Do you bear in mind Saturday Date? That All India Radio present, common from the ’60s till properly into the’ 90s, that performed mailed-in requests from Bombay people who needed to listen to easy-listening pop that everybody merely known as English numbers? The 10pm weekend hour was a double deal with – a uncommon likelihood to listen to modern Western music and dedicate a music to a beloved one.
In the lockdown, one Mumbai cowl band has given the long-forgotten format a 2020 revival. For Reena & Lindsay’s Saturday Date, requests pour in as Facebook posts. The set-list is determinedly retro – suppose Jim Reeves, Dolly Parton and stuff your uncle hums. But their weekly gigs on Facebook Live, beamed by way of cell phone, with a front room couch within the background, have turn into one thing of a weekend staple for hundreds of followers all over the world.
“We started in May with hour-long gigs like the radio show,” says Reena Vaz, 42. “But people loved the idea and requests kept coming in.” On Facebook, listeners may also see what others have picked and maintain including new songs. ” An common of 500 requests are made each week. And what began as an hour-long present at 10pm now extends previous midnight.
Lindsay Pitter, 50, Vaz’s accomplice and the opposite half of the duvet band, says the key lies within the playlist. “We play the music that the radio present would have aired, we even play bits of the signature title tune,” he says. “Christians loved that show. Their children grew up with these songs playing at home, and the community has spread around the world – some families, now in five different countries, coordinate on WhatsApp so they can all watch together. ” Comments on the Facebook web page have folks saying they filter Saturday-night chores to listen to the band, or make a social gathering of it with drinks and terrace barbecue.
Nostalgia followers are tuning in from the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Korea, and Malaysia. “I think it’s also because no radio channels really play this kind of music any more,” Vaz says.
In a typical gig, Reena & Lindsay croon their means from The Bellamy Brothers and Kenny Rogers to the ’80s’ energy ballads and ’90s’ boy band harmonies.
Ricardo Pereira, 42, a Mumbai-based journey service supplier, has been watching the duo stay for years. Criticism now a common at their Saturday Date. “Served a great selection of songs and Reena and Lindsay have a nice sense of humor between their renditions,” he says. “Going not quite like a live show, where the crowd would be dancing too, but it’s amazing to see the comments flying in as thousands more fans tune in.”
The duo’s chemistry comes by way of too. Their skilled and private partnership goes again 20 years, to after they broke from a six-piece band to carry out covers collectively. They have been performed events, wedding ceremony receptions, resort lounges and occasions and, earlier than the pandemic, have been sometimes booked for 4 to 6 nights a week.
“There were 24 gigs in February alone,” Vaz says. “I was so exhausted, I just wanted to do nothing for one month.”
The lockdown made them each remorse that want. It additionally gave Pitter the concept of enjoying nearly from house. “Even though seen at home and the gig is free, we treat it like every other show,” he says. They costume of their stage outfits. Vaz places on make-up and slips into heels, although by no means ever within the body.
The free gig has led to paid digital engagements too, and gives to play to new audiences in Goa, Singapore and Uganda when it is safer to journey. Going additionally being monetised by Facebook’s Stars initiative, which permits customers to bathe stars, priced at one cent every, on common performers. Foreign viewers have been particularly benevolent. “They were rained stars down like the Milky Way,” Pitter says.
Even when the pandemic ends, they are saying, neither is keen to surrender Saturday Date. “We considered move it to a different day, perhaps play a Sunday brunch so people in different time zones can tune in comfortably,” Pitter says. “Going unbelievable how far and extensive the present has reached. Someday, going going to put in writing a guide about it. “