Kar­nivool at­mos­phere in In­dia

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

COMO IT’S al­ways go­ing to be an ex­pe­ri­ence like no other when one trav­els to In­dia and Kar­nivool’s third trip was no ex­cep­tion.

We played four shows in In­dia and our show in Chen­nai was one that was full of sur­prises: some nice ones, some not so and some just down­right hi­lar­i­ous.

Nev­er­the­less, one par­tic­u­lar day left us with some great sto­ries to tell the grand­kids.

The show took place at the IIT in Madras, a univer­sity cam­pus lo­cated within the Guindy Na­tional Park, a beau­ti­ful area that is home to large num­bers of chi­tal (spot­ted deer), black buck, mon­keys and other rare wildlife.

We ar­rived for sound check at the au­di­to­rium, which was more or less a car­bon copy of the IIT Univer­sity in Mum­bai, where we played our first In­dian show, to be greeted by an ex­tended fam­ily of mon­keys.

The mon­keys scam­pered away in fright when we started mak­ing noise but not be­fore a plethora of tech­ni­cal dif­fi­cul­ties.

One young cu­ri­ous male stole a can of Coke that was sit­ting next to the bass rig and then ran ea­gerly up a rung of the stage truss onto a shade cloth di­rectly above where we were set up.

Af­ter tast­ing this strange black ef­fer­ves­cent liq­uid and pos­si­bly in­tro­duc­ing di­a­betes into his tribe, he did ex­actly what we all were hop­ing he would not do and dropped it so that a steady stream of the fa­mous cola ran straight into the hot valves of Hoss’s Mar­shall amp.

We were al­ready down one amp from what we had re­quested, but luck­ily, af­ter we pow­ered it off and cleaned it, the amp was fine!

The next hur­dle came when I strapped my guitar on in sound check to be greeted with a nasty earth buzz com­ing through my speak­ers.

I was al­ready in my usual bare­foot at­tire and when I touched the strings on my guitar, I felt some mi­nor zaps in my feet and fin­gers and my lips through the mi­cro­phone. Not ideal.

Af­ter try­ing to lift the ground in a cou­ple of places in my rig, I tried the most ob­vi­ous ground lift and put my Hava­iana pluggers on. The noise and the nasty shocks dis­ap­peared.

Now as far as footwear goes, I only brought with me these thongs and some clunky boots, none of which I feel at all com­fort­able wear­ing whilst play­ing a set. I can­not ac­tu­ally re­mem­ber the last time I played a show in any kind of footwear.

Benn, our tour man­ager, man­aged to find a square of black tarp to place on the stage around my ef­fect ped­als and mi­cro-

Pic­tures: Roycin D'souza

phone. This pro­vided a tem­po­rary fix for the prob­lem, but only if I stayed within the three square me­tre con­fines of my shock­free prison.

Come show­time, of course my danc­ing feet wan­dered straight off the black tarp and on to the bare stage and I was zapped back into po­si­tion.

Af­ter I alerted him, Nick, our guitar tech, man­aged to find a longer piece of this black tarp and run it all the way back to my amp so I had a safe run­way of sorts.

The show went ahead as I man­aged to stay within the al­lot­ted area and what fol­lowed was an in­cred­i­ble feel­ing with a full house of in­tensely pas­sion­ate In­dian fans throw­ing their ea­ger voices and energy straight back at us. I was so swept up in the daz­zling lights and the show that by the end of the main set, around the time of the last riff of Ro­que­fort, I pulled what can only be de­scribed as a bit of a d*** move.

I dropped down on one knee just off the tarp and do­ing so made me in­ca­pable of us­ing any of my nor­mal mo­tor skills, es­pe­cially in­volv­ing my fin­gers, which I felt sud­denly fuse to the strings as an alarm­ing buzz shocked me into sub­mis­sion.

I buck­led and fell on to the ground and landed on what was by now a very sweaty left arm while still try­ing to play the fi­nal riff. By this stage, I re­ally felt the full force of the elec­tric shock, which threw the guitar off me.

Need­less to say, the riff sounded like an am­a­teur gamer play­ing Guitar Hero on the ex­pert set­ting. There was con­fu­sion and laugh­ter as I walked off stage with the other guys for a break be­fore the encore.

Slightly shaken, I walked back on with the guys to play the last cou­ple of songs to round out what was an amaz­ing set de­spite nearly be­ing zapped to a crisp.

Bring on the next In­dian ex­pe­ri­ence.

Left: Kar­nivool per­form dur­ing their in­fa­mous show in Chen­nai, In­dia on Jan­uary 10, 2015. Right: Kar­nivool mem­bers Ian Kenny, Drew God­dard and Mark Hosk­ing sight-see­ing dur­ing their In­dia tour.

Kar­nivool lead gui­tarist Drew God­dard writes about the band’s Jan­uary 2015 tour of In­dia, a cola-drink­ing mon­key, ap­pro­pri­ate footwear and what it’s like try­ing to play a guitar while suf­fer­ing from elec­tric shock.

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