Tag Archives: Pangea

Pangea & Shepherd at The Humming Tree, Bangalore

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Gaurrav Tiwari

Drummer at DIARCHY, and HR Manager at Genpact

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NH7 Weekender Line Up Announced

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This year, the “Happiest music festival” will see performances by some of the most exciting artists from India and around the world. The fifth edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender returns this November with a huge lineup of some incredible artists from India and around the world. This year, over 100 artists will play on six different stages at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender’s four editions – November 1-2 in KolkataNovember 8-9 in BangaloreNovember 21-23 in Pune and November 29-30 in Delhi.

Speaking about this year’s Bacardi NH7 Weekender lineup, Only Much Louder’s CEO Vijay Nair says, “Preparing the lineup of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender is one of the most fun creative processes in the run up of the festival. It is also one of the most challenging. Achieving the right balance of exciting international live performers, one-night-only festival sets, acts that people will discover and fall in love with after catching them live at the festival, and unmissable Indian artists is really important to creating the perfect festival experience. And this year, I think we’ve managed to strike that balance really well.”

After a successful pre-sale of tickets that sold out in a matter of hours, regular tickets for the festival will be available on Insider.in on Friday, August 22. Fans can gain access to special Community pricing (a significant discount on regular ticket prices) by signing up to the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Community on NH7.in/Weekender. Community registrations will be open for a limited time only.

The Lineup

From critically-acclaimed international headliners, to homegrown musical heroes, this year’s Bacardi NH7 Weekender lineup has something for all sorts of discerning music lovers. Classic Bacardi NH7 Weekender stages like the Bacardi Arena and The Dewarists return, while recent additions like the Red Bull Tour Bus and this year’s home of electronic music, mmx.beat, will also host some incredible live performances.

International Artists

The Vaccines

English indie rockers The Vaccines will play their first ever live shows in India at the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival this year. After releasing a critically-acclaimed debut album What Did You Expect From The Vaccines? in 2011 (incidentally, the best-selling debut album in the UK that year), the band’s 2012 follow-up Come of Age charted at #1 on the UK charts upon its release. They’ve toured and performed extensively with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Arctic Monkeys and other huge global rock acts.

Fear Factory

American heavy metal superstars Fear Factory will also be Bacardi NH7 Weekender debutants in Pune and Delhi. A band that has inspired countless young Indian metal acts, Fear Factory have had a long, successful career spanning eight studio albums, the most recent being 2012’s The Industrialist, with a new studio release planned for 2014 as well. The band has performed at festivals around the world and for many Indian metal fans, these two gigs have been a long time coming.

MUTEMATH

Valiant US rockers MUTEMATH return to the Bacardi NH7 Weekender after an unforgettable headlining performance at the Delhi edition of the festival in 2013. This year, the band will play the Kolkata and Bangalore editions of the festival, bringing their irresistible energy and unique brand of alternative rock to these cities for he first time. Beloved by rock fans all over, MUTEMATH have released three studio albums and have performed at festivals around the world.

Sarah Blasko

In her decade-long career Sarah Blasko, a singer-songwriter hailing from Sydney, Australia, has released four acclaimed solo albums (I AwakeAs Day Follows NightWhat The Sea Wants, The Sea Will Have and The Overture & The Underscore). Sarah has composed music for film, theatre and dance, and mesmerised audiences with her stunning live shows across most of Europe, North America and Australia. Her most recent album tour for I Awake was her most ambitious, the highlight being two sold out concerts with a 45 piece orchestra at the iconic Sydney Opera House. Sarah is currently writing her fifth solo album and this is her first time performing in India – she will perform at the Kolkata and Bangalore editions of the festival.

Luke Sital-Singh

British singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh emerged on the global music scene when he was announced as part of the BBC’s Sound of 2014 longlist. Inspired by the likes of Damien Rice and Ryan Adams, Sital-Singh released his debut album, The Fire Inside, earlier this month. He will perform at the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival.

