Tag Archives: Nazrul Manch

Chandrabindoo, Blood, Fossils at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

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The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

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The Festival Chapter III: Moshpit Mayhem (held on the 15th of June, ) promised so much for the metal-starved community of Kolkata. However, the event’s extremely low turnout has seemingly rung the death knell for future metal events of a similar nature in Kolkata.

It had been hoped that the 3rd edition of The Festival would finally put Kolkata on the nation-wide metal map, with its anticipated success leading to more event organizers and international metal acts willing to jump onto Kolkata’s so-called “metal band-wagon” in the future. However a below-par turnout (less than 250 by my count) was a downright rejection of the laudable efforts of event group E365 Media Solutions to showcase some very decent acts, the likes of which Kolkata rarely has the opportunity to witness. The lack of attendees was a major sore point – especially at a venue the size of Nazrul Manch – and towards the initial stages of the show the number of backstage personnel and photographers far outnumbered the actual audience count.

The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

This lack of attendees proved a big a problem for the opening act Nothnegal. Kolkata was the last leg of their Indian tour, and while this melodic death band from the Maldives had hoped to go out with a bang, the lukewarm response from the crowd made them seem almost apologetic to be up on stage. Nothnegal’s setlist featured songs entirely from their debut album Decadence and the first song they played was the album’s opening track ‘Salvation’ – a great song to start the evening’s proceedings. And it probably would have gotten the crowd in a tizzy if there had been enough metalheads in attendance. Other songs from the album that were performed were the very atmospheric ‘Sins of Our Creation’, ‘Singularity’, and their far more heavier tracks ‘R.A.D.A.R.’, ‘Janus’, ‘Claymore’ and ‘Armageddon’. Interspersed within these songs were two stand-out displays of musicianship – the first one a drum-solo that genuinely managed to wow the reticent crowd. The second was an awesome guitar solo by the Nothnegal lead guitarist Hilarl that actually got a few people to stand up on their seats. But these moments were few and far between and, unfortunately, the Kolkata crowd made it a point to sit quietly and politely applaud the efforts of this melodic death metal act. And so, after spending less than an hour on stage, the Maldivians gave way to the French progressive/technical death metal band Hacride.

The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

Despite the indifferent response to Nothnegal, these French metallers were raring to go from minute one. However their gig was interrupted more than once, thereby throwing their entire game plan out of the window and making the evening’s proceedings resemble scenes from Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. Things did start out rather well though with the band storming on stage and wasting no time in pummeling the audience with a wave of sound and vocal ferocity that has rarely been witnessed in The City of Joy. Egged on by a group of 20 to 30 vocal headbangers, who had magically jumpstarted into life, Hacride proceeded to lay down a full frontal assault on the dumbstruck Kolkata crowd with their performances of ‘Introversion’ and ‘Strive Ever To More’, songs from their latest album Back to Where You’ve Never Been. Vocalist Luis Roux in particular was a monster on stage and it didn’t really seem to matter to him that the audience was so miniscule, he growled his heart and screamed his lungs out. Likewise, drummer Florent Marcadet, guitarist Adrian Grousset and bassist Benoist Danneville played like beasts possessed and it took little time for their energy to transfer to the small headbanging cluster standing in front of the stage.

The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

 

However just as things were getting really heated up, a young volunteer got up on stage and stopped Hacride’s performance midway during their third song in order to make a fervent plea for help from a group of molesters who had also injured her and her friend just outside the venue’s premises. After much hullabaloo Hacride picked up from where they started – but the interruptions were far from over. This time it was the turn of the Kolkata Police to play party pooper. During their fourth song ‘To Walk Among Them’, the guardians of the city decided it was time for them to show some muscle, and threatened to stop the show if the volume levels were not decreased. After another short delay, Hacride continued from where they had left off, but it was clear that these interruptions had disrupted their momentum. And so after just a short setlist of 5 songs the French band pulled the plug on their gig and bid adieu to the Kolkata crowd, much to the disappointment of the headbanging faithful. Hacride’s was a performance that had the potential to deliver the kind of brutality that Kolkata has seldom been witness to, so it was a shame that things fizzled out. Their gig was akin to attending a sumptuous wedding feast but leaving after just having the appetizers.

