On July 6, the five-member band comprising Uday Benegal (vocals), Mahesh Tinaikar (guitar), Zubin Balaporia (keys), Rushad Mistry (bass) and Jai Row Kavi (drums) played at The High Spirits in Pune as part of their promotional tour for their latest album Evolve.

It’s been 17 years since their previous self-titled album released but the eight songs on Evolve sum up to undeniable joy. As an audience, we were obviously not satisfied with the restricted ‘family-friendly’ promotional sets they played across various Landmark stores in the country and we knew that we deserved our share of the real deal. The night saw a stellar tight set and tracks from their new album were clearly the highlights.

‘Dissolve’ with its beautiful riffs, ‘Fireflies’ with its sweet melody and sing-along chorus set the night rolling to validate that these gentlemen were at the top of their game as ever. Of course, the band’s loyalists couldn’t be denied some classic old material and thus came ‘Trapped’, along with the insanely popular ‘Pretty Child’ and a very sultry ‘Best Friend’. On a whole, the band’s energy is so electric and each of them makes for a star act to watch. They moved right back onto new material and then played the rest of the album – ‘Come Around’, ‘Take It Harder’, ‘Bulletproof’ and ‘No Disgrace’.

What makes the band so celebrated is how incredibly gifted each of the members are. Uday Benegal is a slick balance of vocals and presence, Mahesh Tinaikar and Zubin Balaporia add their distinct touch to every track, Rushad Mistry feeds the headbangers’ whims and there’s a definite reason why Jai Row Kavi is touted one of the nation’s best drummers – beating the daylights out of the kit with such mental grit.

Wrapping with an encore, they gave us the night that was promised. If you haven’t been blessed enough to see them live in the 25 odd years that they have been around, Indus Creed are close to certified rock scene royalty that you ought to know.

The new album has a more contemporary vibe with progressive rock and electronic influences but it does retain the sound they are known for. “Every album is approached differently, from the mindsets of what we’re experiencing in that point in time. Seventeen years later, you are going to be in a pretty different mindset plus you’ve got two new energies (Rushad and Jai) so they bring their own ideas which is really great because it enhances everything,” said Uday Benegal in a little post-gig chat.

Of what’s coming up next, both Uday and Mahesh admitted to touring being the thing they love – “This is the year of Evolve, that’s what we’re promoting.” Benegal also added, “It is highly awesome to be touring again. We love to make music live and it’s also important to promote the album. Yeah, we’d like to make more videos. It’s an expensive proposition but we’ll find a way. It is just about getting the word out, writing songs and making bigger concerts. We’re also writing new material but it’s all embryonic right now. As the songs come, we’ll write them.”

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Photographs by Rohan Kapoor