The Bombay Royale: You Me Bullets Love
- The Bombay Royale are, in their own words, 'a dizzying blend of haunting Hindi vocals, Tarantino-esque surf guitars, wild disco rhythms, shimmering sitars, flamboyant theatritics and...' well their own words go on for quite some time, but really, with eleven members all dedicated to bringing a cauldron full of Bollywood to the boil, they're all true. Hang-on though, Bollywood, we've done that sensation, I've had my fill of Aishwara Rai and Shahrukh Khan (trust me, I had a Sri Lankan flatmate, it was all she watched). Well, Bombay Royale isn't, if you were paying close attention, your everyday Bollywood. Frontman, Andy Williamson, or as he's known in the ghettos of Rajasthan 'The Skipper', is at pains to point out, The Bombay Royale are channeling, specifically, the psychedelic, funky, spaghetti western sounds of the Punjab back in the 60s and 70s. So, anyone who sneaks down to the back of their favourite record store and fondles the leopard-skin patterned, velvety slips of the vinyl in the exotica section will feel right at home here. Williamson, who you may also know from The Public Opinion Afro Orchestra, even further back was hanging out with Blue King Brown and here he sits around obsequiously, pretending to be all unimportant, just blowing away on his sax and letting his two Indian stars, soparano Parvyn Kaur Singh and baritone Shourov Bhattacharya sing heartily over the top of The Bombay Royale's little orchestra of strings, brass, keys, guitars, drums tablas, sitars and, well there's a lot more. They turn this small arsenal to a bunch of originals and interpreting a couple of the classics as well. At least one is so classic even I recognise it, Jaan Pehecahn Ho, the 1965 hit from the movie Gumnaam composed by Shankar Jaikishan and Anand Bakshi. A catchy as hell bit of very danceable 60s rock, and some of the costumes which the Bombay Royale shake their stuff in on stage may look quite familiar if you ever happened to catch that flick'. Sitting right next to it on You Me Bullets Love, The Bombay Royale's debut album, is the title track and the album's first single. An original, the equally pacey but more spaghetti western influenced number stands up admirably against the covers. There are quite a number of enjoyable things here, I really liked the psychedelic sighing of Dacoit's Choice and some which they've been quite adventurous with, like the mixture of Bollywood disco with what sounds like a house-diva vocal on The Perfect Plan. You Me Bullets Love is more than just a funny slice of kitsch, it marks The Bomaby Royale as a a band taking the stuff of yesterday, a bit of it which no-one else is tackling right now, and turning it into something that is definitely their own.
- Chris Cobcroft.