Saturday, 14 March 2009

Head bang for a cause

Rock stars from Rock On!!! gear up for a Magik-al evening, says Sneha May Francis

Come March 12, we in Dubai will get to rock with Bollywood’s first reel rock stars. Band Magik – Farhan, Arjun Ramphal, Purab Kohli and Luke Kenny – will team with Rock On!!! music composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for an evening of pure Indi-rock.

Rock music isn’t alien to Hollywood. Numerous films have been made, and the one that stands out is Jack Black’s head-banging teacher act in The School of Rock. But Bollywood had shut its ears to the loud thumping beats. In fact, we’re so accustomed to watching our heroes lip-sync Hindi melodies and dancing with their ladyloves, that playing a guitar could look a tad out of place. But that image changed when Farhan Akhtar hit the right notes in Rock On!!! The music concoction left Bollywood mesmerised and craving for more. It was neither pure rock nor film music, it was Indi-rock re-mixed, Bollywood style!

And in the most befitting ode to their reel-life characters, band Magik will step out from the reel world into the real one!

The Rock On concert has partnered with Dubai Autism Center to create awareness about Autism as a condition. "It’s for a cause. At the end of the day you can do things for profit, for ego, but at times you get called on to recreate the magic that you’ve created onscreen for a particular cause," says Luke Kenny, who plays the keyboard in Rock On!!!

"We get to recreate the experience of the film and help other people… help them get a better life. That’s what motivates us to come on stage, six months after the release of the film."

After touring India and helping social networks, the boys will reach Dubai. For lead guitarist Arjun Ramphal, it’s a special way to thank his fans for their undying support. "It feels wonderful to see all the love and adulation we have gained with this film. I’ve received a lot of calls (of appreciation) from Dubai, so this concert is going to be extra special," he says.

"We’ve all wanted to be rock stars at some point in our lives... Magik is our band and we’ll do everything for it," he adds.

When asked whether he’d sing a few notes, like his reel character, he remained elusive and prompted us to find out at the concert – an added incentive, we think, apart from Farhan Akhtar’s Sinbad The Sailor. So for all Rock On!!! fans this is a rare opportunity to rock with Magik!

Where The Aviation Club, Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud
How Tickets are priced at Dh1,000, Dh500, Dh300, Dh175, Dh150; visit or call 0501524624, or 0503656480
When March 12, gates open at 6pm; show starts at 9pm

(published in March 12th, 2009 issue in e+, Gulf News)

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