Songhoy Blues

Garba Touré, Aliou Touré, Oumar Touré and Nathanael Dembélé comprise Songhoy Blues, a rock band from Mali. The band plays, as The Guardian describes it, “raucous guitar anthems dedicated to peace and reconciliation”. Having cut their teeth in Bamako’s club scene, the band recently rounded up a bunch of shows in the UK and will make their first visit to India performing at the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival.

Talal Qureshi

Pakistani electronic music producer Talal Qureshi has been creating music since 2007. His unique electronic sensibilities have earned him praise from the likes of BBC Asian Network’s Bobby Friction (himself a performer at the festival in previous years). Qureshi’s debut EP, Equator, was released in 2012 and highlighted his immense talent and unique approach to electronic beat-making.

Cloud Control

Australian indie rockers Cloud Control shot into the global indie music spotlight with their critically-acclaimed 2013 album Dream Cave. They exist in a dreamy, organic soundscape that has earned them much praise and seen them perform alongside the likes of Arcade Fire, Vampire Weekend and 2010 Bacardi NH7 Weekender alumni The Magic Numbers. Cloud Control will play the Kolkata and Bangalore editions of the festival.

Jon Hopkins

English producer Jon Hopkins started his career playing keyboards for Imogen Heap (who played the 2011 edition of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender). He has produced or contributed to albums from the likes of Brian Eno and Coldplay, while his own brand of electronic music is an ambient soundscape of organic elements and exquisite compositions. It is this attention to detail in composition that has seen him soundtrack films such as Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones alongside Brian Eno and Leo Abrahams, 2010’s indie hit Monsters, and 2013’s How I Live Now. Hopkins will play at the Bangalore edition of the festival.

Dinosaur Pile-Up

Formed in 2007, Dinosaur Pile-Up are an English alternative rock band who broke out of the thriving Leeds rock scene of the time and instantly drew favourable comparisons to the cream of ’90s US college rock. Founded originally as a solo project by songwriter and frontman Matt Bigland, the lineup is completed by drummer Mike Sheils and bassist Jim Cratchley. Named after Matt saw the scene in Peter Jackson’s remake of King Kong where a stampede of dinosaurs pile up at the foot of a mountain, “DPU” put out their first official release, The Most Powerful E.P In The Universe, in 2009 and have gone on to record two studio albums, 2010’s Growing Pains and 2013’s Nature Nurture. The band will play the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival.

Sachal Jazz Ensemble

An international jazz music collaboration led by Pakistan’s Sachal Jazz Ensemble will perform at Delhi edition of the festival this year. They have topped charts around the globe as a world-class jazz ensemble, while braving threats and intimidation and breathing new life into the dying cultural traditions of Pakistan. Hand-picked from a lost generation of classical musicians who used to play in Lahore’s once-flourishing ‘Lollywood’ film industry, the Sachal Studios Orchestra has made its name with innovative and irresistible interpretations of well-loved jazz standards. Little wonder they’ve been called Pakistan’s Buena Vista Social Club, and Lahore’s answer to the Blues Brothers.

Goldspot

A savoury blend of New Jersey and New Delhi, US indie pop act Goldspot have plenty of fans in India. Siddharth Khosla’s band has been described by the Los Angeles Times Magazine as “A hint of George Harrison at his transcendental best”. The band’s music has appeared on several popular TV series and films. Their latest album Aerogramme was released in 2013. The band will play the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival.

Motopony

US indie rockers Motopony are a band built on a bedrock of contrasts and the gorgeous alchemy of seemingly conflicted sounds, and the feelings mapped over them. Guided by soulful machines, Daniel Blue along with guitarists Mike Notter and Nate Daley, keyboardist Andrew Butler, and drummer Forrest Mauvais, form a warm efficiency to the hard-soul/glitch-folk contained on the band’s self-titled debut and forthcoming follow-up. The band will perform at Pune and Delhi editions of the festival.

Indian Artists

Amit Trivedi

Composer Amit Trivedi has long been hailed as the new voice of Indian film music. His critically-acclaimed work in films like Dev.D, Udaan, and Ishaqzaade have earned him a reputation as being one of the most cutting-edge producers in Indian films. His live performances comprise a vast list of collaborators and performers, and Bacardi NH7 Weekender fans in Bangalore and Delhi should expect memorable live sets.