The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

By now though the crowd seemed to have finally woken up from their slumber, and this was evident from their enthusiastic greeting of The Festival’s final act, Dubai’s Point Of View. POV got straight down to business and wowed the crowd with a whole range of tracks from their debut album Revolutionize the Revolutionary, which included ‘Chainsaw’, ‘Third Eye’, ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Unreal’ and the title track of the aforementioned album. Besides handling his vocal duties with aplomb, Nikhil Uzgare also tried hard connecting with the erstwhile passive crowd in between songs with some light-hearted banter, his attempts attaining a modicum of success. POV as a unit were extremely tight, and while they were definitely not metal, yet their brand of 90s influenced hard rock was a sure-fire hit with the Kolkata crowd. Rohit Joseph and Royden Mascarenhas in particular shone throughout with their impressive guitar work. POV’s drummer, homeboy Chirodeep Lahiri also played his heart out, and some of the biggest cheers of the evening were reserved especially for him.

The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

Despite all the fun they were having, POV knew that Kolkata was dying for Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal to make his much anticipated appearance on stage. The moment finally did arrive – and as guitarist Mascarenhas played the theme tune of the film Pink Panther, Bumblefoot made his much-awaited entrance and he was greeted by loud cheers from the same people who didn’t bother to even clap for The Festival’s opening artistes barely two hours ago. The atmosphere within the venue had all but transformed by now and the party had finally started! And although the numbers inside were still far from impressive, the crowd did not let go of the opportunity to show Bumblefoot who the true star of the evening was. Totally drenched in their love and energy, Bumblefoot made sure that the crowd experienced an evening they would not easily forget. Apart from accompanying POV on a few of their album songs, Bumblefoot made it a point to perform a few Guns ‘n Roses ditties, including ‘Used To Love Her’ from the GNR Lies album. In fact, he not only played but sang as well – and quite impressively too! The rendition of ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ was the standout moment of the evening, where apart from Bumblefoot and the two POV guitarists, Krosswindz’very own Vikramjit ‘Tuki’ Banerjee also joined them on stage and their four-pronged guitar jam was both a visual and aural treat. The crowd was going wild by now and it was only apt to end the evening’s proceedings with the classic GNR tune and crowd favorite, ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine’ – the audience could not ask for anything more and for the next 6 minutes there was much jumping and headbanging and lusty screaming in the house. It was the perfect paisa vasool moment for the crowd, many of whom had been vociferous in their complaints of the so-called high ticket prices (the passes were for Rs. 500 and Rs. 900 only.)

The Festival III ft. Nothnegal, Hacride, Bumblefoot, Point of View at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

And so the curtains came down on The Festival: Chapter III – and a glorious end it was despite its extremely tepid start. However despite the event’s firecracker of an ending, a bunch of questions do come to mind. For instance, has The Festival’s poor turnout discouraged the organizers to the point of bringing this event to an end for good? Are they still willing to risk attempts to bring down international rock and metal performers to The City of Joy? And would any event team in the country now be willing to risk hosting a metal gig in Kolkata after such a poor attendance? These and many more such questions need to be asked although at this moment their answers can only be speculated upon. Whatever these answers may be, E365’s brave effort to bring Kolkata onto the nationwide metal map did not go in vain – at least in the hearts of the 200 odd attendees that evening. Getting to view Nothnegal, Hacride, POV and the maestro Bumblefoot live was something they will not forget in the years to come. And hopefully E365 will be able to take heart and build upon this mini disaster so that future events such as these can happen with more success.

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Bumblefoot, Hacride, Point of View, Nothnegal at The Festival, Kolkata

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Rajdeep Chandra

Rajdeep Chandra is a photographer and bassist who likes to keep his girlfriends jealous.

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Demonic Resurrection at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

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Jeffy John

Jeffy is 'that metalhead with the beard' at a concert you've been to. Anywhere. He makes sure our PR needs are fed, watered and burped. Well.

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Parikrama Live at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

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Rajdeep Chandra

Rajdeep Chandra is a photographer and bassist who likes to keep his girlfriends jealous.

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Interview with Winston McCall, Parkway Drive

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December 17th 2011, Nazrul Manch, Calcutta: Winston McCall, vocalist of Australia’s most popular Metalcore band Parkway Drive had a chat with the WTS crew about the band’s music, experiences and performance in India.

WTS: Welcome to Calcutta. It’s a pleasure to have you guys here!

Winston: It’s an honour for us to be here,thank you.

WTS: This is your second time in Asia after having played in Japan in 2009. How come you didn’t happen to visit India back in 2009?

