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QTube Café hosts Its First Indian Classical Concert

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

QTube Café has hosted several events these past five months. From open mics to poetry workshops to even something as unexpected as a whistling workshop, we’ve never let the chance to host an interesting event pass us by. However, we’ve never received a request to host a purely classical performance here. A couple of weeks ago, Deepa Devaraj wrote to us and her mail expressed a desire to conduct an Indian classical concert at the café. We accepted her request and soon, a date was decided upon.

On the day of the concert, everyone, including the performers were apprehensive about the event. As Mrs Devaraj revealed at the start of the concert, this was the first time she and her colleagues, Milind Joshi (table player) and Atul Fadke (harmonium player) were performing in such an informal space. Her previous concerts have been held in auditoriums or in friends’ living rooms and so, performing in a café was something they were doing for the very first time. But, as she rightly pointed out, a true performer is one who can immerse herself in her art, no matter where she is, and that’s what Mrs. Devaraj was eager to do. She started off by performing a slow-paced, mellow raga – Raag Puriya Dhanashree, which was perfect for evening listening. Then, she shifted to the more lively and also more difficult Raag Kedar. She left the audience spellbound with her talent and her silvery voice and flawless performance drew repeated rounds of applause. She wound up the concert with a melodious Kabeer bhajan which delighted both young and old listeners. We are immensely grateful to her for gracing our café with such a splendid concert!

Here are a few pictures from the evening.

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If you know of talented classical music performers who are looking out for a venue to perform at, do ask them to mail us a proposal at qtubecafe@nspa.in . We do believe that classical music and musicians deserve more exposure and that performing in unconventional spaces will help spread information about these traditional forms of music to a new audience!

Drama Alert! Fridays: Ek Aur Kabeer & Dedh Inch Upar.

Friday, January 13th, 2017

For our Drama Alert! Fridays, we had two wonderful plays put up – Ek Aur Kabeer and Dedh Inch Upar. Here’s what these plays are about. Hope you catch them the next time they’re performed at QTube Cafe.

Ek Aur Kabeer

Ek Aur Kabeer is a one-man act essayed by talented actor Pradeep Singh. The hour-long presentation takes you through various stages in Sant Kabir’s life, thereby giving the viewer a better understanding of this great mystic’s life and teachings. The commendable performance of the lead actor does not escape your attention for he switches seamlessly from one character to the next, turning into a mohalla child one moment, a harsh Kabir critic the next and back into the calm, profound Kabir, all in a matter of minutes. His singing prowess enables him to interject the play with melodious songs which breathe life and meaning into various scenes. One also gets to listen to lyrical ‘Kabir ke dohes’ which are filled with wit and wisdom. The play focusses on certain key incidents in the saint’s life, incidents that impacted him greatly and shaped him into the person we know him to be today. So, although we are familiar with his philosophy on Hindu-Muslim relationships, the play helps us understand his views on the topic became as they were. Do attend this play if you’d like to know more about this great man’s life and treat yourself to his liberal, egalitarian teachings! To know when this play will be performed at QTube Café again, keep an eye on our Facebook page. It’ll also be performed at Sathaye College auditorium on the 17th of Jan, so book your tickets soon!

Stills from the play.

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Dedh Inch Upar

The play narrates the story of a drunk man with a dark past. Between swigs of alcohol, he narrates his shocking story which is set in Nazi Germany and struggles to find answers to questions that have perplexed him for 15 years. At the start of the play, we think the protagonist (Vinar Singh Nath) to be just another drunk guy, that uncle you’ve seen several times before in bar’s and pubs, sitting alone and downing peg after peg. But as he relates his story through slurred speech to a patient stranger, we realize that he has quite a strange story to share. As he reveals that grave incident that changed his life forever, we find ourselves questioning our own relationships with our loved ones. Are they completely honest with us? Do we know absolutely everything about them, or is there somebody else who knows them better than we do? What would be more painful, losing them to death or discovering, after they’ve left us forever, that they’ve kept secrets from us, and not being able to confront them? This is a play that will entertain, excite and make you think about love and life, so don’t miss it.

Check our Facebook page to know when this play will be performed at QTube again.

Stills from the play.

