Day 3: Tuesday
We flew to Bangalore which is the hometown of our new friend Dipti. We’d spent a good bit of time communicating by email and phone prior to the tour so it didn’t feel like we were strangers when we met, which was nice. Dipti now lives in Mumbai and she’d been very excited about showing us her home. It was much cooler (temperature and mood) and greener (just greener, more trees..) than Mumbai and we all seemed to relax a bit. The boys chilled and I went for a wander with the local girl. I ate on the plane so wasn’t hungry so Dipti chose to eat in one of her favourite haunts. This was the Egg Factory, a restaurant dedicated to making a huge variety of meals with, you guessed it, eggs as the main ingredient. Sounds a bit, eggy, but was actually pretty great and I couldn’t help getting involved. This trip has been an adventure through spices so far. Everything is heavily but perfectly spiced. Including all the egg dishes. I had to do another telephone interview (this was maybe my twelfth, which can be a bit tedious but is all good in the end) so we did this one at a great wee ice cream parlour by the roadside. It was good to experience the neighbourhood eateries. I really loved the feel of Bangalore. Slower and with more air. But then again after Mumbai I think most places would feel like that. (I did like Mumbai by the way…)
Day three saw us fly to beautiful Bangalore, the garden city. This was my favourite city of all, it’s gorgeous green trees everywhere and such a nice calm (relatively speaking!) vibe, and a gorgeous warm but not overbearing heat. We ran a workshop as a kind of ‘meet the band’ session where we played some music acoustically and talked through our creative process, there was (as usual) much interest in my guitar pickups and octave effects and some participants even resolved to attend our Wednesday soundcheck to take a closer look! I’m considering printing out leaflets to explain this, it’s all I ever get asked about after gigs! Also attending the workshop was my old friend Raghu Dixhit, a brilliant and incredibly funny and personable singer songwriter who I had worked with 6 years ago during my last trip to Rajastan, and he was on great form!
It’s an hour and a half’s flight to Bangalore. It’s blessedly cooler and greener here. The afternoon is free to relax before the only call of the day, a session and talk on folk music with some local musicians at the British Library. We play four tunes acoustically – we’re finding a new collective voice with this as we’re asked more often to perform on the hop – and there is a Q+A session. The Indian people we have met so far have been warm, humble, generous and unfailingly polite. They’re passionate too, and the talk rapidly turns to heated discussion. Afterwards it’s time for a curry, which is just fine by us.
Dawn in Mumbai, light through ancient Banyan trees along smokey avenues.
Chai bubbling in the shadows of street food stalls, humanity, everywhere.
Woken up by the sound of a car horn, what a place India must be for a horn salesman! Like whale song or morse code, Indian drivers have a complex language of communicating emotion through the blast of a horn and man, do they like to use it! Little melancholic to be leaving Mumbai so soon, but Dipti, our guardian angel, assures us Bangalore, her home town, holds promise of a mighty adventure. She’s right, Bangalore, capital city of Karnataka state may not have the mystique of Mumbai but it’s a city crackling with possibility.
10/12/13 Tewkesbury at Roses Theatre
12/12/13 Driffield at Moonbeams
13/12/13 London at Kings Place
14/12/13 Gateshead at Old Town Hall