Winston:  We wanted to come to India but initially we didn’t get booked for any show here. We always wondered if  India has shows, because we didn’t know a lot about the culture and the music scenario until our friend sent us a message on Facebook when he heard about our Asia tour and said – why not India? We said if you can make it happen we’ll come and look at what he did – all these guys have organized this amazing concert!

WTS: What has the experience here been like?

Winston: Amazing . We’ve only been here for like 6-7 hours and we really wish we had more time. First the gig got confirmed and then some mishap happened, but it finally did come through and we had to book the tickets real quick but I guess we’ll come back though.

WTS: Tell us more about your album Deep Blue.

Winston: The idea was to make an album which would be an experience musically,visually and lyrically.It follows the theme of searching for truth. We’re trying do more with our themes, our sound,with the whole concept and at the same time still be the same Parkway Drive. So that’s the whole idea.

WTS: What made you name the band Parkway Drive? 

Winston: It is the name of the street our drummer lives in. It’s where we jammed. The name means something to us. That was the idea behind it, we just wanted something that meant something to us.

WTS: We’re really curious about your song ‘Samsara‘, tell us more about it. 

Winston: The idea for ‘Samsara’ was inspired from a George Orwell novel ‘1984‘ and also from Buddhism. The existence of suffering,the idea of death is birth. It’s a very short song but it basically summed up the whole idea of the album because the album starts with a lost person trying to find the truth.  It’s about searching for something that you hope is there and when you find it you don’t necessarily like what you set out searching for.

WTS: How has the journey been so far? 

Winston : It’s been f**kin’ awesome man. Everything’s been memorable for the last 10 years – everything! And just look outside, the local bands are awesome and the crowd! I’m amazed to see such a crowd responding so well to the local bands,they are all having a good time. That’s what we like to do. We get on stage and try to have fun and make the fans have a good time and enjoy themselves. We love doing what we do and seriously I’m one hundred percent serious when I say it’s our honour to be here.We just want to get out there and play amongst all these  people. And you won’t believe it, if you saw the town we come from and the music we play – it’s going to be awful for us to leave tonight. It is like one in a billion chance to be here.

WTS: It may be a little early to ask, but would you guys like to come here again? 

Winston: F**k yeah!  I can’t stop smiling, I have a constant smile on my face. I feel awesome,so happy to be here!

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Of clenched fists and a Drive through the Parkway at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

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Saturday, 17th of December: Reaching a venue to find out that the sound check is still on is not encouraging, but we were looking forward to watching the Aussie metal titans Parkway Drive live! After a rather long and painful wait, the gig finally started at around 6 p.m. instead of the scheduled time range – 2 to 3 p.m.

First up, was local metalcore band What Escapes Me who kick started the gig with ‘End of Heartache’, a cover from American metalcore band Killswitch Engage. The song was neatly executed, much to the delight of the metal-hungry crowd. The band then launched into ‘Pseudo Showcase’, ‘Killing Tomorrow’, ‘Unnamed’ and finished their set with ‘Section 66: Part 5’, all originals. ‘Pseudo Showcase’ had an interesting mid-section where the guitarist broke into a mature guitar line that pointed a glaring finger at his musical finesse. Guitarist Sayan Ghosh showcased guitar tones that packed quite a punch and were surprisingly innovative while vocalist Shourav impressed the audience with vocals that deserved a special mention. ‘Killing Tomorrow’ and ‘Unnamed’ had sick grooves/fills by the drummer Sambit who displayed impressive dynamics. ‘Section 66: Part 5’ ended the band’s set; this particular song had amazing drum-fills on the cymbals and the snare-rim and had a delightful chorus coupled with twin guitar lines. The song also had a section that was very heavy and darkened by its aggression.

Of clenched fists and a Drive through the Parkway at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

What Escapes Me was followed by Chronic Xorn, one of Kolkata’s oldest existing metal outfits. The band faced some technical problems with their sound and had to take a few additional minutes for a second round of soundchecking which made the crowd slightly restless. A few minutes later, they set the stage afire with an original and drove the crowd into a frenzy. It was a pity that the sound problems continued to plague them; it affected their overall mix. Nonetheless, the band showed experience and maturity by taking it all in their stride and refusing to falter. The twin guitar attack of their guitar players Suvam and Biswarup was quite the entertainer and the bassist Angshuman raised his fists in the air in between songs. At this point we were informed that we’d be able to interview Parkway Drive and had no option but to miss the rest of Chronic Xorn’s set for the greater good!

