There’s a huge difference between a studio recording and a live performance, and that was never more stark than at the first live show that I attended of Soular Flare at the Take 5 lounge.
The tracks I had heard online had got right into my head and I found a few of them peppy. The band pegs itself as an electro acoustic sound with an eclectic mix of pop vocals, tabla beats, electric sitar with soulful interludes of thumris and ghazal.
At the show, the classical pieces they played were the best, while the mix of vocals in their attempt at fusion didn’t quite work.
Soular Flare features Suchitra Lata on vocals and veena, Trilochan Kampli on the tabla, Paulson Joseph on the electric sitar and Srinivas Hande with Hindustani vocals.
Suchitra Lata trained in the classical veena for several years before experimenting with her music. While her studio tracks are appreciated-Paul Simon gave her the judge’s choice award for her remix of his track, “Love is Eternal”. She licenses her tracks to films and TV, and one of her songs was recently licensed to a Cannes Atelier film. Besides composing jingles, for corporate AVs and films, she’s done three solo albums so far. In the live show, however, her voice failed to captivate. It was the veena on which she played classical carnatic compositions competently that saved the day for her.
Trilochan Kampli, is the catalyst in the creation of the band and its binding force. He was the most impressive of the band, and future gigs should showcase his talent more.
A sensitive solo player and a sought after accompanist, he’s been stunning listeners from the age of 12. His fingers fly like magic over the seasoned leather of the tabla, their dexterous ease belying the complexity of the compositions.He was the most impressive of the band.
Paulson brings to life delicate nuances on the electric sitar and a rich sense of rhythm that makes the music flow with felicity. Like Kampli, he is a whole time musician and performs extensively on radio, television and stage. He proved to be an able counterfoil in the instrumental jugalbandi.
Srinivas Hande, the Hindustani vocalist, has a soulful voice but his day job as a chartered accountant obviously does not give him time to keep up his practise rigorously.
The popular opinion from the audience was that the quartet would do well to focus on classical music. Here’s a link to their music sampler: www.reverbnation.com/soularflare