It was a Wednesday night and by the time Pseudonym came on, it was nearly midnight. Hip Pocket had just finished their gig comprising, primarily, old classic rock covers – think Rolling Stones, The Who, Doors and The Beatles – all very competently done, particularly the vocals. Then, after the weeknight crowd had thinned and the average age of those who hung around moved significantly southward, the five-member band got on the stage. The female singer seemed young enough to be denied entry into any bar or pub let alone be served liquor. Her mates – on guitars, bass and drums – didn’t seem much older. Another wannabe band, I thought to myself and decided that I would stay till my half-full mug of tap beer was finished.
How wrong I was. Pseudonym are a band that did mainly covers that night but with a finesse that surprised me. The young singer – Suyasha Sengupta – handled Nirvana (Come As You Are), Radiohead (Creep), Green Day (American Idiot) and even Red Hot Chili Peppers (Dani California) with extraordinary ease, the right dose of angst and, when required, melancholia. This, I made a mental note, was a band that could go places. Chatting with the band after their set, I learnt that Pseudonym was formed in 2006 and that most of the band members were either still in or just out of college. Their choice of tunes to cover put them in what many people call the “alternative” genre (I’ve never understood that nomenclature – alternative to what?). Rajan Bhaumik, Pseudonym’s drummer, told me that the band tried to steer clear of clichéd music. From a list of gigs they’ve played, I find they are quite prolific and seem to be regulars at Someplace Else. It’s a pity though that Pseudonym haven’t debuted anywhere outside Kolkata. For venues in Delhi or Mumbai, they could be a good band to book.
Read more of Sanjoy Narayan’s article “High Notes on Park Street” @http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/download-central/2011/02/12/high-notes-on-park-street/#more-1769