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Review |  17 Feb 2017 15:59 |  By Soubir Moitra

Guthrie Govan's power trio dropped jaws at Hard Rock Cafe

MUMBAI: Where the average musical imagination takes a halt, Guthrie Govan picks up his guitar. Hard Rock Cafe, Mumbai witnessed sheer brilliance last night with the power trio commanding a modest crowd of five hundred or so. Teamed up with the impeccable Gino Banks and the surprisingly gifted young bassist, Mohini Dey, Guthrie Govan took everyone on a ride that won’t be forgotten soon.

The iconic venue was graced by a rather unassuming Guthrie Govan who charmed everyone with his humble charismatic stage presence. It is actually true when they say the real macho man does not need to beat up anybody because an audience that barely had any clue of what was happening on stage was not good enough to bother a musician of his caliber one bit. In fact, he just created his own comfort zone around that. It’s not possible for an average Mumbaikar or anybody for that matter to be on the same page as Guthrie when he makes his guitar talk. A performer in all it’s true sense.

‘I’d rather not have these cameras flashing at me. I want to feel like a part of the party too.’ Smiled the legend while he sipped on his beer which replaced the earlier Kinley bottle that got the authority a piece of his sarcastic mind. Guthrie reportedly had a very bad experience in Gurgaon where people literally asked him to play dance numbers. He very subtly put across his dislike for the crowd that would scream at any given intervals or pause. ‘Tension and release, that’s what music is about’ said the guitar god while he explained why they shouldn’t shout and just listen but Mumbaikars were far from being obedient and kept on chanting his name throughout the concert. The legend belted out few of his classics and made it a point to not succumb to requests. Starting from hillbilly country music to dark wave to creamy jazz the trio was a treat to the musically deprived souls in these times of ‘Hotline Bling’ and ‘Closer.’

Gino Banks took the backseat and let these two monsters play with their strings but when handed out some space for a drum solo, he let it all out. It is a fact that Guthrie Govan sweep picks in his sleep but Mohini Dey was indeed a pleasant surprise. Everybody got a sampler of this dynamite of a musician when she killed that bass solo in ‘Jagao Mera Desh’ on Coke Studio but last night was the real deal. The 20-year-old popped and slapped the bass as effortlessly as she breathes. With dreadlocks around a straight face, it seemed like some lower frequency demi-god had possessed her on stage. It is just inspiring how good these young musicians are and to share the same stage with Guthrie Govan, damn it takes nerves!

The concert had a beautiful build-up starting with some compelling jazz which gradually took a gothic turn and swirled right back into the bluesphere and then rocketed back to a progressive realm of musical brilliance. It was difficult to even tap your feet to the metronome after a point because these gods had decided to ‘experiment.’

However, the concert ended on a mellower note with Guthrie whammy-ing just the sweetest of the notes, making sure to leave a stain that would not wash off easily. If you were at HRC last night and just remember the YMCA, you should really feel sorry for yourself.