IT ALL started in 1984 when Desmond and Christopher Powell, two brothers and talented musicians, left their small town life in Bihar behind them and moved into the big bad city of New Delhi to try out their fortune. It was while they were playing in hotel bands in Delhi that they came across their neighbor in the sleepy-dopey Chittaranjan Park, a wannabe singer by the name of Raja Bhattacharya. Raja was into Indian music, and knew little about Rock and Roll. So when they jammed first, Raja discovered that there was a lot to be learned from the Powell brothers. In October 1985, Des, Raja and Kris decided they could play as a band. So now we have three young musicians in search of a name. Raja's longtime friend Sanjay Kapoor suggests NIRVANA, and the three musketeers like it. That's how NIRVANA is born in 1985.
In December 1986, the boys get their first gig alongside none else but India's ever-popular rock band Friends of Shiva. The boys are thrilled about the Rs. 350 fee they will get, but they still don't have a bass player. This is when Debjyoti Bhaduri, aka. DJ, surfaces out of nowhere and joins them them on bass, thereby bringing in the vital fourth dimension. With DJ's fine musical sensibilities, Nirvana picks out a great repertoire that makes Jeff and PC of Shiva comment "Wow guys ... You're Good!!!" YouthQuake '85 is basically a Shiva concert, but Nirvana's warm-up act is noticed. A Star is Born!!!
For three years the band moves along as a four-piece act. In 1988, young Stephenian Tarani Chandola joins them on the keys changing Nirvana's sound altogether. The only good bands around in Delhi at that time were Nightshift (now Euphoria), Seby and Wings and Dudley's Five. Nirvana establishes itself in the frontline among these groups plays show after show in Delhi and outside. An on-the-road brotherhood exists between the boys, which later money could never buy.
DJ leaves in 1990 to join Euphoria. His place is filled (if HIS place can ever be filled) by Brennon Denfer, a monster of jazz bass. Brennon brings in a new kind of world-class touch which arises out of years of being the son of celebrated jazz players Kenny and Joy Denfer. Being used to playing 68-chord songs, he has a tough time playing Springsteen songs with just two chords, but he learns fast. A major concert in IGI Stadium alongside Indus Creed is his first concert, but he springs a surprise with his fingers. Critics applaud him in the papers.
In 1992, Tarani leaves for higher studies abroad and his place is taken by old Nirvana friend Daniel George, then a performing jazz pianist and music teacher. Danny brings in the much-needed theoretical sanity into the band. Finally the band can do Steely Dan, Yes and Rush, etc. Personally, Danny is at a juncture where he has not only Nirvana but a flourishing career in recording ahead of him.
So now, Des, Raja, Chris, Danny and Brennon move along playing concert after concert and increasing their repertoire to include more and more different styles. This is the strongest set-up any band had in those days. It is 1994 and new bands start coming up and competition gets fierce.
Today, when the Century has turned, Nirvana is still a band to reckon with. Our tally of more than 600 shows is still unbeaten in Delhi and is growing. (To be fair to other bands, this figure includes not just big shows but also some small insignificant shows). "Can't see you guys as much as before," is a frequent remark addressed to us nowadays. Well, unlike when we started, there is a lot of healthy competition today. Many new and talented bands are around and everyone must get a slice of the pie. We still play a lot, but so do others!!!
That is the long and short of our career. Many musicians have played with us over the years and enriched us. Thank you DJ and Tarani (above all), Atul Ahuja, KK, Julius Fernandes, Sameer Sinha, Rankin Gomes, Arthur Menezes, Alex Fernandes, Lucias Fernandes, Julius Packiam, Wesley Mathias, Ruchika Castelino, Vandana Vadehra, Shivani Shah, Sunny Sungry, Tony Quadros, Buster, Barbara, Clayton Bannister, Carlyle Van Jure, Ritesh Khokhar and Deepak Castelino. Two noted young musicians Neel Hariharan and Ashwini Verma support us in concert even today.
NIRVANA will continue to entertain you folks till you want us (AND EVEN IF YOU DON'T). Inshallah!!!
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