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     Volume 8 Issue 89 | October 9, 2009 |

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Unplugged Music Gets Better

Elita Karim

'Black' performing at the Wireless Session. Photo: Saadh

Live music shows, or lounge music in Dhaka, have become a very popular source of entertainment in the capital, which is quickly spreading to other parts of Bangladesh as well. While in places like Le Saigon or Kozmo a certain classy ambience is created to go with the music played, in other places like the Decagon or the De-pavement, the scene is slightly more youthful and exuberant. One such place that has gained a lot of popularity in recent times is the Decagon Café located in Dhanmondi. Every other weekend, youngsters and music lovers get together to listen to live music at Decagon organised by Nafis Ahmed Shubho. These musical gigs are more popularly known as the 'Wireless Sessions' both amongst the listeners and the musicians.

What's different about the Wireless Sessions is the simple décor of the café, a casual and an interactive environment created by the musicians themselves and, most importantly, affordable ticket prices which allow music lovers from all walks of life to attend and enjoy their favourites. In addition, these sessions bring in artists from different spheres of the existing music scene in the country -- starting from the alternative band Black and Nemesis, the contemporary heartthrob Arnob to Western Milon singing his wild lyrics, much to the excitement of the crowd.

The Wireless Sessions had begun in July 2007 and has completed four seasons to date. “The music scene back then was catering to a very selective crowd,” says Shubho, the CEO of Live 2 Events, which organises the Wireless Sessions. “The idea of Wireless popped up to cater to a huge base of people who were missing out on the alternative and the contemporary side of music. Furthermore, the younger people were missing out on unplugged music. That's when I decided to launch the Wireless Sessions.” Even today, these sessions carry the simple signature “acoustic music with friends on a Thursday evening at a lounge to start the perfect weekend!” says Shubho.

“The name Wireless depicts the essence of unplugged music in a cafe-like ambiance,” explains Shubho. “The reason behind the name becoming popular is because of the simplicity of the name and the fact that people could relate to that.” The brand Wireless was tagged along with many partners over time: Amadergaan.com, Radio Foorti, Decagon Cafe, Sound Machine, SAS, Incursion amongst many.

The Wireless Sessions regularly promote new musicians. Photo: Deep

The four seasons of the Wireless Sessions have seen plenty of musicians and bands in action Arnob, Sumon (Aurthohin), Black, Nemesis, Shironaamhin, Arbovirus, Ajob, Shunno, Radioactive, Powersurge, Reborn, Bohemian, Mechanix, Eclipse, Armeen and upcoming bands and musicians like Xoroastrian, Shade, Alternation, Germantown, 71, AOD, Radiosis and many more. A few of the sessions were also based on pure instrumentals; for instance, the sessions had some young guitarists perform -- Fahim, Samir and Saadi. To make the sessions a little more exciting, Shubho also added street-magic performances by young Fahd Kabir. “Our fifth season is to start from November,” says Shubho. “We are still thinking of interesting additions to the sessions for the next season.”

Recently, Radio Foorti was tagged along with the Wireless Sessions, highlighting the bands and musicians performing at the sessions. “It is a fun experience working directly with the musicians,” says Shubho. “I remember having a conversation with Arnob during one season, when he was supposed to perform in one of the sessions. He said that he would perform just 2-3 songs with a guitar. He actually ended up singing about 15 numbers at one go with his acoustic guitar! One other experience was when Western Milon had come to perform. The crowd loved his compositions and also the witty conversations that he had in between his songs.”

With a purpose to promote good music in Bangladesh, Shubho plans to move forward with his Live 2 Events and the Wireless Sessions. Plenty of young, upcoming and promising bands and musicians have emerged because of these sessions. Shubho and his team plan not only to introduce these new musicians to the music loving crowds, but also to keep the living legends of band music in Bangladesh, along with the contemporary artists rocking with the Wireless Sessions.


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