Campus Rock to Revels Pro-Show: Lagori’s tryst with Manipal
About 10 years ago, Fahrenheit, a young band that performed hard rock, progressive rock and metal, found cheap accommodation at Hotel Sushma during their stay in Manipal. The band was here for Battle of the Bands, which also served as a qualifier for Campus Rocks. Winning the zonal round, the band soon went ahead to perform at the national finals.
About two days ago, music bands from across the country fought it out yet again in this year’s Battle of the Bands as a part of Revels’17. The event was followed with a pro-show performance by Lagori, a well known name in the professional band circuit, who were accommodated at the (not really cheap) Fortune Valley Inn.
Lagori, by the way, is what you could call Fahrenheit 2.0. Starting off in school, the band would see members come and go and tastes change before becoming Lagori, named after the game of seven stones played in this region.
In a telephonic interview with The Manipal Journal, Geeth Vaz, the band’s electric guitarist and general manager spoke about the band’s tryst with Manipal, the band’s growth over the ten years, nostalgia at a second defining visit and more:
Ten years ago, the band participated in Campus Rock (one of India’s largest inter-college rock music competitions) as Fahrenheit, in Manipal and it provided a great boost for the band. What difference did you observe between the 2 visits? Any significant changes?
The crowd here was exactly the same, electrifying as always, just the way I had pictured it to be. We had a great time back then and an awesome day at Revels too. The whole vibe at the MIT quadrangle was really nice. It’s a private space which resonates with energy.
How has the journey from a participating team to a pro-show band been like?
This entire tenure has been an incredible one. A decade ago we were just another college band playing hard rock metal, competing at various events. I remember performing at KMC Greens for the Battle of the Bands back then. Manipal is Manipal… Playing in front of a similar crowd after all these years stirred a feeling of nostalgia amongst us.
What fond memories did Sushma Lodge bring back to you? Where did you stay this time?
This was our second visit to Manipal that too after a long period of time. The last time we had hired a tempo traveller from Bangalore to Manipal and driven 500 kilometres to participate in Campus Rock. Our preliminary rounds were held at Kalyana Mantapa right next to Sushma Lodge. That lodge was the cheapest accommodation we found at that time and it was an unbelievably, enjoyable experience. We won the competition in Manipal and qualified for the national level. It remains one of our most memorable performances till date. This time we were staying at ITC Fortune Valley View; sums up the 10 years I guess.
In a previous interview, the band members mentioned that Gokarna has inspired Lagori’s lyrics. Tell me more.
Tejas is very fond of Gokarna, he makes it a point to go there whenever he finds time. Our first few songs that we wrote were based on nature and it was inspired by the beauty of that place.
‘Boom Shankar’ is widely accepted as an electrifying song. How did this song come into being?
Thanks for saying that (laughs)
Back in 2012, when we wrote this song all we had in our mind was to create a fun song, something that the audience would get hooked on to. ‘Boom Shankar’ just fit in well with a chorus which we already had and the entire song was woven around it. It doesn’t even have an exceptional beat or anything. After a couple of shows we figured that the people really enjoy it and then we tailor-made this song.
Among all the Bollywood songs that you’ve performed live which one has garnered most audience attraction?
People have mixed opinions regarding this; I’m really not sure about any particular song. Whenever we’re at a venue we try incorporating a local song in our performance. For instance, during our show at Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh we worked around a Telugu song and rearranged it in our track list. The crowd went berserk; barricades were broken down. During our gig at Jorhat, Assam we went impromptu with a Bihu song and the audience loved it. Similarly, a Malayalam song in Kerala sets the mood for the local people. This I feel is the most important while establishing a connection with the masses.
What are the ‘Lagori Beer Adventures’? Are you truly India’s first ever band to brew their own beer? How did you conceptualize this idea?
(laughs some more)
We are friends with a Bangalore-based company that launched our beer in May 2015. Narayan, the owner of the brewery, Big Brewsky was explaining the entire process and I just said that we should collaborate and make our own beer. He called us over to the brewery and we discussed the flavours we liked, that would depict our elements and we finally designed ‘Lagori Amber Witbier’. We even did a gig around it and got featured on Economic Times.
With the overwhelming response at the show in Manipal, would you deem it better than your (favourite) past performances at NIT-Calicut and DTU?
(laughs a lot)
You can be completely honest about that.
Manipal has a really good, educated populace. People here know their music well. It conducts fest that are most sought after by most bands across the country. NIT-Calicut, DTU and MIT ranks on the same pedestal when it comes to fests and live shows. The audience at these locations is so lively and pumped up that it energizes us too!
Lagori is a fusion band that blends Rock, Funk, Pop and Indian Classical inflections in their music. The band comprises Edward Rasquinha (acoustic guitar), Geeth Vaz (electric guitar), Tejas Shankar (vocals), Vinyl Kumar (drums) and Shalini Mohan (bass). The band performed on the third day of Revels 2017, as a part of the Pro-Show ensemble.
Featured Image: Julius Pereira
Edited by: Soumyajit Saha