Sunday, March 05, 2006

THE MBC EXPERIENCE : PART ONE

Right. Now what better way to start of my first blog, than to recount a truly marvelous experience that me and my 'band' (I use the term loosely) had when we went to a Western Orchestra competition at Trivandrum... Here goes...


So it was some day that our lead singer, Snoopy, announces that Mar Baselios College Of Engineering (MBC) was holding a Western Orchestra competition. Great, I say. When? Snoopy : Next week. Me : Hoo-ha! How on earth are we going to get anything done by then?! But then, Indians have always been hardcore optimists who believe that relations with George Bush are going to help us, and peeing on the sidewalks is good nutrition for the plants that grow there. So hence we embarked on our journey of practice. Our band consisted of :
  • Snoopy (our diminutive lead singer)
  • Babyface (our guitarist-drummer)
  • Draco (our guitarist)
  • Chuck (yours truly, the most under-rated bassist in the world)
Oh, did I mention that we don't have a drum kit? The odds were all against us... We had two days for the show, and here we were, our first day of practice!

We managed to get a drum kit from a friend of Babyface's. Then after getting the damn kit all the way to the top floor of our college building, we start practicing. Only then does a gentleman knock, knock, knockin' on our door inform us that exams are in progress, and we'd have to clam up. Sheesh. I listen to Jovi and Metallica while studying...!!! For the good of our fellow engineer-wannabes, we decide to ditch it for a while and go unplugged.

Once the clock hit 04:30, though... The sound of a snare and a bass drum reverberated all over! Along with distortion guitar and of course, bass! Then the watchman told us he was closing up for the day. At 5 PM?!! Good heavens, these people have something against music or what?!!!
So then the fun started, transporting the drum kit back to the hostel... A few bike journeys, and scaling the bass drum over the college wall... I know now what those Egyptians felt like while building those pyramids.

Anyway... Next day, me and Babyface went to Kochi to rent an effects processor... Got a bit of practice done after that... Found out that one drumstick was missing... Then had to hurriedly get another one...! It was during this time that i scared the sh*t out of poor Babyface by displaying my scooter-riding prowess. Anyone who has mastered the dragon ride at Veegaland or the rollercoaster at EsselWorld, and are looking for scarier stuff, I would recommend taking a bike ride with me. It's a life-changing experience, I guarantee.

Then next morning, we wake up at the ungodly hour of 6, pack and leave. Just managed to catch the train to Trivandrum. Random practice with acoustic guitars in the train, while fellow passengers looked at us askance, with the air of someone who just discovered a disgusting caterpillar in their afternoon salad, took place and the train assisted us in our practice by being four hours late.

We ended up reaching the college (four people+3 guitars+amp+few bags in one auto - what's the record for density, again?) of our performance (I use the term loosely, again), MBC pretty late. We were told that a pro band, RAGE, would be performing. After practicing in our room for a few hours, we went to watch Rage, and what a performance it was...! Three Maiden tracks, including HBTN, and three by Metallica, including MoP. Truly amazing, the lead guitarist had fingers that moved like lightning.

After the awe-inspiring performance, we found out that the drum set that the college had rented out was pathetic. The cymbals were strategically placed so that if you hit it, it would fly off and render your face dismantled. The snare reminded me of some loosely-structured diaphragm i saw in the Fluid Mechanics lab back at college.
Anyway, it seemed that the event had to be postponed to the next morning, as they had to go get new drums. Damn! And we so looked forward to doing it in the OAT.

So then, we had to spend the night there. Stinkin' idiots that we were, we were bereft of spare clothing, save undergarments. So there we slept, shirts off, under a slow fan. Tired, dead, and definitely lookin' forward to a great next day. The remaining part in the next post.

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