Kolkata: If a place can change anyone’s fortune then Trincas has been the same for playback singer Usha Uthup.
“I belong to Trincas and Trincas belong to me,” said the Padma Shri awardee singer Usha Uthup on a lazy humid September noon as she was reminiscing her 50-year-long association with the iconic night club at Park Street.
She was talking at a press met organised by Trincas for its diamond Jubilee celebration at Kolkata’s Park Street. “The chandelier and I have lived on,” she said looking up at the ceiling and smiling. It’s history.”
“I am grateful that Trincas happened to me. It is a hallowed crown. I learnt so much from the amazing musicians that we have had,” said the 72-year-old singer who started singing at the night club at the age of 22.
Talking about her journey, Usha Uthup (then Iyer) said that she was a cabaret singer. “People have many misconceptions regarding cabaret. Cabaret is a floor show. Clad in Kanjivaram saree and singing Jazz, Pop, Rock and Folk was revolutionary. But yes audience liked it,” said Uthup.
Satyajit Ray, Uttam Kumar and Supriya di (Chowdhury), Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi used to visit. Politicians like Jyoti Babu (Basu), Somnath Chatterjee were among few. I remember Uttam Kumar and Supriya di would request me to sing Those were the days sung by Mary Hopkin. Harry Belafonte’s Matilda was quite a hit. It had created magical moments here when everyone at the audience starts singing.
She used to sing for not one but three sessions – tea session, pre-cinema session and post cinema session. “People used to throng the place. Some requesting movie songs, others retro be it Hindi or English. I learnt Hindi and added Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi and Tamil in my repertoire. No body could imagine singing Tagore’s Purano Shei diner kotha. I have broken the myth that Tagore songs cannot be sung at nightclubs,” said the singer of hit numbers like Dum Maro Dum, Shaan Se, Darling, who started her playback singing career with Navketan. As her stardom rose, so did the Trincas and the two legends were created.
The Bar and Restaurant not only played an important role in her professional front but personal front as well. She met her husband Jani Uthup, fell in love with the city and stayed on ever since.
The national awardee singer reminiscing about celebs who used to come for live music sessions at the Trincas said, “Satyajit Ray, Uttam Kumar and Supriya di (Chowdhury), Amitabh Bachchan, Sharmila Tagore and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi used to visit. Politicians like Jyoti Babu (Basu), Somnath Chatterjee were among few. I remember Uttam Kumar and Supriya di would request me to sing Those were the days sung by Mary Hopkin. Harry Belafonte’s Matilda was quite a hit. It had created magical moments here when everyone at the audience starts singing. I am blessed that Trincas’ happened to me. It’s a trendsetter and became synonymous with the cultural heritage of our city. Kolkata is indeed the musical Mecca.”
The night club that started as a quiet tea room back in July 1959 was redesigned in 1961 for live entertainment. It witnessed superstars and celebrities from every corner of India and abroad. Live performances of musicians like Biddu Appaiah, The Trojans, Ajit Singh, The Cavaliers, Flintstones and many more coupled with classic continental and Indian food, the place became an happening place of Kolkata. Music had never left it, and to this day, has Hindi music, performed by RGB from 6 to 9 during evening, followed by Western Band (Sweet Agitation) from 9 pm onwards.
The legendary ‘Sunday Jam Sessions’ of 70’s is revived by Trincas with ‘All Day Sunday’ Music with new bands given a platform to showcase their talents which is again a hit with new guests and regulars. Music starts at 1pm and goes all day until 11.30 pm.
There will be a celebration on September 28, 29 and 30 to celebrate the twin occasion. Anand Puri of Trincas said, “More and more young people are coming and discovering the place. As a part of the celebratory offer, people can receive 15 per cent discount loyalty card to become a Trincan.”