Skyharbor

India’s biggest metal exports, Skyharbor shot into the global metal spotlight with their 2012 debut album Blinding White Noise: Illusion and Chaos.Their first ever live performance was at the 2011 edition of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, and since then they’ve gone on to play at some of the world’s biggest metal stages, including the Download Festival earlier this year. The band will perform at the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival.

The Raghu Dixit Project feat. Nrityarutya

At the Bangalore edition of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender last year, The Raghu Dixit Project delivered a visual spectacle unlike any the festival had ever seen. The Nrityarutya dance company brought exquisite dance sequences, elaborate props and some truly breathtaking moments to The Raghu Dixit Project’s music, including the band’s latest album Jag Changa. This year, fans in Pune and Delhi will have the chance to experience this audio-visual treat.

Indian Ocean’s Tandanu 

Indian Ocean is synonymous with Indian rock. The band’s latest album Tandanu, their seventh studio release, is a series of collaborations with some of the country’s most inventive musicians. At the Kolkata, Pune and Delhi editions of the festival, the band will perform alongside some of these collaborators including Selvaganesh, Shubha Mudgal, Shankar Mahadevan, Pt Vishwamohan Bhat, Kumaresh Rajagopalan, and Vishal Dadlani.

The Manganiyar Classroom by Roysten Abel

Roysten Abel’s Manganiyar Seduction has been one of the most stunning live performances ever to be staged at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender. Eight years after The Manganiyar Seduction was first conceived, Roysten Abel is back with The Manganiyar Classroom. Unlike the former, Roysten Abel’s newest production will consist of 40 children of Manganiyar descent. As the name suggests, The Manganiyar Classroom features these talented kids in a classroom setup, complete with a chalkboard. The music illustrates how the right kind of teacher and education is more beneficial than a fixed curriculum. Fans at the Pune edition of the festival will experience this spectacle.

All India Bakchod

All India Bakchod, or AIB (depending on how strict your publication’s editorial guidelines are), are India’s edgiest comedy collective. Comprised of stand-up comics Tanmay Bhat, Gursimran Khamba, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya, the group are known for their hilarious sketches on their incredibly popular YouTube channel. At the Pune edition of the festival this year, AIB will play their first ever live musical performance.

Bombay Punk United and The Delhi Alternative

The past couple of decades have seen the emergence of several punk and alternative rock acts in Mumbai and Delhi that have added a new dimension to the Indian rock scene. At the Pune and Delhi editions of the festival respectively, Bombay Punk United and The Delhi Alternative will pay tribute to the heroes and the music of this scene with collaborative performances featuring a host of local punk and alt-rock artists. These special sets have been curated by some of the punk and alt-rock scene’s most recognizable figures, and promise to take fans through a musical journey that spans Indian and international punk and alt-rock influences.

Monica Dogra

Monica Dogra is usually known for her dynamic vocal and visual performance as ‘Shaa’ir’ from electro-pop act Shaa’ir + Func – however, this year in Kolkata, Delhi and Pune, we will see her in a new solo avatar where she reveals to us a more personal and vulnerable side. From a young girl growing up in Baltimore to Shaa’ir + Func to finally launching her solo career and performing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender, she’s grown into one of the country’s leading song writers and also one of our most recognizable female voices.

Bhayanak Maut

One of the country’s most exciting metal bands, Bhayanak Maut are veritable legends when it comes to the Indian metal scene. The band has a massive following in all corners of the country, and will release their newest album at this year’s Bacardi NH7 Weekender. BM will play all four edition of the festival this year.

Pentagram (Unplugged)

Few bands have symbolised the breakout of the Indian independent music scene as well as Pentagram. Comprised of Vishal Dadlani, Randolph Correia, Shiraz Bhattacharya and Makarand ‘Papal’ Mane, Pentagram’s electro-rock sound has defined a generation on indie music fans. At the four editions of the festival this year though, fans will experience another facet of the band’s live prowess – a stripped-down Unplugged set featuring reworked renditions of many of the band’s popular songs.