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The Week that Was at QTube Cafe

Friday, October 7th, 2016

After our opening on the 2nd of October, almost a week has passed by now and our first week at the Tube has been nothing short of exciting. Not a day goes by without something interesting happening. Whether it’s the wonderful line-up of performances, random strangers trickling in to inquire about the café or our artists meeting up to jam, there’s something fun happening all the time here!

In this week, we had the owners of a start-up called ‘Vagabond’ come in to use the café as a brainstorming space.  These young entrepreneurs, cool as cucumbers in their shorts and Tee get-up, met up here to chat about plans for their business. We also had a group of parents enquire about workshops that could be held here for kids. A couple of journalists and bloggers too paid us a visit to enquire about the goings-on here and we were delighted to talk to them about the café! Apart from this, we had a regular line-up of melodious performances by NSPA artists. Every evening, between 4 – 8 pm, the café would come alive with the sound of instruments and voices, weaving musical notes that calmed the senses. Here are some pictures from the last week.

Gladson Peter is one of the NSPA’s most colourful performers. He always comes armed with more than one instrument. Here, you can see him play the guitar, harmonica and Ghungroos simultaneously. The blinking goggles are for added effect!

Gladson Peter performing at QTube

After their respective performances, a couple of our artists decided to jam together. From Sufi tunes to popular folk numbers, they played and practiced to their hearts content.

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This wonderful violin-bongo performance was absolutely soothing and a pleasure to listen to.

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And here’s a pic from our opening. Two NSPA artists put up a Marathi folk performance at the cafe.

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NSPA Sundowner 2016: An Evening of Unadulterated Entertainment

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Has the stifling summer heat and rather monotonous week at office left you feeling quite down? Fret not friends, for the NSPA has something amazing lined up for you, something that is sure to give you a mood boost that will last at least a week!

We’re talking about our ‘Sundowner 2016’ event, organized by the wonderful and welcoming Marico Evenings. Yes, it’s that fabulous event the Bandra West Residents Association (BWRA) organizes every year with us to enliven the Carter Road Amphitheatre area. If you happened to be part of the event last year, you’ll know how exciting the evening was. For those who weren’t there however, here’s all that you can hope to look forward to.

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Independent Artists showcasing their Talent

We all know about the Rahmans and Sonu Nigams and Coldplays of the world, but little do we realize that there might be some really talented performers in the building next to us, or in the college our child goes to. Many such incredibly talented, but not yet famous artists join the NSPA to earn, hone their talent and garner an audience. These are the artists who’ll be taking the stage and trust us when we tell you that they’re really talented! So, if you’re in the mood to experience some experimental music, performed by fresh faces, you have to attend this event!

Tried and tested is Good, but we’ve Got New Music Too!

Yes, familiar songs will be performed so that you can sing along to the classics. However, it doesn’t stop there because our artists like to showcase their own compositions and musical experiments. So, be prepared to experience some fresh renditions, from a chorus being sung differently to an original composition, there’s a lot of newness to look forward to!

There’s something for everyone

Maybe you’re a Sufi music lover, or you like the energy of a good ol’ Punjabi classic. Maybe retro hits get your groove on or instrumental melodies are what you’re partial towards, no matter the genre, we’re sure to have something for you. From mashups to medleys to nothing but pure music, our event promises a potpourri of musical genres and styles, waiting to be consumed by an open-minded listener.

Oh, there’s something for theatre lovers too, did we mention that?

Who says the Good things in Life aren’t free?

Well, this event surely is! Yes, no passes, no cover charges, no entry fees of any kind. All you need to do is find a chair and plonk down. (If it’s crowded, hang around in the vicinity.) Your love for music is your entry card, for that’s all our performers need!

An unmatchable Ambience

You can hear the rush of the waves as they charge towards their sandy destination, the crash as they explode on the sandy shore and a gentle hum as they retreat into the beautiful blue expanse from where they came. A setting sun rapidly changes colour, bathing everything beneath it in its changing hue. Amidst all this you can hear music, mellifluous and moving, filling your heart with joy and your soul with purpose. Can there be anything better than this?

So, here’s your chance to be part of something really amazing, and we hope you don’t miss it. Come attend NSPA Sundowner 2016, presented by Marico Evenings, at Carter Road Amphitheatre on the 28th of May, 6 pm onwards. We want you to sample this musical treat!

Also, here’s a look at our performances from last year.

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