After riding across Kerala, the Oorali boys make a pit stop in Bengaluru with a unique project
MARTIN John C, Saji Kadampattil, and Sudheesh KU arrived in Bengaluru last Saturday, riding 400 km from Palakkad on their Royal Enfields. But it wasn’t a weekend trip the members of the Kerala-based Oorali band had set out for. Their bikes, and the roadtrip are the integral part of their new series of gigs, called Oorali Art Bullets. Beginning in April, the trio has been touring Kerala, sometimes stopping by villages, to stage their signature music-meets-theatre acts. They did have to modify the bikes, borrowed from a friend, by adding a few carriers to accommodate their two guitars, cajon, djembe, and speakers.
Their guitarist, Kadampattil shares the many reasons of kicking off the project (calls it an “adventure for survival”). “During elections in Kerala in April, we hardly played any gigs. And as artistes, we couldn’t hold ourselves back, so we thought we should explore other venues, ride into the interiors and find new audiences. We also run Oru Bus Natakam, where we (a bigger line-up of artistes) travel in an open bus, stopping in different locations to perform. Between a bus and bike, the latter is any day more cost-effective, isn’t it? Also, now that it’s raining heavily in Kerala and outdoor shows stand a chance to get cancelled, it’s a good time to step out of the state.”
In the run up to their gigs here over the weekend, they held street performances to spread the word. Kadampattil, 35, says, “Our aim has always been to take art to people. We know that our act is appreciated by them, so we must find ways to reach out to them. We have performed at bus stands, in temples, and on roads.” Their shows will feature a mix of Malayalam, English and Spanish songs, blending together Indian folk and reggae tunes, and talk about consumerism and politics. Since Oorali is part of Sadhana Centre for Creative Practice, a performing arts initiative, these artistes also employ theatrics to interact with the audience.
The group plans to get back to their ‘bus’ once monsoon ends, and have a video shoot and a number of recordings lined up.
July 22 (At Numa Bengaluru) & July 23 (At Oo Heaven). Rs 300 upwards. Details: 9645789205
— Barkha Kumari