The Surinder Sandhu Band 
- Dawinder Bansal 

July 8, 2005 

Going to a concert like this is a truly unique experience. The Surinder Sandhu Band collectively performed the most spectacularly mind blowing East meets West compositions I have ever heard - bought to the MAC in association with SAMPAD and Birmingham Jazz. This band is an amazing collection of some remarkably talented musicians, successful in their own right as well as a collective.

As a regular attendee of classical Indian music concerts, I was curious to see how this collaboration between South Asian and Western instruments/styles was going to work. It was made up of 8 musicians: Guitarist (Peter Brown), a Bass player (Dave "the funk" Clark), Drums (Miles Levin), Saxophone (Chris Aldrige), Ghatam and Khanjira (R N Prakash), Tabla (Shabaz Hussain), special guest Ken Zuckerman on Sarode and last but not least the main man himself - Surinder on Sarangi. The Sarangi, is a fascinating instrument - which is best described as the South Asian equivalent of a violin.

The band was introduced, instruments were already set up and ready to go - all that remained was a little fine turning before the concert began.  When all the musicians came on stage, I realised how many people were actually performing, and some of them played more than one instrument. By this stage I was actually a little worried, wondering if the concert was going to be a haphazard blend of different musical styles. Once they played Revisited and Children of the Sand, I knew I was very wrong and was absolutely blown away by what I had just heard, so was the rest of the audience!

Musical understanding
Each musician understood every aspect of music; the complexities of rhythmic cycles and most importantly were fully tuned to one another. They played new and old compositions from previous albums, flexibility within each composition was apparent as there seemed to be a lot of improvising which was very entertaining.  They went on to play Re-union, Amirah, Song for a Friend, Elephant Strings, Inside the Circle and The Glass Palace.

It's hard to say who shone the most because they were all simply amazing to watch. I particularly enjoyed performances by Surinder, Peter (Guitars) and David (Bass).  Surinder spoke to the audience a few times and appears to be a witty, humble, intelligent and well travelled man.