Full City-wise Lineups

Kolkata

AlgoRhythm (Mumbai), Ankur & The Ghalat Family (Mumbai), As Animals (France), BREED (India/US), Bhayanak Maut (Mumbai), Blackstratblues (Mumbai), Cloud Control (Australia), Fossils (Kolkata), Gingerfeet (Kolkata), Indian Ocean’s Tandanu featuring Selvaganesh, Kumaresh Rajagopalan, Vishal Dadlani (Delhi), Indus Creed (Mumbai), Maati Baani (Mumbai), Madboy/Mink (Mumbai), Money For Rope (Australia), Monica Dogra (Mumbai), Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys (Australia), MUTEMATH (US), Nanok (Mumbai), Peking Duk (Australia), Pentagram (Unplugged) (Mumbai), Sarah Blasko (Australia), Shaa’ir + Func (Mumbai), Sickflip (Mumbai), Sky Rabbit (Mumbai), Soulmate (Shillong), Su Real (Delhi), Superfuzz (Delhi), The F16’s (Chennai), The Inspector Cluzo (France), Them Clones (Delhi).

Bangalore

Adi & Suhail (Delhi), Amit Trivedi (Mumbai), Ankur & The Ghalat Family (Mumbai), As Animals (France), BREED (India/US), Bhayanak Maut (Mumbai), Blent (Bangalore), Cloud Control (Australia), Delhi Sultanate & Begum X (Delhi), DJ Sa vs DJ Skip (India), Dualist Inquiry Band (India), EZ Riser vs DJ MoCity (India), Jon Hopkins (UK), Klypp (Bangalore), Madboy/Mink (Mumbai), Money For Rope (Australia), Mr Woodnote & Lil Rhys (Australia), MUTEMATH (US), Pangea (Mumbai), Peepal Tree (Bangalore), Peking Duk (Australia), Pentagram (Unplugged) (Mumbai), Sarah Blasko (Australia), Scribe (Mumbai), Sickflip (Mumbai), Skrat (Chennai), Soulmate (Shillong), Spud In The Box (Mumbai), The F16’s (Chennai), The Inspector Cluzo (France), The Supersonics (Kolkata), Thermal And A Quarter (Bangalore), Undying Inc (Delhi).

Pune

Adi & Suhail (Delhi), All India Bakchod (Mumbai), Alo Wala (Denmark), Amit Trivedi (Mumbai), BREED (India/US), Bhavishyavani (Mumbai), Bhayanak Maut (Mumbai), Big City Harmonics (Live) (Pune), Bombay Punk United, Castles In The Sky (Pune), Coshish (Mumbai), Curtain Blue (Delhi), Dinosaur Pile-Up (UK), Fear Factory (US), Foreign Beggars (UK), Frame/Frame (Live) (Delhi), Goldspot (US), Indian Ocean’s Tandanu featuring Shubha Mudgal, Shankar Mahadevan, Selvaganesh, Vishal Dadlani (Delhi), Luke Sital-Singh (UK), Madboy/Mink (Mumbai), Monica Dogra (Mumbai), Moniker (Delhi), Motopony (US), Namit Das + Anurag Shankar (Mumbai), Neeraj Arya’s Kabir Cafe (Mumbai), Nicholson (Mumbai), Nikhil D’Souza (Mumbai), OX7GEN (Live) (Mumbai), Pentagram (Unplugged) (Mumbai), Providence (Mumbai), Reggae Rajahs (Delhi), Sandunes (Mumbai), Sickflip (Mumbai), Skrat (Chennai), Skyharbor (Delhi), Songhoy Blues (Mali), Superfuzz (Delhi), The Bartender (Mumbai), The Down Troddence (Kochi), The F16’s (Chennai), The Manganiyar Classroom by Roysten Abel (India), The Raghu Dixit Project feat. Nrityarutya (Bangalore), The Ska Vengers (Delhi), The Vaccines (UK), Thermal And A Quarter (Bangalore), When Pandas Attack (Delhi), Zygnema (Mumbai).

