In a bizarre scene a couple of days ago, many Bangaloreans were fooled about a ‘secret band from France called Panchamrutha Acoustic’ performing live alongside Live Banned at Counter Culture.
Amrit Rao, the front man of the band, later said to us that “Panchamrutha was a fake band. It was a prank and a social experiment to see how people respond to this kind of hype and skin colour.”
It seems like it was a completely legitimate prank. They created a Facebook page for the nonexistent band and more than 100 people liked it with absolutely no details about the band or their music whatsoever.
“At the venue, we played an audio clip in French accent about the band not making it to the gig,” says a playful Amrit, adding that “there’s a lot of hype when you say there’s an international band playing, even if they haven’t seen or heard about them. There are so many EDM shows with exorbitant ticket rates that people go to. But if they don’t go for local acts and pay, the scene will never improve. Bands will give up. The scene will die.”
But Hindustani singer Adithya Srinivasan, seems to think this kind of behaviour is sort of justified. “When foreigners perform in the east, only the best of them visit here and hence their quality of music is sure to be great! That’s not the case with local artists since they grab every opportunity to reach the masses, so quality isn’t ensured.”
On the flipside, he says, “The younger generation doesn’t find it ‘cool’ enough to listen to an Indian band! A college student would proudly say he listens to Hardwell but would secretly listen to Ustad Zakir Hussain. Also, anything with a foreign tag unfortunately sells better in India.”
With this, Sibarshis Dutta from Counter Culture seems to agree. “Indians have some sort of fascination with white people. This I can tell from personal observation. In fact, some Indian acts are really good, with great frontmanship but they don’t get paid. That’s why we have this ‘Pay for the art’ initiative, where entry is free, but there is a box in which listeners may contribute if they liked the artistes,” he shares.
Psychologist Sadhana Kiran says it has something to do with the mindset of the latest generations. “This generation looks at this as a platform to indulge in a more open-minded and carefree Western culture, be it thoughts, clothes, relationships, music, anything,” she says.