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Remembering Zebediah Plush

October 15, 2009

As a fairly meaty head on the 1996 Christ College totem pole, I had the good fortune to be father-in-law figure to a bunch of people infinitely more promising and talented than my not-so-humble self. Among the other cultural pursuits of our time (anathema, always, to our saffron-tinted moral police), we grew up admiring a host of homegrown bands — Crimson Storm, Gangamma’s Pleasure, Vulcan Haze, War Den and, from an amused distance, Millennium. Of the great bands on the assembly line at that time, perhaps the only intact survivors are Thermal And A Quarter and Galeej Gurus.

There was another band I admired immensely. It was young, brash, exotic, intelligent, fast and full of a dangerous vitality that was both exhilarating and terrifying. And best of all, its members were from Christ College, following in the footsteps of TAAQ and the Gurus.

Zebediah Plush - hair, vim, verve anda trickle of oomph

Zebediah Plush - hair, vim, verve anda trickle of oomph

I lived far removed from the action, in Mumbai, for most of Bangalore’s big rock season between 2001 and 2005. Ergo, I missed out (in person) on the seminal moments in Bangalore’s rock history — Thermal And A Quarter’s Jupiter Cafe (2002) and Plan B (2004) being the only milestones in which I had played a hand. But the boys (and girl) of Zebediah Plush visited Mumbai one night for a performance at a pub in Powai.

A local Mumbai band, a crowd favourite judging by the applause they got, had just warmed the stage. There was hardly any elbow room in there by the time Plush went up and I began to get a little nervous, hoping that the crowd would stay on. Frankly, I was there to cheer my home band in an indulgent avuncular fashion, and not because I expected much of them.

Hair guitar in three flavours - Jitu, Anand and Hari

Hair guitar in three flavours - Jitu, Anand and Hari

But what sheer joy it was to watch them! In the limelight, these snarky kids seemed to sprout an otherworldly persona — complete with vim, verve, pizazz and hair. They adrenalized with their brand of intelligent, sophisticated music and a performance so riveting that soon, nearly everyone in that partisan Mumbai metal crowd had been won over.

Just when Bangalore, and other parts of the world that had earned a chance to experience them, had grown immensely fond of this lovable brat pack, Zebediah Plush, like those that marry too young, followed its destiny to disband, but sans acrimony or bad blood. After bringing out one studio album, Afterlaughs (2005), the members of Plush decided it was time to go their separate ways — to university, into careers, and perhaps even to explore oblivion. But their way of going away was not to peter out but to explode, supernova-esque, in one last gasp of glory.

Andy - Unforgettable Plush bassist

Andy - Unforgettable Plush bassist

On June 30, 2005, Plush invited its fans to a concert alongside Thermal And A Quarter at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore. It was dubbed — with characteristic Plush tongue-in-cheekness — The Last Laugh. And there, in its own tumultuous way, Zebediah Plush announced the end of a dream chase.

Another of Bangalore’s infamous history-makers had walked into a sunset of its own making. And through the years, despite MySpace and Last.fm, Plush’s music has been found and lost and lost again in our great cyber archive.

Arfaaz - singing drummer

Arfaaz - singing drummer

Zebediah Plush were:

Arfaaz Kagalwala – Drums, vocals
Anand Varghese – Guitars, vocals
Avijit Michael – Keyboards
Anindita Gupta – Bass
Hari Adivarekar – Vocals

All pictures from Zebediah Plush’s Facebook page

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2009 9:07 pm

    Da, even I don’t remember Zebediah Plush! 😀

  2. Grease permalink
    October 21, 2009 12:11 pm

    good band, no doubt. they got tighter along the way for sure. I just don’t get what was so “unforgettable” about the bassist…the fact that she was a chick who could barely play bass? we might want to get over that mentality which makes us praise women to the high skies, just coz they’re women. There was nothing phenomenal about the bassist, let’s face it. it’s like calling Yasmin a great drummer…easy to say when there aren’t too many.
    anyway, good band…commendable DIY ethic and definitely one of the better bands who ought to have stuck around.

  3. fuzz permalink
    October 21, 2009 12:20 pm

    Seems like a ghost from a part of my brain that’s either gone up in smoke or doesnt exist anymore… thanks Bijoy for remembering us! All the careless irreverence and excessive behaviour not withstanding, this was my first and most fun band and one that I would have liked to continue till this day. I guess some things are just not meant to be… for better or for worse.

  4. October 22, 2009 9:45 am

    @Grease: Good point about the “unforgettable bassist”. You put it in perspective when you said “easy to say when there aren’t too many.”

  5. October 22, 2009 9:49 am

    @Arfaaz: I know you are up and about in a new avatar and I’ve been following up. Nonetheless, there was a certain magic to those times (the millennium’s first decade) that is certainly harder to recreate now. Maybe it was the exhilaration of the struggle, maybe it was the sharp-fangedness of youth… somehow, with the end of one the other seems not to matter any more.

  6. December 15, 2009 6:59 pm

    Fun times, fun times… 🙂

  7. Selvi permalink
    January 24, 2010 8:30 am

    Thanks for everything, Machas.

Trackbacks

  1. Why MTV can never befriend Indian indie rock « Bijoy Venugopal
  2. TAAQin » Wha…?! Indian rock history minus TAAQ?!

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