Thursday, February 28, 2008

Week One: Love us two times, Venky

I’m not terribly good with first impressions and even less adept at predictions, but this has to be said. I’m all for believing that Week 1 is going to prove to be very accurately indicative of what we’re in for, throughout Season 3. On stage there was character, freshness, a sign or two of great performances, the whiff of originality, and more than a smattering of some truly stunning vocal ability.

In order of appearance, Mayank, Mrs. JJ, Martin and Tania bridged the gap between Season 2 and Season 3. They were there to remind us of how, in some cases, appearance matters (Tania offered to let us stand under her umbrella baby, uh-huh, uh-huh) and how some things never change. I truly enjoyed the nostalgia. Mayank was entertaining as always, with his teddy bear take on Steven Tyler, Martin was a sentimental gentleman with Robbie Williams’s Feel and JJ looked like a brand new bride, although he sounded exactly like himself, in an ironed-shirt version of Iris.

There were two other throwbacks to Season 2 who I enjoyed listening to. Nina sounded beautiful even as she, quite fittingly, insisted that Big Girls Don’t Cry. I’ve always loved Nina’s voice, you know. One sound out of her and I yell, “Timber”! The other noteworthy sound came out of the bespectacled Mr. Shyju Varkey. Shyju has, shockingly, mellowed with age, and now insists on talking to Delilah.

But just when we think that’s all there is, these are all the singers that Bangalore has, yes, we’ve done it, we’ve discovered them all, someone gets up there and throws more dirt on our delusions. Renu was the first of the lot to do that, with The Sign, by Ace of Base. Not a song that’s very popular on the karaoke circuit, but one wonders why. Come back, Renu. More noteworthy singers took the mic; Roonie with Getting’ Jiggy With It briefly showed us that there can be at least the shadow of another Barry. Jarred did a good imitation of Maroon 5’s She Will Be Loved, but the band itself never inspired me to do more than turn off the radio, so please come back with a rendition that doesn’t involve that colour and that number. Adarsh was quite smashing with Hootie’s ‘I Only Wanna Be With You’, but it lacked that original touch, which is probably why Adarsh didn’t make the cut.

Russ Peterson provided comic relief and paragraph break with a song called, naturally, Pissing The Night Away, which I am certain only he can pull off with aplomb. A word I use very loosely in Russ’s context. Hit that note, Russ! Hit it!

And then, in very very quick succession came three people who blew my mind. And who are, by default, my picks of the day. This section is no longer called Marry Me!, so breathe easy. After having discovered the many splendours of polygamy, albeit from afar, I’m steering clear of matrimonial advances this season. Unless M. Lazaro and Andy come back, in which case this promise will be revoked with immediate effect.

Chickies In My Pen
God knows where you came from, but you kicked Some People right out of the competition. I am eagerly looking forward to the next time you sing.
Sharon Chang!
You’re the woman I’ve been looking for since last Kroak! And I get the feeling I’m never gonna hate myself for loving you.

Mamma’s Boys
You’re already hot Bangalore property vocally, I hear. But you’re my sole male pick from last evening. You were absolutely in control with RHCP. I’m hoping you’ll try a different genre for next round. If I know Carlton, there will be a huge mix of styles he’ll throw in as qualifying requirements, so show us what you’ve got now!

I want to make a special mention of Otis before I move on to the title of this piece. I can’t call him a Mamma’s Boy, because of… age constraints; he might not take too kindly to a kid pulling a Mrs. Robinson on him. With a voice and presence like that, I don’t care if he claims to be a one song wonder. I am looking at my toes and coyly twirling my freshly straightened hair. Come back and sing for us again, please?
And finally.
Please, Venky, please. I am asking you twice: one for tomorrow, one just for today. Please take part again. I can’t be more unabashed than this. Love us two times.

Season Three, KroaKing: There Will Be Blood

Summers’s back and, naturally, so are the frogs. And naturally, so am I. We’re back with Season 3 of KroaKing. And if last year was anything to go by, this is not going to be a pretty little frilly stage where there will be pink bubbles and soft lighting and, God forbid, mirth.

No sirreee.

Microphones will be snatched, glares exchanged, fists will be shook in the faces of voices that will quiver with apprehension.
This summer, there is a thin line between vibrato and terror. A lean shriek between falsetto and fear. And a big fat writer, between now and then.

And there

- Anoopa Anand



KroaKing season 2 every wednesday