While Mumbai may be best known as the home of Bollywood music, in recent years the city has started to lay claim to a growing and passionate indie music scene.
of high entertainment taxes, few well-established, international music acts
stop off in Mumbai, preferring instead to play in Bangalore and Delhi when on
tour. This leaves plenty of space for smaller independent acts to shine, and
provides a welcome alternative to the high-end, dress-to-impress scene that is typical
of Mumbai’s glitzy cocktail bars.
most famous spot for live music in Mumbai is Blue Frog. Located in the Lower Parel area of town, the venue
is easily accessible from both north and south Mumbai, which is possibly why it
attracts such a varied and eclectic crowd; businessmen, hipsters and expats all
rub shoulders here.
in the crowd is matched by the variety of music you will hear -- everything
from cover bands to Indian rock acts, solo singers to drum and bass DJs. The
monthly retro nights, which play
mainly ‘80s music, are popular with locals, and the Sunday live music
brunch is a relaxed way to enjoy a weekend afternoon.
Frog’s unique layout is an added bonus. Group-sized booths are built around the
stage area at different levels and have a futuristic spaceship feel to them.
Book a table for dinner and listen to the live music from the comfort of your
seat. For those who want a mosh-pit-like experience, there is plenty of room to
keeping with Bandra’s growing status as an alternative cultural hub to central
Mumbai, the area offers several options for indie concerts. Mehboob studios
(100 Hill Road), in Bandra, has been home to some of Bollywood’s biggest films.
Now, a recording studio in
the building provides a quirky location
music nights, which are held here
one Saturday a month as part of the studio’s Live from the Console
you walk through the building you get a sense of the venue’s rich history. The
studio where the bands perform is decorated with old signs, while a specially
built stage and modern lighting give an intimate feel. The nights usually begin
with a film screening of a related music offering, before a selection of Indian
bands take to the stage. The curry and
rice dishes on sale at the back of the hall add an Indian wedding buffet charm
to the proceedings.
Chez Moi is a small, Parisian-style venue in
the Bandra reclamation area, which recently started unplugged acoustic nights.
A lone singer-songwriter plays at the venue every Monday. The low lights and
cosy space are a real plus, but there is very limited viewing space so getting
there early is the best way to secure a decent vantage point.
from the monsoon summer months, typically June to September, open air venues are also a great
way to catch indie acts in the city. Bandra’s amphitheatre is
one such venue, which has attracted British acts in addition to Indian bands. November’s
music festival in Pune,
(a four-hour drive from Mumbai) is another popular annual draw. This year, the musicians Imogen Heap and Basement Jaxx are on the line up, alongside a range of