Review: One Love/ Pune Reggae Fest/ Day One


To Pune shufflers and scenesters who can afford it, such as they may be, the High Spirits has become (with a couple of other, slightly less popular venues all located in or around Koregaon Park – the despondent culmination of Pune’s crippled nightlife) a byword for weekend revelry.

Their reggae festival saw Tough on Tobacco and Bay Beat Collective set up on a Friday night. Tough on Tobacco is one of Sidd Cuotto’s top ten bands to play in, and, minus Raphael Kably, Bay Beat Collective’s interests include ‘Local Mumbai Scene, Eating in Cheap Ass Joints (and) Janta’ (ref: Facebook).

It was clear, then, that both were to be taken very seriously.

Sidd Cuotto’s reggae pop effort flings the multi talented Jai Row Kavi on drums and is a pleasant excuse to give in to any Wailers tribute band nostalgia welling up in you. On Friday, Cuotto himself sounded like three different grunge era rebels at once, yet never like he was happy and high.

There was the mandatory solo track with looped guitar based percussion that seems to be so popular with singer-songwriters these days. There was a mildly indulgent reference when Tough on Tobacco played a song from one of Cuotto’s (several) other projects, Punk Ass Orifus, and a couple from his solo efforts (nobody, really, could tell the difference). The much-loved ‘Smoke Some Ganja’ rounded up a set that played exactly like Sidd Cuotto is expected to.


Sohail Arora of BBC led a dance floor that was, for the most part, more a straggler collective than anything. He played a smooth chunk that tried to hold on to the reggae thread for as long as it could, but gave in to a more stereotypically fun BBC drum ‘n bass eventually. Never a let down.

Noticeably the treble gets shriller every time we hear the High Spirits indoor console, but there have been assurances it’s up for a much due revamp soon.

written by Tej Haldule 

NEWS - 29. January 2013   CITY - Pune ARTIST - Sidd Coutto

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