Last week I had the pleasure of visiting India for the first time as I was booked to play at a special wedding in Bangalore. Having performed at so many Indian weddings in the UK and Thailand especially, it was really exciting to get a chance to experience a bit of the real India. Booked to perform with Entourage, I travelled with my team mates André Saxman Brown on saxophone and Deji Carr on percussion, with me on electric violin.
We had a day to chill (sleep) upon arrival at the Shangri-La Hotel, and were each given a lovely welcome pack of sweet treats and nibbles from the bride and groom in our room. Perusing this package, I soon realised that masala-flavoured anything is a big hit in India.
The next night we performed as a three-piece band with the DJ for a cocktail reception in the hotel ballroom. This was reasonably civilised in one sense as we finished playing at 1.15am (usually unheard of for an Indian wedding), however the early finish time did not stop some of the most impressive and unabashed dance moves I’ve ever witnessed. Some really excellent dancing.
The next evening we headed to another hotel, the Taj West End, to perform for a wedding reception outside for 600 guests. This was an absolutely stunning outdoor setting with a background of beautifully-lit trees and exquisite decorations. We liked it so much we posed for a lot of pictures: