GRIN AND BEER: XU FASHION BAR & KITCHEN, SYED HARIS ALI AND NASH

Some coffee and chortles seem to be the order of the day at most cafes and bars in Bengaluru and everyone seems to be ready to laugh out loud.

Text by Namita Gupta

It’s a laugh riot out there. The stand-up comedy scene is at an all-time high now in Bengaluru. Not only the regular tipplers but everyone seems to be making the most of their weekends at these stand-up gigs. Cafes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs are buzzing with comedy evenings and laugh in the Luru are on the rise. The demand for the genre is seeing an upswing and how. Open mic evenings, Improv and Stand-up gigs are clearly the talk of the town. Comedy is serious business for some of these hotspots that are giving Bengalureans a dose of some fun nights with a funny twist. Whoever said ‘Laughter is the best medicine’, said it right. After all who doesn’t like a good laugh. Meet these catalysts who are changing the way we look at entertainment.

XU FASHION BAR & KITCHEN, SYED HARIS ALI AND NASH

Syed Haris Ali who gave Bengaluru a space for psytrance lovers with Pebbles started XU Fashion Bar & Kitchen. A dentist by qualification, builder by profession and a nightclub owner by passion, Haris likes to innovate how people look at entertainment. DJ Nash, a Bengaluru based DJ / Producer with over 15 years in the nightlife industry is also a partner at XU Fashion Bar & Kitchen, The Leela Palace curating the artists programming and events at XU.

What are the reasons for the growing popularity of these nights with a funny twist? 

Stand-up Comedy is an all-new dimension to nightlife. Think of it, the perfect stress buster and an ideal evening out for any day of the week. It is perfect for an evening out with family or friends after a long day’s work and all you need is to add a couple of drinks and tons of laughter. It’s a great break from the monotony of everyday serious work life. Besides Bengaluru is not blessed with a beach or great viewpoints to chill and de-stress.

How do you curate something different in stand-up comedy? Name some stand-up comedy artists and shows who have performed here?

We are only two months old and we have always wanted to make sure we have some quality acts at XU. We have had Atul Khatri, Kenny Sebastian and Abish Mathew. We have some really good names lined up for the next couple of months. The comedy has diversified from just performing on stage to interactive and improvised versions. Even more quirkier ones are comedy version with a band, where the performance is more a sing along / live karaoke-Ish performance.

What do people like most about your place? 

People love our food and drinks, ambiance and our curated stage. We hope to continue giving some great artist scheduling.

What is planned for the year ahead?

We have some really good names lined up. There are plenty of plans in the pipeline and we are planning a festival of sorts, an open mic, American bar formal and regular comedy night is also being curated.