In fear of sounding like the Uncle Sam of live music, when was the last time you heard a band perform. Live!!!
There are about 12 active music venues in Mumbai. That is 9 more than 2001, including two five-stars that have Lobby Jazz. There is a band performing around every corner, in every pub and every club. Mumbai seems enthused, and the only explanation I can fathom for this drastic growth syndrome is originality.
While bands that play covers have always been around, Mumbai owes this insurgence to the dawning realization that originality has a lot more character than its carbon copied counterpart. American Idol's Simon Cowell knows it, and even the 200+ bands in this city know it. Audiences have begun to appreciate new ideas, new thoughts and the resultant performance art.
Exciting times ahead - the Internet and Radio is streaming new music locally and globally; plugging the next best thing and even the TV channels have got into the act with Reality-type-Talent-contests. But is that enough?
The media is doing its part but the drawback is that live music is only available to people in small pockets, and also not to people with little pockets. Clubs try, but as deceptively inclusive as the word sounds, it also is not somewhere you can go as a family. And how many of us music lovers can afford the entry?
The stark truth is there aren't enough venues to showcase all the talent available in this city. With the demise of Rang Bhavan, (those darn silent zone restrictions), we have lost a valuable outlet to our city's expression. But this is Mumbai. From necessity arises invention. Art festivals dedicate stages to musicians. Mini-movements reviving the bandstand culture also represent a large interest group of people that love live music.
There's a bandstand revival going on currently. Head to Hanging gardens Saturday evenings to check it down. Satisfaction guaranteed.