Sadly this is the final India Tour Blog entry from Kan who spent their final day in Calcutta which went with its fair share of sparks and I don’t mean the fireworks for Diwali that night (read Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 in case you missed it). Don’t forget that all the artists in KAN: Brian Finnegan, Aidan O’Rourke, James Goodwin and and Ian Stephenson are all involved in other projects and bands so try to make the effort to see them whilst you can. The have four tour dates coming up in December which we’ve listed at the end of this tour blog entry.
Ian: Our last full day in India and our last workshop and concert. We headed across to the Calcutta School of Music – there was waiting for us a mixed group of music students of various ages and we taught them a groovy tune. The gig went great in the evening despite Aidan being electrocuted twice during the soundcheck! Then it was at 2am in the morning when Brian and I set off for our long journey home.
Brian: We hit the road early today for a masterclass with fifteen music students at The Calcutta School Of Music. Soon had the whole group playing Men Of Destiny from Cork piper Diarmaid Moynihan. Made me think a lot about the journey a tune can take, to be brought to life in such a way thousands of miles away from the wee corner of southern Ireland in which it was born. Hot and sweaty concert tonight to a packed hall, so many folk in fact that the organisers erected a huge screen outside in the street for the people that couldn’t get in. Hard to fathom how much life we have crammed into these six days in India, they have been unforgettable. We end tonight on the Bay Of Bengal to the sound of fire crackers celebrating Diwali. Ian and I pack our bags and begin the long journey home.
Jim: It’s all gone so quick! Our final day begins with a workshop with students at Calcutta School of Music, and we are joined by singers, percussionists, guitarists, a flautist and a pianist, some of whom we recognised from the previous night’s session. After we perform a couple of acoustic sets, Brian introduces a tune called Men of Destiny and the students set about learning it. They are encouraged to improvise over the melody and the addition of Indian scales and harmonies created an exotic air. Then it’s lunch – Chinese! – before the sound check for the evening gig. Then Aidan receives a nasty electric shock through his effects board. It transpires there’s no earth to the entire room. A sobering incident, though his performance that night was particularly charged ;-). There’s just time for an hour’s rest at the hotel before returning to a packed room, so much so that they’ve set up a screen outside to not disappoint anyone wanting to see the show. In a touching gesture we are presented with flowers before the gig, and at the end we invite all the students from the workshop up to join us for Men of Destiny. Then it’s off into the Diwali festivities to find a final curry before heading home to our loved ones. It’s been a glorious six days and nights and I sincerely hope that it’s not long before we return.
Aidan: Our final day together on tour. We have a day of teaching followed by a gig at the Calcutta School of music. Quite an array of musicians and singers arrive for the masterclass. We play a bit and everyone introduces themselves. We invite anyone who wants to demonstrate what they can play… Most memorable is a young chap who stands up proud and plays the Star Spangled Banner. A strange but wonderful moment. We teach the group a cool little tune from Ireland. The singers add some Bengali words. It works a treat and we decide to give it a go at the end of the gig that night. We go for Chinese food which was great and then get stuck into the soundcheck. I get a pretty nasty shock plugging in my pedal board and someone calls an ‘expert’ who turns up and ‘earths’ the stage power. Eek. All clear they say and I go back to it. Another shock. Not just a little buzz, but a proper, right across the chest, shock. (I’m insured right!?) It’s finally fixed and we have a great show while making sure we don’t touch anything metallic on stage! Our last night together in India so we go for a celebratory curry along with folk singer Tajdar Junaid and Dipti. We make our sad but happy farewells.
Day 7: Saturday
Aidan I fly to Bogdagra and drive to Darjeeling for a 5 day holiday in the foothills of the Himalayas. But that’s another story!
And did meet the Nepalese George Galloway.