Sound Box visits a popular club cum music joint in Maharashtra’s culture capital Pune
‘Come home to High’ says the catch line of one of Pune’s most popular clubs/music joints, High Spirits. For a city that mostly caters to its fiscally well endowed IT crowd, High Spirits with its breezy décor, easy on pocket rates and innovative musical nights, has charmed the young crowd of the city, metamorphosing into a local hangout joint. Five years since its inception, the place has become the watering hole for Pune’s younger, more finance conscious set.
Warm and friendly, young Khodu Irani is the sole proprietor of High Spirits. Having spearheaded the events space for over 12 years, Irani comes from a family that has marshalled various music events including Zakir Hussain’s concert at Shaniwar Wada, The Pune Fesival, several dance festivals – the list is endless.
Having dabbled with various clubs and pubs in the city earlier, Irani started the resto-bar with the intention of providing good music at reasonable rates. Knowing the vast amount of collegians that Pune hoards, whose pocket money vanishes fast enough, providing cheap ‘spirits’ with maximum entertainment was a concept that worked for High. The place picked up soon and has become a major hangout joint for music aficionados who enjoy their music in High Spirits (literally)!! Its snowballing popularity also won it the Best Restobar Award by Times Night Awards in 2010.
Where to get High
Located at one of the most branded areas of the city, Koregaon Park, High as it is commonly called, is surrounded by competition all around, (Soul, Sheesha Café, Club One, the recently deceased Opus) yet it strikes you with its old world charm. Apart from serving liquor, its kitchen belts out three different types of cuisines, Indian, Continental and Chinese.
High on Music
Divided into two areas, High boasts of an outside space where live music is hosted and an enclosed area where the usual club activities are carried on and DJs spin the music. Enjoy a game of table tennis board or challenge your buddies for a foosball game that is ornamented in one corner along with small tables, giving it a more casual feel. One can often see people lingering around the table tennis area for hours. The club area inside is adorned with paintings of John Lennon, Jimmy Hendrix, Bob Marley and several other musicians giving it more of a 60’s feel. Though small, the place has a very warm, welcoming feel.
With a modest capacity of 300- 350 people, the club also boasts of an equally modest music system and acoustics. “Since we have a comparatively smaller area, we make sure we have the perfect balance between overtly loud and inaudible, nevertheless our equipments match up to the best of the standards, says the manager of the club, Nitesh. Several known bands have enthralled the audience at High, radiating music as varied as Rock, Funk and Fusion. The major attractions were Shaai’r + Func, Jalebee Cartel, Whirling Kalapas, Soulmate, Kundalini Airport, Aurora Jane, Swarathma and Rajasthan Roots. While several other bands from as far as the eastern half of the country have also charmed the audience, the place also remains a hot pot for local musicians to impress with their acts. The club also has a tie-up with popular music venue in Mumbai, Blue Frog, via which the acts that play there also do a gig in High, giving the club an almost constant supply of live performances.
High has innovative special nights almost every day of the week, each ensuring it of its own set of loyal customers. Display your singing skills on Tuesdays at the Karaoke Nights or Baroke as it’s referred to here. Join with your gang on Wednesdays for High Housie and stand a chance to win free alcohol. Thursdays is one of the hugely popular Bladder Burst nights- unlimited beer to drink and vodka shots at a mere Rs 400 but all this only till you don’t pay a visit to the restroom. They don’t call it Bladder Burst just like that!! And if it is music that pulsates you, Friday Night Live brags of live music played by music groups from across the globe. Pay a sum of 300 bucks and get high on music and alcohol. Party-goers can enjoy Saturday nights with the in-house DJs. Apart from the regulars; the club is famous for its theme parties like Halloween Masquerade Ball, Toga Party, St Patrick’s Day party and several others.