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#TravelingBandJournal: Soundpad 2009 UK Tour Diary - Day-9

Updated: Apr 12, 2020

Soundpad Hits London Town: Finally we played a great gig at The Barfly and then a massive after-party

Today’s was going to be the most important gig of the tour – London was where the action was going to be. The British Council and Faculty Music (the label) had pulled out all the stops and had invited a large number of industry biggies. Plus it was the first show in London! It was quite a high.

We pulled into London in quite an unlikely place – a bus parking bay that was miles away from anywhere. The only thing within walking distance was a supermarket where we surreptitiously went to relieve ourselves (!) when we awoke. Normally venues provided power for the bus’ electrical systems to run but this wasn’t a venue, so it was dark inside! Big city blues, I guess.

Pretty soon we pulled up to the venue The Barfly Club in New Oxford Street, quite a central location. The day rooms were in a hotel nearby so we headed out to take a shower after loading in. We were five  shows down in the UK with one more to go, but we knew this was it – if people had to notice us it would be here. There wasn’t much of a soundcheck – but we weren’t too bothered about it: now if you’re a serious band reading this, you would say “WTF!” but trust me, the way the crew would take care of the sound is like nothing we’ve ever seen. More on that in another post, OK?

[Photo] A dream weaver on the streets of London

The crowd was filling up nicely by the time the sun set (and the damn sun sets only at 9pm, we learned, with the geography lessons of the Earth’s tilt coming rushing back). Advaita started the set followed by Indigo Children and Medusa. We like to do a little circle before we go on stage and it was pretty tough the whole tour because there just wasn’t a place to do it in! Most clubs didn’t have green rooms to speak of, so the Circles happened everywhere from toilets to stairwells.

[Photo] Jishnu warms up before the gig, while the crowd laps up Medusa.

Photo Credit Rajveer Dhatt

And it was time – the change over took all of 10 minutes (thanks to the crew, again) and we were on! What a lovely gig it was – we were bang on, the crowd got into it in about 2 songs and The Barfly Club was soon a seething mass of folk-frenzied humanity. Incredibly, as in every other gig, Londoners sang along to ‘Ee Bhoomi’, guffawed at the banter in ‘Yeshu Allah’ and whooped and cheered when the Ghodi made her appearance. “You guys have planted a time-bomb in London and it’s going to explode I promise you’, one member of the audience told us later. John Leckie was there at the gig, it was great to have him around.

There was quite a kick-ass after-party  when the dust settled with our friends from the University of Westminster showing up in large numbers to show support – here’s saying a big Thank You to all of them.

Sadly there wasn’t much time to bask in the afterglow of a slamming show: we had to get on the bus and head out, two bands to Manchester and two to Cardiff.


Text: Jishnu Dasgupta

Images: Pavan Kumar

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