The listeners swayed their heads and tapped their feet to the intoxicating melodies and rhythm
The show had already started when I walked into the venue of this week’s “The Bass Clef” at The Junction. It was a relief to see that something in this town had finally started on time. Three Americans - Keenan Castello (vocals and guitar), Armando Marcos Cepeda (vocals and bass) and Seth Panduranga Blumberg (vocals and guitar) - and a Bangladeshi, Towfiq Arifin (drums), worked the crowd like conductors of an orchestra.
There weren’t many seats left, so my husband and I grabbed two near the stage—at the far right. No sooner did we seat ourselves, than we realized the reason for the mysterious vacancy. The gentle strumming of guitars onstage amplified manifold through the enormous sound systems, thumping in our ears, helplessly exposed just a few feet away.
Luckily, we soon found seats that were kinder to our eardrums. The listeners swayed their heads and tapped their feet to the intoxicating melodies and rhythm. Of the 10 songs played at the event, the one I was most looking forward to hearing was “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison—which sits at number 42 on Rolling Stone magazine’s “5oo Greatest Songs of All Time.”
Anyone listening to this magnificent song for the first time at this event probably wouldn’t fall head over heels for it. Cepeda’s rendition of the song was very different from the original or any cover I’ve heard so far— the cover by The Wallflowers being my personal favourite. In any case, it’s hard to do justice to such popular classics in a live setting, especially when you’re jet-lagged from an unbearably long flight from the US.
The songs from the show seemed to connect with the audience members, who looked like they were genuinely having a good time. The hosts at The Junction were very gracious and the platform seems to have appealed to a wide range of: artists, art-lovers, socialites, and expatriates. My personal great expectations aside, such ambience and fervour made the whole experience a commendable after-office escape.