Amplifier: Introducing The Ritornellos
The Ritornellos will debut in Bengaluru, before playing on 11 February at Mumbai's crowd-funded Control Alt Delete's 10th edition, a lofty platform for throbbing young bands waiting to make a mark
For a couple of years, The Supersonics held the Indian Western music band scene in thrall with their ripping version of original rock ‘n’ roll, doused liberally in a pool of punk.
Vigorously touring the country’s pub-club-festival circuit, they also kept their fans, spread largely over Mumbai and home base Kolkata, in suspense about their off-on-off status, breaking up and reforming multiple times—a reviewer described it as a band suffering from an annual break-up syndrome.
The Supersonics, which emerged on the scene with their album Maby Baking (Saregama), finally called it quits in 2015. Guitarist Rohan Ganguli went on to found The Big Family Blues Ensemble, which has been actively gigging since. The second group, The Ritornellos, seemed to stutter, with only four concert dates in two years. Eventually, earlier this month, when the former singer-songwriter of The Supersonics, Ananda Sen, now fronting-fathering The Ritornellos, came up with the band’s first video, it seemed infused with the mojo of his former band. Half of the The Supersonics quartet had followed him, with drummer Avinash Chordia bringing his high-octane energy and precision-play to The Ritornellos’ sound.
The song the video features, Run, is a roller-coasting humdinger, a number that seems to have inherited the spunky-punky genes of the earlier band. It is the inclusion of singer-songwriter Nicholas Rixon, bassist Roheet Mukherjee and guitarist Ritaprabha Ratul Ray—young veterans of the indie scene, with Ray coming in from the Bengali rock pioneers, Cactus—that gives the number a distinct vim.
On a chilly night last week, The Ritornellos laid out their full repertoire at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, their fifth performance. It was a bona-fide display of three-part vocal harmonies, fluid guitar lines, buzzing melodies and pulsating bass and drum runs; a cohesive coming together through music which felt part-hippie, part-punk, but ultimately robustly rock.
Joining other young Kolkata acts like the Ganesh Talkies, Parekh & Singh and The Boddhisattwa Trio in India’s dynamic indie live music circuit, The Ritornellos will debut in Bengaluru today, before playing on 11 February at Mumbai’s crowd-funded Control Alt Delete’s 10th edition, a lofty platform for throbbing young bands waiting to make a mark. The Supersonics had once declined to perform at an edition of the event, having already earned their stripes on the indie scene. With The Ritornellos on stage, the wheel will turn full circle.
The Ritornellos will perform at Bengaluru’s Humming Tree today and at Control Alt Delete in Mumbai on 11 February.