Delhi

Alo Wala (Denmark), Amit Trivedi (Mumbai), Barmer Boys (Rajasthan), Bhayanak Maut (Mumbai), Colossal Figures (Delhi), Dinosaur Pile-Up (UK), EZ Riser vs DJ MoCity (India), Fear Factory (US), Frame/Frame (Live) (Delhi), Ganesh Talkies (Kolkata), Goldspot (US), Hoirong (Delhi), Iamrisha (Delhi), Indian Ocean’s Tandanu featuring Pt. Vishwamohan Bhat, Kumaresh Rajagopalan, Vishal Dadlani (Delhi), Killwish (Delhi), Luke Sital-Singh (UK), Madboy/Mink (Mumbai), Monica Dogra (Mumbai), Motopony (US), Pangea (Mumbai), Pentagram (Unplugged) (Mumbai), Sachal Jazz Ensemble (Pakistan), Sandunes (Mumbai), Skrat (Chennai), Skyharbor (Delhi), Songhoy Blues (Mali), Soulspace (Live) (Delhi), Talal Qureshi (Pakistan), The Delhi Alternative, The F16’s (Chennai), The Raghu Dixit Project feat. Nrityarutya (Bangalore), The Supersonics (Kolkata), The Vaccines (UK).

For more information about all of the artists performing at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2014, visit NH7.in/Weekender.

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Road to Converse Rubber Tracks in India at Richardson and Cruddas, Mumbai

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The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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A full nightclub on a weekday is a rare sight, except perhaps on the occasional public holiday. But at Blue Frog, The Scene gigs do the trick.

The Scene is an initiative by NH7 and Blue Frog for a series of gigs “that showcase emerging acts from around the country”. The first edition featured acts like Mumbai punk band The Lightyears Explode , Chennai alt-rockers Skrat and Pune electronica producer Big City Harmonics. The second edition of this series featured alternative rock band Drawing Short Straws, Ambient/progressive metal band Pangea and psychedelic rock band The Circus.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Drawing Short Straws is the brainchild of Pune based musicians Sunai Marathe (guitars, vocals, keys) and Shreyas Iyengar (drums, vocals, samples), with Siddharth Gupta on live bass duties. This was their first gig as a trio and unfortunately it showed in their slightly shabby beginning. But before we could write them off as fidgety first-timers they got into their groove and about halfway into their set things started to tighten up. The songs ‘Intro’, ‘Limbo’, ‘Obsession’ were well received: I could see some appreciative nodding from the audience and the drunk man behind me pulled me aside to tell me “I love these fellas!” DSS worked for me instrumentally: a nice taut bassline, good drum chops and the guitar topping it all off rather well. The vocals though, were a bit of a let-down. While I loved the way Sunai played his role as the frontman, working his audience, his vocals, especially when he tried to hit the high notes, were disappointing. That said, he carried off the bass and baritone parts very well, when the vocals and the instruments seemed like a perfect match. The band managed to maintain a steady rapport with the crowd, joking about their slip ups and shyly confessing how happy they were to be playing for the Mumbai scenesters that night. They wrapped up their set with a stellar performance of their song Predator.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Pangea was the next to perform and I realized within the short break between the performances of these two bands, the club had filled up some. To put it lightly, it was packed with audience and anticipation. Akshay Rajpurohit entered first and started to lay down some samples with the crowd cheering. The rest of the band strode in, picked up their instruments like artillery and introduced their audience to the real meaning of the word “indulgence”. Without the slightest warning they had opened fire, and it was of a beautiful destructive kind. The set kept on surprising me pleasantly and it’s difficult to pick on specific songs to say ‘this stood out’ or ‘that fell flat’. Not enough bands realize how important it is to truly engage their audience with the right stage act. I’m not saying we need more theatrics; I’m talking about the art to communicate through expression. Pangea is a master of this art. These musicians are truly consumed by their music. They perform as a unit, delivering music in rhythmically fine tuned strong frontal attacks. They move in perfect correlation, so utterly absorbed by the music they make that they can make their audience feel the same emotion. Their music envelopes the beholder completely, engaging at a multitude of levels. They play the kind of music that compels you to lose yourself and it’s also intelligent.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Slightly overwhelmed with Pangea, the crowd started to drift away for a breather once the band had wrapped up. This meant that The Circus had to start their set with a much smaller audience in front of them. Add to this the burden of expectation on a band following a crowd-pleasing live act, the odds were certainly not in their favour. However, when they entered, amidst a loop of introductory vocal samples introducing themselves, you could tell they didn’t intend on having their night overshadowed. The Circus, if I may dare oversimplify, is energetic. Their music is psychedelic, loud and overpowering, with the kind of persistence that is spontaneous and the kind of wild precision that threatens to go out of control. Two songs into their set, and they had managed to regain all the audience Blue Frog could contain. The numerous patches and samples clubbed with some creative use of the guitar give their songs a diverse, ever-changing quality. The members of The Circus tended to perform as if on isolated islands, perceiving and interpreting their music personally: bassist Abhinav Chaudhary plucking and slapping away, drummer Anshul Lall doing some hard hitting, and vocalist Abhishek Bhatia’s body rhythmically convulsing while sharing vocal harmonies with guitarist Arsh Sharma.  The collective effect left audiences in a dizzy state.

