in my eyes! I'd definitely recommend checking them out and seeing for yourself what Fun these guys from Bombay truly are! Catch their videos on youtube and also explore their site. You can also get their songs from www.soundclick.com! But best of all, catch them live at one of their gigs- I bet nothing would beat that experience! - Grapevine


Discography

'Feels Good 2B Live' (2009)(Deep Emotion Publishing/ Silk Road/ Universal)

Radio play in India on major FM stations.

Photos

Bio

‘Something Relevant’ (aka STR), the Mumbai based band has been a driving force in the Indian independent music scene since 2003.

When the band started (2003), there were no places to play in the city, so STR played at every chance it got, and ended up playing in bars, slums, parks, on the streets, schools, protest rallies, churches, weddings, neighborhood festivals, metal shows, colleges. As a result, STR developed a cult following in Mumbai that included people from many walks of life.

The band released it’s debut album ‘Feels Good 2B Live’ (Silk Road/Universal Records) in December 2009. In 2010, the band toured extensively across India, UK and South Asia to promote the album.

STR gathered rave reviews at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and was chosen as Mervyn Stutter’s ‘The Pick of The Fringe’ .

STR was nominated as ‘Band of The Year’ at the 2010 Jack Daniels Rock Awards and performed at the award ceremony in Mumbai in Jan 2011.

In 2009-10, STR was honoured by the Mayor of Mumbai and The Ministry of Tourism for it’s involvement in the ‘Revival of The Bandstand Culture’ project.