Try something different! Debashish Bhattacharya Concert Review

Our newest concert reviewer is 14 year-old Yael-Louise Dekel! She attended her first Turner Sims concert on Thursday 17 October when she saw the Debashish Bhattacharya Trio. Here’s what she thought…



I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to see the Debashish Bhattacharya Trio (with Anandi Bhattacharya and Gurdain Rayatt) perform at Turner Sims, 17 Oct 2019. It was an amazing show, and a very different experience to what I know about music and performance…

The first impression I had of going into Turner Sims was that it was quite fancy actually. There were several tables with tea lights on them, which made the place feel cosy especially since it was raining hard when we got there.



The concert was played against a colourful backdrop. The performers were dressed in cultural clothes, appropriate to the music that they were playing and they sat down as they played, which is different from your normal pop concert. The first song they played was a traditional Indian song about a bride-to-be, asking her husband to help her fix her hair and bindi. This song reminded me of waves in the ocean. Anandi Bhattacharya’s singing was powerful yet soothing and it rose up and down, like waves. Her father and the drummer, Rayatt, played their instruments fast at times and slow at other times, also adding to the feeling of a rising and falling tide. And, like the sea, the music was constantly shifting and changing.

The second song they played was also a traditional Indian song except this song had percussive syllables and straight from the start it had a fast tempo and higher notes. While the last song was soothing, this song was much livelier with Bhattacharya and Rayatt playing their instruments almost impossibly fast.… This song made me think of a party where you’re dancing and being moved on from person to person and it felt like you were caught up in the music.

The next song came from Anandi Bhattacharya’s latest album. It’s the song that she and her father first collaborated on. This was clear in the way they worked together, accompanied by Rayatt. While the drumming, I felt, wasn’t the focus of the performance it was still there and important and I think that without his drumming it wouldn’t have sounded as good.

The next song also came from Anandi’s album and this song has a more meaningful background for her as it was a song her father wrote for her when she was born. Her father, because he was on tour at the time she was born, and since he couldn’t be at her birth, wrote a song for her instead. This song was much less traditional than the first two songs and there would be parts where Anandi would sing and then pause and then her father and Rayatt would repeat what she sang by playing it on their instruments, which sounded much less traditional but fun to listen to and still very Indian.

The next and last song of the first part was my favourite. This song was about selfless love and that was clear from Anandi’s voice which was softer but held much more emotion in it than the previous songs. What I also liked about this song was that it had aspects that were almost like modern music (e.g. fast tempo), while still remaining a cultural Indian song. If she did a pop-Indian song, I think that would be really interesting to listen to.

In conclusion, the show was far out of my comfort zone in terms of music that I would never normally think to listen to, but I found myself really enjoying it, especially with the last two songs from Anandi Bhattacharya’s album. You should come and watch their performance if you want to experience something different; a culture different from ours or just want to listen to some good Indian music.

Yael-Louise Dekel
19 Oct 2019

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