The Bombay Royale are a Melbourne band dedicated to honouring and reviving the funky, bizarre and mysterious music of vintage Indian cinema. Dusting off near-unheard relics, smashing out Bollywood classics and putting down surfadelic Hindi originals is all in a day’s work for The Bombay Royale. This band brings the sound of the Golden Age of Bollywood back to the future, where it belongs.
The cinema of 1960’s and 1970’s India was a riot of saturated color and dramatic excess. Far from the polish and shine of modern Bollywood, an ingenious industry was forging a new nation’s identity, cannibalizing every aspect of world cinema and remaking it. An all-singing, all-dancing, all funky subcontinental style never before imagined. The soundtracks followed suit. Every possible influence from surf rock to disco was absorbed and recombined with a uniquely Indian sensibility. The heroes of this music rank among the great musicians of the 20th century. R.D Burman, Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi are still household names in India, but largely unknown in the outside world. The Bombay Royale is here to rectify the situation.
Starring vocalists Parvyn “The Mysterious Lady” Singh and Shourov “The Tiger” Bhattacharya and led by musical director Andy “The Skipper” Williamson, The Bombay Royale are an uncanny crew of masked marauders. Session pirates hauled from various crews unite to assault the senses with pulsing tablas, hot brass, shimmering spaghetti guitar and sitar, screaming organs and driving bass and drums. Not to mention analog synthesizers, spring reverb, tape echo and occasionally elephants, monkeys and tigers.
Sote Sote Adhi Raat. If you like Bollywood space disco, this song is for you. Literally translated as “each night I open my eyes,” Sote Sote features the haunting vocals of Parvyn “The Mysterious Lady” Singh. This cosmic love song originally appeared on the soundtrack to the film Siskeyan and was composed by Sapan Jagmohan. The update on this little heard tune is arranged by Andy Williamson and produced by Bob Knob and Tristan Ludowyk in the Hope Street studio.
Solla Solla Enna Perumai features the mighty vocals of Shourov “The Tiger” Bhattacharya. Originally appearing in the film Ella Inba Mayam and composed by Ilaiyaraaja, Solla Solla is a stormer, careering wildly through the jungle on a hyperactive rhythm section and scattered with epic brass and hot guitars. No animals were harmed in the recording of this song, but it was close.