The Scene v2.0 feat. Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

On the whole, the second edition of The Scene gigs was nothing short of brilliance. The night was immaculate in terms of management and mind-blowing in terms of quality. Drawing Short Straws are a relatively new band and one with immense potential, Pangea has often been referred to as a ‘super group’ of sorts and their live acts are a rare treat, quite literally and The Circus are a mature band with a stunning sound. As a concept, picking out the best from the scene works beautifully for both bands themselves and their audience. It surely provides for something to look up to and look forward to.

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Drashti Thakkar

Drashti Thakkar is a Mumbai based writer, a freelance drummer and loves working with lights for live gigs. Her idea of an epiphany is anything that gets through while reading the IPC. Her idea of a good time is a ride on the bike. No, She don't drive.

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Drawing Short Straws, Pangea, The Circus at Blue Frog, Mumbai

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Kunal Khullar

Passionate for photography and music, Kunal is a Delhi boy who is apparently NOT a rapist. Currently pursuing photography as a profession, he loves all kinds of musical genres and is also a big geek when it comes to gadgets and the latest in technology.

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Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

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Post-rock is a genre that I have never experienced live before, perhaps due to the dearth of post-rock bands in this country, although Mumbai has the privilege of being home to  Pangea, who I would say are similar but I am yet to see them live as well. Unfamiliar readers can check out bands like God Is An AstronautExplosions In The Sky and Isis for reference and some good ear-therapy. So when I heard about Until We Last, I was, needless to say, excited.

Ambient music is something you would listen to from the comfort of your plush sofa, because more than just music, it can often be an experience and there is much going on in every song, and in a live setting many things do tend to get lost due to the acoustics of the venue. So I was skeptical about whether they would be able to do justice to the recordings that I’d heard online and whether it would be as captivating or not.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

A graduated ‘bedroom project’ , Ketan Bahirat’s work has gone through many lineup changes and a formidable early sound is what you have now. You know the band is interesting enough from little more than a soundcheck. Ralston Dsouza is powerful and precise behind the drums. The twin guitars layer seamlessly and the musical textures are lush and calm leading into big crescendos. Simple grooves carried over long melodic passages ease into the rising parts of the tracks at a measured pace.  Subtle basslines by Anjan Bhojraj keep the rhythm interesting in sections. Well placed voice samples add to the overall experience. They have a good sound to start with and there’s more to look forward to live than the recordings available currently. It would be interesting to see how the future looks for them, going by some of the new tracks they played for us in their extended set time. As promised in a Facebook post, the previous evening the band gave out free copies of their CD with a nice flower motif cover to the crowd.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

One thing that would help is if the band would seamlessly go from one song to the next. Sometimes, breaks tend to jerk a listener back from fairy unicorn land to the real world of common stage banter. Some tracks that really stood out that evening were ‘To Space And Back’, which had an absolutely enchanting outro, and ‘Rain’ which was perhaps the most minimalistic track of the evening, yet so soothing in its simplicity.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

Until We Last completely destroyed any fear I had about post-rock played in a live setting, irrespective of the venue. The 25 people present were treated to a fairly great set, but we did feel hassled unnecessarily at the venue – our petty troubles went from being billed separately by different entities within one establishment to sorting re-entry via a standard protocol mass eviction. A common alignment between stakeholders is key to providing a stable foothold for new music. The venue/service can contribute too, and anything better than pretending to care will help improve the experience. The audience needs convenience above all else and an unpleasant evening is a bother we settle by avoiding it altogether in future.

