Sridhar/Thayil rock Galle and go international!
Many in Sri Lanka wouldn’t know
who Sridhar/Thayil are but as they become popular while playing all over
India, did you know that this band had their first gig at the Galle
Literary Festival in Sri Lanka? Speaking about the experience, they
said, “We had just begun working then and tested out a set for the first
time live at Galle. Until then, we hadn’t even heard our sound on big
speakers, and there we were playing the hottest party night at the Galle
Festival”. Further adding,
“They loved the first performance so much, they scheduled us for
unplanned shows, back to back, including a 9 am gig for children with
Vikram Seth!” ‘This Be The Beat’ was an instant hit, which is the very
first thing the duo wrote together, a sexy spoken word chant to a reggae
dance hall-ish groove. “The audience’s unanimous and overwhelming
response was the answer to our hunch that this was bigger than either
one of us— Sridhar/Thayil could go anywhere!” they said with a smile.
Banding together in late 2007, Sridhar/Thayil comprise a lady with a
shaved head called Suman Sridhar and a guy in a frilly red skirt called
Jeet Thayil. A lyrical pop duo originating influences and ethnical
diversity from New York, Mumbai and Hong Kong, their sound is pretty
different from traditional music.
“We began collaborating late 2007 in Bangalore. The songwriting
happened first, in a burst, in conversation, over tea, scribbled on
napkins, in my dreams! It was an instant artistic connection” they said.
Jeet Thayil is a performance poet, guitarist-songwriter, and author of
four books including These Errors are Correct (Tranquebar, 2008). Suman
Sridhar is a singer, actress, and songwriter. She grew up in Mumbai with
Carnatic and Hindustani classical music and trained in Western classical
music in New Jersey, USA, where she sang with jazz bands.
The pop duo like experimenting with a devilish melting pot of “urban
grime” thrown with a pinch of “sexy groove music” to offer a dainty dish
for any innocent by-stander. Once they hit, you’re bound to be taken
over. Sridhar/Thayil also have given birth to their baby project, The
Flying Wallas: Opera Noir, a two-person contemporary opera production.
Performing internationally after their maiden gig in Galle, they have
performed at the Southbank Centre (London), Sula Fest (Nasik), Prithvi
Festival (Mumbai) and will perform this Sunday at the Love Hotel at Ai
with gigs on the 5th of March at nUDElhi and 7th at the Palms, Gurgaon.
Sridhar/Thayil was named one of 9 ARTISTES TO WATCH from 2009 by
Rolling Stone magazine and was recently awarded Emerging Band of the
Year at the 2009 Jack Daniel’s Rock Awards in India.
S/T play a range of characters as part of their live act encompassing
a demented preacher, a three year old, a drowning man that really exudes
their raw talent rightfully.
Blessed with a charismatic
personality on stage and still continuing to radiate thus, Dalreen’s
‘Life of Song’ Part 2 concert is now on DVD, within easy reach of music
lovers not only for personal enjoyment at present but for posterity as
well. “I was determined that this Part 2 concert was going to be
spectacular and different and according to reports, I’m glad it turned
out to be that. The show was choreographed by Senaka de Silva and all
the outfits in black and silver were designed by Michael Wijesuriya.
The stage set was like a New York Broadway show with appropriate
lighting and the Ballroom at the Galadari Hotel was just ideal to make
all my dreams a reality,” voices Dalreen in that typical characteristic
style of hers which is loaded with exuberance. In fact, when she gets on
stage to sing, her style, her exuberance in putting over a song is
The music well chosen included not oft performed Western and Sinhala
songs. Before we delve into the personalities appreciation must be made
of the music of the supporting band The Gypsies whose arrangement and
performance of the music was extremely dynamic, tight and highly
professional. Rani Waas’ guitar work was a pleasure to listen to and
with his magical touch, he gave the songs a special kind of identity.
Dalreen’s opener ‘The Music in Me’ epitomised the singer who always
maintains as in the words of the song “Music is my first love.” Her solo
items were Help, Come Together / Give Peace A Chance, He’ll Have to Go
given a twist, Knock On Wood, the Rod Stewarts’ Have I Told You Lately
and more. She sang duets with a galaxy of singers which included Sunil
Perera, Rajitha of Misty, Geoffrey Fernando of Purple Rain fame, Gavin
Senn, Melantha Perera, Mariazelle, Shyami, Kevin Almeida Ayesha,
Damayantha and her daughter Tahani and members of Aquarius.
The tribute to Michael Jackson performed by Kevin endorsed Kevin’s
versatility, in an entertaining ‘Black or White.’ The Sinhala songs
included Aye mae Katha saw Dalreen duetting with Sunil Perera and her
baila medley took the audience through Ran Maneka, Tikki Tikkiri, Praana
Hathak, Chuda Maneka and Nalavena. There was no doubt that Life of Song
Part 2 contained a collection of songs that had an attraction all their
own, so different from a concert where you can predict what the next
song will be.