The Delhi-based band, Big Bang Blues, started its journey back in 2009 with electric blues music. Over the next 10 years, their sound saw a systematic evolution that culminated into a blues-rock style, inspired by some of the greats including Led Zeppelin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James. Still, they don’t refrain from defining themselves as an ‘electric blues, south rock, 60-70s rock n’ roll’ band — clearly, full of live and full of music.
Why the name Big Bang Blues? On that, Shushant Thakur, co-founder and lead guitarist, reveals, “Blues was a starting point for the contemporary music genre as we know it. Plus, the way we play blues was loud and powerful. Thus, the name made a lot of sense to us.”
Thakur would play the guitar as a hobby before he discovered a connection with music. He reveals, “I developed this connection slowly to get away from the tensions in my house; family, parents, etc. As opportunities in music grew for me, I decided to quit my career in advertising and venture into music full time.”
Thus began a journey that has led to over a hundred performances, of which the most prominent was the one at Mahindra Blues ‘13, where the band shared the stage with internationally renowned artists such as Walter Trout. They were also selected among the 12 finalists from around the world to perform at the Cota Jazz Blues Festival ‘13 in Macau. In 2012, they released their debut EP ‘Bigger than Blues’, which was well-received. Cherry on the top: band member Ipshita Roy was nominated for the best female rock vocalist at the JD Rock Awards.
A twist in the band’s tale came in 2015 after the line-up changed. Shushant says, “In May 2015, B.B. King passed away and I got a call from Chintan Kalra (former Parikrama bassist) for a tribute gig. They really wanted BBB to do the gig and with Ipshita being out of India, they connected me to Diyatom Deb. And, boy, he could really sing the blues! The tribute gig was a memorable one. In 2016 Ipshita chose to move on and pursue jazz and I gave a call to Deb and continued Big Bang Blues with a new team of Akhil Kumar on drums and Barun Sinha on bass.”
Having new members was bound to be a challenge. Shushant reveals, “Starting a second life with an entirely new line-up, a new vocalist to continue the journey, and making it even better than before took a lot of hard work, performances, touring. Finding band members who were the right fit was the biggest challenges that the band faced.”
Along with Deb and Thakur, the present line-up of the consists of Archit Agrawal on the bass, Bhaskar Dutta on the violin, Mohit Dimri on the keyboard and Vasudev Singh on the drums.
BBB 2.0 has done three tours so far — including a five-city tour in 2017 covering Pondicherry, Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune and Goa. They have also released their newest single called Slow is the Tide.