When you enter Toit, the newest outpost of the micro-brewery chain at the Mathuradas Mill Compound in Lower Parel, you notice that it is nothing like its predecessor Blue Frog. Toit appears larger, airier and once you walk around a bit it is immediately clear that Toit intends to move away from the legacy left behind by the iconic Mumbai music venue.
On Feb 25, the restaurant hosted Bengaluru-based alternative rock act Blushing Satellite. The gig was part of a weekly series, Indie Nights, programmed by Ramkrishnan Krishnan who is known to scenesters as Bantering Ram. For an entry of ₹500, you get ₹251 as cover charge, which is fully redeemable against your bill.
Musically, Blushing Satellite grooves quite a bit. The band played songs from their debut release, The Union, and in many places in their set transitioned almost seamlessly into lengthy, spacey extended jams. The rhythm section of drummer Prabhu Muraleedharan and bass player Arjun Ramdas held the band together with funky and jazzy chops. And the guitarist Ramanan Chandramouli along with frontman, upcoming pop singer Mahesh Raghunandan, filled in parts with colorful chords and sound effects aided by backing tracks played through a laptop.
I believe the general attitude of the city you reside in tends to bleed into your music. Bengaluru rock acts seem to have a carefree, relaxed vibe to their music. I haven’t yet had a chance to live there, but I have heard endlessly about the city’s pleasant weather and laid-back way of life. Perhaps one can be free and take time out to jam like this only if one is unworried about things like the next paycheck and high rent. Things that are usually associated with living in an expensive metropolis like Mumbai.
The one complaint I had of Toit was that the area in front of the stage serves as a path to go from one side of the restaurant to the other. This causes the audience to feel distracted when patrons and stewards walk about. Another complaint could be that heavier bands may not be the right fit for a place like this. But that is something I am not okay with personally anyway, as it is uncomfortable to spot a family attempt to enjoy their dinner while a loud heavy metal band blasts away in the background.
[Catch Mumbai band Slow Down Clown play their first gig in over 5 years on the 4th of March]