Sunday, July 1, 2007

Someplace Else

It was a Friday night and first impressions were not much to write home about, when I stepped into the tiny corner of the Park hotel, that is Someplace Else. True, it looked like a stereotypical pub, with dim lights and that haze in the air, a sure reminder of all the injuries to my health that awaited me. The music was appropriately retro, but I was expecting something grander! After all the recos that I had read and received from acquaintances, this place was in my imagination a vast cavern where rock lovers congregated to pay homage to their dear, departed gods. Seeing a little room which could hardly seat 30 odd people, I felt a little short-changed.

Since we were already there, we decided to stick around till the band showed up. It was around ten when the band started to tune their set-up and a steady stream of people poured into the pub occupying every last inch. The stereo system phased itself out and let the band take over. And as the rhythmic strums of "Have you ever seen the rain" built up, the charm of the place took hold!

Rock is an ideal breeding ground for "phoneys"( Borrowing that exquisite term from Holden Caulfield), for those long-haired, black T-eed chappies who think its cool to scream f**k every alternate word, and repeat "Rock rulez" like a mantra, but in reality would be hard pressed to tell the difference between Linkin Park and The Doors. Not to say that all similarly turned out fellas are "phoneys", but the ones that are, spoil the reputation of the others!

But here was a place that appreciated CCR as much as it jammed to the grunt of Audioslave. Where the Beatles came head-to-head with Van Halen, and walked out in peace. When Knopfler was enamoured by the charms of Avril Lavigne, and even Pink Floyd's grim reality seems to carry a positive vibe. Its the canvas where the entire palette of colours that encompass rock comes together and forms a masterpiece. The band on-stage assumes the role of a tour guide through the rock-n-roll hall of fame, and this guide is not averse to breaking into an original song or two.

As the guitars scream, and the drums thump their martial beat, everyone sings along only to have their own voice overshadowed by those who are better off doing the singing (i.e the musicians on stage) . Somehow the crowd does not matter anymore, and there is that feeling of being part of one common mass. Yet there is a powerful emotion as you connect and identify with the song at a personal level, that its just you and the music. As every carbon-copy week at the office draws to a close, there is only one place you want to be. Come as you are, come away to Someplace Else.