This year’s Guitar Festival is a delightful offering of some of the most impressive guitarists and performers in the world.
Debashish Bhattacharya, is no exception with his reputation as a slide guitarist with an impressive instrumental arsenal proceeding him.
Accompanied by his daughter, singer Anandi, and his brother Subhasis, a phenomenally talented tabla drummer, Bhattacharya treated the small audience at Dunstan Playhouse to an intimate performance.
There is no doubt the man has extraordinary talent in Indian classical music, but he is also credited with the design of instruments such as the Hindustani guitar and the “Trinity of Guitars” which includes his lap-slidechaturangui, 14-stringed gandharvi and the anandi, and a four-string slide ukulele.
Sitting on the stage with very minimal lighting, the trio of musicians performed a small number of songs showcasing their talent and expertise.
Very much a raconteur, Debashish Bhattacharya had a tale to tell about each song and each instrument, and as there was as much story-telling as there was music, the sixty minute show became a ninety-five minute show.
Highlights were two Monsoon Ragas which were melodic and beautiful, transporting the audience into a foreign climate and creating imagery through superbly perfect playing before leading to a frenetic finish.
Debashish Bhattacharya is a marvel on each of the instruments he played, accompanied by Anandi’s beautifully crisp voice and Subhasis’ incredibly entertaining drumming.
Debashish Bhattacharya and Subhasis played against each other, occasionally battling to outdo each other on their instruments, which gave the show a comedic element and contributed to the intimacy of the show.
Debashish Bhattacharya’s work comes highly recommended and if there is a chance to see him in action, do take the opportunity as he is an exceptional musician; just ensure you don’t book another engagement directly after the show as he tends to play overtime.
Reviewed by Libby Parker
Friday 18th July