Of clenched fists and a Drive through the Parkway at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

Anticipation gripped the crowd, who started chanting the next band’s name; Kolkata’s most promising metalcore act was up next and the crowd waited with bated breath. Once known as Moshpit, the band took a break during which they went through a lineup change; the band’s reincarnation is what is now known as Yonsample. The set was inaugurated with ‘Breaking Through’, a popular original of theirs. The song also happens to be from their EP Paraphernalia and has all the makings of a great modern metal song with amazing guitar tones, crushing bass-lines, pummeling drums and really strong vocals.  It felt amazing to see such a great response to the local heroes, who have gone from strength to strength with each performance, proving the mettle of the Kolkata metal scene. The second original ‘Espial Abyss Afloat’, a brand new song, was lapped up by the metal audience – a special mention goes to the incredible bass tone. Raising hell alongside the bassist Ani was Jojo on guitars – armed with a very heavy and crunchy guitar tone – supported by the fabulous Pupai on keyboards. Vocalist Arka and drummer Tuhin showcased a surprising variety of range and rhythm that left us awestruck. The band then embarked on ‘Passage’ and ‘My Victory Ride’. The former boasted of a very hooky riff, with Arka ripping it apart with his ferocious vocals. The latter was yet another impressive track. The crowd was left wanting more, but the band had to make a hasty exit owing to time constraints.  However, their short set was enough to stamp their authority and raise the bar for the upcoming metal bands from the city.

Of clenched fists and a Drive through the Parkway at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

Perhaps the biggest screams and applause were reserved for none other than the Aussie metal titans, Parkway Drive. The entire venue was bathed in darkness, to set the mood for the band that would take the stage next. Before we knew it they were onstage and we were bathed in the relentless energy that the band members seemed to emit as one. They started off with ‘Unrest’ from their latest album, Deep Blue, that featured some awesome drumming with very interesting breakdowns that make the song really stand out. From there, the band launched into a seething tirade of angst with their original ‘Bone Yards’. The man behind the drums, Ben Gordon, executed precise blast beats that opened up the moshpit. The next song‘Deliver Me’ is also from Deep Blue and boy does the band truly deliver on the live version of this song!

The band started the next song ‘Idols and Anchors’ from their album Horizons. The song started with a surprisingly melodious guitar line and throughout the song the melody and the customary Parkway Drive aggression coexisted, making it a fantastic listen.

Of clenched fists and a Drive through the Parkway at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

The next song ‘Smoke ’em if ya got ’em ‘, was from the album Killing With a Smile .The song is definitely one for the mosh lovers; it seemed to spell that very word in bold letters; the all-too-impressive guitar harmonies were courtesy Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling. The circle pit turned more vicious with the onslaught of the song and it definitely made the Aussies appreciate the crowd.

The band went back to Deep Blue, their latest album, with ‘Sleepwalker’. Interesting hooks and very well placed vocals added to the splendour of the song. It ended with a brilliant guitar solo/melody line and according to us, Sleepwalker was definitely one of the highlights of their set.

‘Karma’ started off with an awesome drum-roll, which sounded more like machine guns in a war! Another highlight of the song was its guitar solo. 

‘Carrion’ from Parkway Drive’s previous album Horizons again reflected the more mature and melodic side of the band. 

Of clenched fists and a Drive through the Parkway at Nazrul Manch, Kolkata

The five guys from New South Wales jumped, ran and skidded over the stage. The energy was infectious and the crowd, which seemed to feed off the energy from the band, was all charged up. The band looked ecstatic and clearly taken aback by the crowd’s reaction. As the show came to a close, it was time for the curtain to drop but the metal hungry crowd was far from satisfied and, despite being completely exhausted, the band came back for another song. By this time the crowd was on the stage and the band members had to huddle beside the drummer on the podium. Surprise of all surprises, maybe a first in Nazrul Manch – the guitar player did his bit of crowd surfing!

After the gig ended, the WTS team took a walk back home, high on adrenaline and on Parkway Drive. Kudos to Metalbase India and Damage Inc. for organizing a gig like this and pulling it off quite well!

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Mirchi Rockbaaji at Nicco Park Plaza IV, Kolkata

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Aneesh Ghosh

Aneesh Ghosh is a Kolkata based photographer who learned the tricks of the trade from one of the best photo schools in the country. Kubrick and Floyd run through his mind always and he believes in creating a photograph that captures the essence of music.

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