Review: Raghu Dixit Project (@trdp) Live @TheGarageHQ

raghu dixit

Raghu Dixit Pro­ject @ The Gar­age — Wed­nes­day 26th July — Gig Review

It’s a grey day as I walk over to ‘The Gar­age’ in High­bury, a stones throw on the tube from Kings Cross. The ven­ue, which hosts an extremely eclect­ic mix of artists, is about to wel­come a five piece band from Ban­galore, India, whose fol­low­ing is impress­ively that — eclectic!

Dur­ing the early part of the even­ing, cha­ris­mat­ic front­man Raghu Dixit is remin­is­cing about parts of the UK he has vis­ited, when some­body shouts out ‘Watts Fest!’, bring­ing a grin to his face. They played the Devon based Fest­iv­al in 2010, some­thing that is indic­at­ive of the kind of loy­al fol­low­ing this group has garnered.

Kick­ing off the show with the title track of second EP ‘Jag Changa’, phones are away and feet are stomp­ing as energy & per­son­al­ity are radi­ated from the stage, and recip­roc­ated by the will­ing audi­ence — this isn’t a show, this is a party! Dixit effort­lessly goes from Hindi, to Kan­nada (the lan­guage of their home state Karnataka) which brings roars from the rowdy fans who hail from there. The homet­own pride is evid­ent too, worn as a badge of hon­our and bear­ing influ­ence on the music of both their albums.

We are treated to some of the hits from break­out EP ‘Ant­aragni’ too — ‘Gudugudiya Sedi Nodo’, a poet­ic song about smoking Hookah and full of soul is emphas­ised by beau­ti­ful Gui­tar & Viol­in solos from his won­der­ful band.

Dixit shows off his flair for oth­er lan­guages too with the song ‘Amma’ writ­ten by legendary Tamil Poet Vair­a­muthus’ son,  Madhan Karky, a trib­ute to his moth­er who helped sup­port his career (& moth­ers everywhere).

By the time ‘No Man Will Ever Love You’ hits, the broad mix of back­grounds in the room have become a sin­gu­lar con­tinu­ous rous­ing chor­us, eat­ing out the palms of the hands of the band. Even the ven­ue secur­ity in the pit bar­ri­er could­n’t help but smile and move along to the infec­tious rhythms!

From then on, they rock the crowd with a mix of songs includ­ing a pre­vi­ously unheard one, all received grate­fully by every attendee. We reach the end to a thun­der­ous ova­tion before an encore — mon­ster hit ‘Ambar’ fills the room, caus­ing the entire audi­ence to devo­tion­ally sing along to every word in uni­son — a beau­ti­ful end to a mag­ni­fi­cent night.

The band should be renamed the ‘Raghu Dixit Exper­i­ence’ because that is what they deliv­er in spades — you walk away after an hour and a half, full of joy and bound­less energy after listen­ing to musi­cian­ship at the élite level. For one grey even­ing in Lon­don, Indi­as answer to ‘Mum­ford & Sons’ brought a rain­bow to a corner of Islington.

Check to see when the band is com­ing to a city near you.

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Prash Suthersan

Prash Suth­ersan is a Lon­don Based Pro­moter who spe­cial­ises in South Asi­an Live Events & Enter­tain­ment. His pas­sion and exper­i­ence in the live music arena has allowed him to pen down his thoughts on some of the biggest acts from all genres of music.

About Prash Suthersan

Prash Suthersan is a London Based Promoter who specialises in South Asian Live Events & Entertainment. His passion and experience in the live music arena has allowed him to pen down his thoughts on some of the biggest acts from all genres of music.