Live Concert Photography: Bombay Rickey at Barbes 3/9/18
Officially formed in 2012, the Brooklyn-based, genre-defying world music act Bombay Rickey, comprised of Kamala Sankaram (vocals, accordion sitar), Drew Fleming (guitar, vocals), Jeff Hudgins (saxophones, vocals), Gil Smuskowitz (upright bass) and Brian Adler (percussion), all of whom have had backgrounds playing in New York and Texas’ experimental, indie and punk rock scenes can trace their origins to a much earlier incarnation:a cover band dedicated to the work of Yma Sumac, a Peruvian-American soprano, who famously claimed a 5-octave range and was a national and international sensation in the 1950s with the release of a handful of albums, including Mambo!
With the release of 2014’s Cinefonia, Bombay Rickey, quickly developed a local and national profile as a result of material that’s wildly adventurous but accessible, and incredibly danceable mesh of Bollywood, prog rock, metal, psych rock, rock and opera — yes opera, too; in fact, the band won the Best Eclectic Album Vox Pop Award at the 2014 Independent Music Awards, and adding to a growing profile, they’ve opened for Dengue Fever, had a track appear in a Citibank, and have written and performed an opera based on Yma Sumac both nationally and internationally.
Interestingly enough, the band’s upcoming album Electric Bhairavi finds the band further refining their sound with material drawing from surf rock, Hindustani ragas, prog rock, metal and a wide array of influences with two Yma Sumac inspired songs, which display Sankaram’s incredible vocal range. Now, earlier this month I caught most of the genre-defying act’s most recent set at Barbes, which featured material from Cinefonia and Electric Bhairavi. Check out some photos from the show, below.