Label: Dishoom Release date: November 20th, 2015
Format: LP/CD Catalogue Number: SPARK628
A playful celebration of the mutual fascination between London and Bombay that began in the ‘60s
When Shamil Thakrar, one of the founders of ‘Dishoom’, and Rob Wood of ‘Music Concierge’ first met several years ago, they quickly bonded over their shared passion for music. So when the Dishoom team began to work on the first restaurant in Covent Garden (which opened in 2010). Rob was the natural choice to assist with the music selection. The two friends immensely enjoyed the constant process of evolving Dishoom’s musical identity over the next five years, transforming their shared passion into the vibrant, eclectic playlists heard in the restaurants.
The Dishoom team began planning the Dishoom Carnaby site on Kingly Street earlier this year, drawing inspiration from the area’s iconic history. A deeper look unearthed a surprising relationship that had flourished in the 1960s, when Western influences kicked off a rocking music scene in Bombay. The team were increasingly drawn in by this largely forgotten cul-de-sac of history, and contacted Sidharth Bhatia, an author who documents this history in his book ‘India Psychedelic’, as well as many of the musicians who were involved at the time. As the Carnaby project evolved, both Rob and Shamil felt instinctively that an album was the right thing to do. It would allow them to showcase the wonderful music they had uncovered, and like the restaurant itself, bridge the gap between London and Bombay while paying homage to the 1960s.
“Conceiving the tracklisting and putting the album together has been a complete labour of love – though one we have enjoyed every minute of! Things that are worthy of people's precious time and attention are made from love and passion. And this is one of them.” – Shamil Thakrar & Rob Wood
The compilation opens with Ananda Shankar’s reworking of the Stones’ ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’, its wind-swept rock riff immediately transported to a steamy Bombay exotica by way of the sitar centre-piece and glistening synth runs. The dust settles for Ravi Harris’s ‘Cissy Strutt’, before the compilation heads into more upbeat territory with Mancini’s cinematic ‘The Party’ and The Savages’ ‘Born To Be Wild’ pastiche. The Bombay Royale close up the A-side with their dramatic brass-laden ‘You Me Bullets Love’, before heading into Blossom Dearie’s dreamy homage ‘I Like London In the Rain’ on the flip. BB Davis & The Red Orchidstra supply ample cool and funk in their hazy adaptation of ‘Get Carter’, while Asha Puthil’s low-slung cover of Gaye’s ‘Ain’t That Peculiar’, sung alongside the Peter Ivers Group, puts a keen funk twist on the original. Penultimate track ‘Jaan Pehchan Ho’ amps things back up with lively trumpet bursts and rolling drum fills. The compilation finishes on a more reflective note with Gábor Szabó’s wistful cover of ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’. Sung by the guitarist himself with his Hungarian-inflected English, the track encapsulates the fertile cross-cultural experimentation and cultural fusions that Dishoom has come to represent.
‘SLIP-DISC’: DISHOOM’S BOMBAY LONDON GROOVES was released on LP and CD via Dishoom on Nov 20th, 2015
Tracklisting: A1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Ananda Shankar A2. Cissy Strutt – Bill Ravi Harris & The Prophets A3. The Party (reprise) – Henry Mancini & His Orchestra A4. Born To Be Wild – The Savages A5. You Me Bullets Love – The Bombay Royal
B1. I Like London In The Rain – Blossom Dearie B2. Get Carter – BB Davis & The Red Orchidstra B3. Ain’t That Peculiar – Peter Ivers Group feat. Asha Puthli B4. Jaan Pehchan Ho – Mohammed Rafi B5. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) – Gábor Szabó
About The Artwork
The artwork (designed by Nick Edwards) takes inspiration from Shamil’s father’s old 1960s Hindi music records. The cover features a good friend of Shamil’s named Dolly Thakore, who lives in Bombay but spent some time living in London in the late 60s. They chose this image (with Dolly’s kind permission) as it perfectly sums up the cool Bombay- London vibe they wanted for the record. Other images show Indian rock’n’roll musicians and their promotional material – much of it kindly shared by the band members themselves.
"Fascinating exploration of cultural crossover in the Swinging '60s" – 8/10 Uncut
“Utterly dancefloor-worthy-with any luck, this will just be the first volume” – ★★★★ Mojo
“an eclectic mix of classics and deep cuts, with killer tunes of both an aged and more recent vintage” – Fact
"great taste not just in food but music which is really important if you're a music fan" – Cerys Matthews BBC6 Music