Thursday, October 28, 2004

usha uthup

Last night we went to Jazz by the Bay and saw Usha Uthup sing. We'd been there once before and I'd been pretty bored - bad cover songs by so-so bands, the usual expensive cocktails and social banter you can't quite hear over the music. There's really only so long I can pull off the smile-and-nod routine before I get squirmy and peevish. Last night was different. We were there with all 3 of Ramesh Sippy's grown kids (one is our housemate Rohan) - for those who don't know, he's pretty much the greatest and best loved Hindi film director in th history of Bollywood - and the lady singing had sung for one of his movies a few decades ago. You'd pass her on the street in India and probably not notice too much other than that her sari and jewelry is nicer than most - she's older, plump, with glasses underlining her large bindi. Her smile is a bit devilish for someone who otherwise might be described as matronly. Her voice, though....WHAM! She's got the belt it out, full, throaty voice of a James Bond intro. I don't know if it'll come across online as well as it did in that little room but you should give it a try at her website (our connection is too slow for me to test it) - She bantered between songs about when she only got to sing bad girls parts and background music because her voice is far from the indian high pitched good girl ideal and asked the Sippy kids to thank their father for her break in his film. She won over the crowd with her suprisingly naughty grin and huge voice - well, most of the crowd knew her and loved her already, so really she won over us. Pretty cool.


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