Thaikkudam Bridge on hitting the right notes since it’s inception in 2013
Thaikkudam Bridge has been on a roll ever since they debuted in the country’s music scene in 2013. Surviving five years with a band as big as 15 members doesn’t sound easy. But Ashok Betty Nelson, the rhythm guitarist of the band, says there are just three things that bind them – music, mutual respect and money. “Also, the things that motivate us to go forward is good music and our friendship. And we hope and wish it stays that way,” he adds. After more than 18 months, the outfit will be in the city this weekend. The Kochi-based band has us excited when it says there’s a special set for its audience including a couple of tracks from their upcoming album, Namah. “You’ll have to wait and watch for more. We don’t want to spoil the set list,” he says.
Interestingly, the fusion band was first formed near a bridge in Thaikkudam, a locality in Ernakulam, which also inspired the name of the group. “The actual spelling of the place is Thykoodam. But even we were not aware of that until we saw a board while performing there four years ago,” laughs Ashok.
Started off as a one-time gig by a group of friends for Mojo (a TV show) of Kappa TV five years ago and a few old movie melodies of the same performance going viral later, the band garnered a rather unimaginable following from across the country in no time. It only got better with their first few originals such as Fish Rock. Over the years, the band has taken over as the king of fusion with music in various genres including rock, Hindustani, reggae, pop and more and languages like Malayalam and Hindi. However, the band doesn’t like to categorise their tunes under any particular genre or call themselves an experimental band. “Genre is a marketing tool musicians should not get their heads into a lot. We try to do music we enjoy playing and leave it at that. If people love what they hear, we get paid for it. Plain and simple,” states Ashok, adding, “It’s amazing when you’re able to do what you love and be able to do it with people you love. It’s a luxury not many people have and it’s amazing how fast these five years went by.”
Thanks to their energy, powerful lyrics covering politics and death and heavy tunes, the shows that the band put on are always a treat – both musically and visually. When we ask him what’s the secret behind the packed crowd at every show, Ashok says, “I guess when you enjoy what you do, it reciprocates.”
For the next few months, the act is busy working on its much anticipated second album, Namah. The 10-track album, with huge alt-rock/progressive rock influences, will feature some of the band’s inspirations including Grammy-winning Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, sitarist Niladri Kumar, flautist Rakesh Chaurasia, drummer Chris Adler, Ustad Rashid Khan, Pandit Ram Narayan, Guthrie Goven and Jordan Rudess, among others.
Ticket: Rs. 1,000. At Hard Rock Cafe. On May 18, 8 pm onwards.