Seated firmly amid banners and pop-up stores selling custom-designed band tees is a heavy-duty machine that harks back to the venue’s 156-year-old existence. And not very far from it is a pop-art-styled cardboard cut-out of a massive bearded figure, whose each strand of hair is actually a wired pen drive loaded with rock music of some of the performing bands. Over the weekend, the sprawling 15,000 square-foot estate in Byculla, Richardson and Cruddas transformed itself into a rock gig venue where the old and the ultra-modern came together in a unique fashion. It played host to the finale of Road to Converse Rubber Tracks in India, where some of the country’s leading rock acts performed.
Chennai-based alternative electro rock band The F16s swept past the other four finalists such as Spud In The Box (Mumbai), The Ganesh Talkies (Kolkata), Frisky Pints (Delhi) and Space Behind The Yellow Room (Bangalore) in the competition to be the only Indian rock act to get a chance to record at the Converse Rubber Tracks studio in Brooklyn, New York.
The five-piece band demonstrated its reportoire: a dose of eclectic indie, mad garage rock to electronica. Apart from the finalists, the rest of the evening were reserved for some of the old favourites such as Zero and Superfuzz, the Mumbai- and Delhi-based bands respectively who returned on stage after five years.