So I’ve been playing the guitar since 2010, and our band, Laterebeight was formed a year before. Some of our older readers might remember me posting about my guitars back in 2011. The band consisted of four of us childhood friends; Aditya Ramchandran (Ramu), Shivendra Shukla (Chevy), myself Upamanyu Acharya, and Samar Dikshit (Samar). I don’t know how or why I formed a band before I could play an instrument, but our musical talent was eclipsed by our Photoshop skills and we ended up with our band, Laterebeight. [Pronounced Latter-Bite]
As our band’s resident blogger, I was told to stop listening to Thom Yorke and write about our first gig that happened this Saturday evening.
I’d always wanted to play live, even before I picked up the guitar in a David Gilmour infused frenzy. But I never really got a chance to play what I liked; Pink Floyd wasn’t appropriate or appreciated in school assemblies, no band would recruit a kid who didn’t play Bollywood songs, and no Lower Parel pub would give a gig to someone who can’t sing, even for free. So the four of us pressed on with continuing to learn guitar till the four of us were learning from the same gentleman. It was he who hosted the concert – the second annual RisinGen, for his students. It wasn’t so much a gig as a talent show, and we had talent.
We’d been practicing since I joined his classes in April, although actual practice happened barely thrice, two of which were in a studio. We met at my house at 6 PM as the show was to start two hours later. We practiced our set twice till we were satisfied enough to start making jokes at Ramu’s expense, as usual. Ramu and I played a bit of Dota 2 (3 of ours’ new obsession) and neither of us had our 7Up because we were feeling quite nervous.
I’d been nervous before, to the point where my hands shook fervently – they do shake a little bit but it’s almost pendulum-like when I’m nervous. It’s that rickety rackety Parkinson impersonation that I’ve mastered, but guitar fingers do well to numb that particular feeling. Thankfully that didn’t happen this time because I wasn’t really nervous, just anxious for it to go well. We reached the venue 55 minutes after we were supposed to, but thanks to a trusty Indian tradition known as ‘delays’, we were early to the show. The trip from my house to Prabhadevi was spent talking about how late we were, how being late wouldn’t affect us because we were last to perform, and how some girl liked Samar.
The first set was quite frankly, one of the best things we’d ever seen in our lives. Five little kids – so small that had this been school recess, we’d have accidentally trampled them – playing Doe, a Deer. As the night grew on, Ramu and I went down to eat (I had a lovely wada pav, and he got a medu wada), leaving the other two wondering where we were and why we ditched them. I tried to call them, but there was no signal. Sadly, no one believed me. Many performances by some talented (and some not so talented) students later, it was our turn.
We don’t actually have a drummer in our band, or a vocalist, or technically even a bassist (Chevy borrowed a friend’s bass). Drums were being played by a guy called Joe, who was really quite good and fun to play with. I play lead guitar on two songs, interspersed with scatterings of rhythm. Samar is rhythm and electric. Ramu plays acoustic guitar with lead on one song, and Chevy plays the bass, and not the cod, as I often love to joke. None of us can sing, so we’ve never got around to it. [We’re still looking for our Freddie or Thom]. Our setlist for this gig was quite small, and we tried to fit as much into it as we could, so we did various parts of different songs that we knew and loved. It’s called the Greatest Hits medley.
Bonus Soundcheck: Money by Pink Floyd
1) Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (Intro)
2) Let it Be by The Beatles (Acoustic Instrumental)
3) We Will Rock You by Queen (Instrumental)
4) Untitled Instrumental by Laterebeight (Riff and solo)
5) Stairway to Heaven (Intro)
The performance went well – the crowd cheered quite loudly, the lady who was compering asked us to remember them when we became famous, and our guitar teacher told us we did a good job. So everything was great. But that’s not what I want to write about because victories are fleeting and plentiful. It’s the value of the combined losses that add value to a friendship. After one of our practice sessions the night before the concert, we went to one of our favourite places to eat, McDonalds, ordered a lot of food, and discussed our group’s dynamics.
Laterbeight is a wonderful name for a band, but in the end it doesn’t mean anything. I picked out the name by making a portmanteau of two words from a random name generator. The words don’t form the band, it’s the people in it that do. Samar and I, between us, might provide 80% of the music, but Chevy gives us the solidarity and Ramu, the cohesiveness, without which our 8 year old group would have faded away into obscurity long ago. We might not even be interested in music as we grow older, but in true boys-will-be-boys fashion I think we’ll always be doing something or the other, whether it’s making videos, playing competitive Pokemon, getting into IIT, or harassing McDonalds’ customer support for their inevitable mishaps. Laterebeight, like Top Gear UK or the Queen of England, is going to stay. As the inside joke runs, our first album is called Greatest Hits and it’s releasing when we’re 24 years old in 2021. Stay tuned!
Laterebeight Facebook for more information
Laterebeight Twitter for less information
Laterebeight Youtube for our concert performance, practice sessions, and bloopers (mostly the latter).