Until We Last at the Ion Bar and Kitchen, Bangalore

It is an effort to remember what the songs are called. I wouldn’t blame the band however, as most post rock songs/bands tend to sound similar as they’re mostly instrumental with no lyrics to differentiate between them, and the motifs/crescendos can be monotonous unless the band makes a conscious effort to set itself apart. It is also a difficult thing to hold a larger audience with a guitar driven sound that lacks vocals but my early impression of Until We Last is certainly very good.

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Uday Shanker

Uday Shanker is a freelance photographer based in Bangalore and has a day job.

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The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

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The third edition of The Rolling Stones Metal Awards took place at The Blue Frog, a venue that has supported this initiative of celebrating the Indian metal scene by giving bands due credit for the efforts they’ve put in over the year. The event had a total turnout of around 600 people and one could safely say that they all had an amazing night.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Rohit Pereira, popularly known as the P-man, was the emcee for the night who tickled everyone’s funny bones with his comical antics and witty one-liners. The first band to take to the stage was Pangea – the progressive metal band from Bombay consisting of Akshay Rajpurohit, Shadaab Kadri and Kuber Sharma on guitars (all seven string guitars). The band was joined by the awesome duo, Jai Row Kavi and Rushad Mistry of Indus creed fame, on the drums and bass respectively. Despite the fact that the band was playing its first gig ever , they sounded very professional on stage and performed songs from their debut album Snails Are When I Was Young. The band may not have won any award that night but made all the right noises with their debut gig and with their layered, melodic and almost ambient metal tunes. They are surely a wonderful addition to the already exciting metal scene in the country.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Next up on stage was Providence, clearly the stars of the night. This metalcore band from Bombay,  was playing with their new vocalist Karan Pote (ex- Noiseware and Abraxas) after Sunnieth quit the band last month and went on to win five awards that night. Pote seemed to have fit into Sunnieth’s shoes with consummate ease as the band got the moshpit going with songs from their album Vanguard. The band was joined by Sunnieth on stage for their last song ‘Prosthetics’. The teamed growls from Sunnieth and Karan threw the crowd into frenzy – certainly one of the highlights of the night.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

The award ceremony kick-started as Keshav Dhar’s Skyharbor won the award for the ‘Best Emerging Band’, while Providence bagged the award for ‘Best Album Art’ for their album Vanguard. Taz James of Chaotic Years won the award for ‘Best Keybordist’ while Arun Natrajan and Vibhas Venkatraman of Eccentric Pendulum bagged the awards for ‘Best Bassist’ and ‘Best Drummer’ respectively.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

After this, Karan Pote was back on stage with his metal band from Pune, Abraxas. The band continued from where Providence left off and with the twin guitar attack of Abhimanyu and Vinay shredding away to glory, ably supported by Naman on drums and Kenneth on bass, the band got the circular pits going at certain points in their set. A lot of people from Pune had specifically driven down to catch Abraxas live and the band didn’t disappoint one bit as they played some of their most popular tracks like ‘Deviation’, ‘Eyes of Disgrace’, ‘I Remember’ among others to get the crowds really going before winding up their set with another crowd favourite, ‘Sweet Sufferings’.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

The next category was ’Best Guitarist’ which was bagged by Keshav Dhar of Skyharbor. While Sunnieth Revankar of Bhayanak Maut won the award for ‘Best Vocalist’ for his work with his former band Providence, while defeating himself for his own work with Skyharbor, which was also nominated in the same category.

The next set of awards was for the ‘Popular Choice’ category. Skyharbor’s ‘Maeva’ won the award for ’Best Song’, and Providence bagged the next two awards for both ‘Best Band’  and ‘Best Album’ for their album Vanguard.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

Bangalore-based metal band Eccentric Pendulum who had a very successful night themselves, took to the stage next. The band, fresh from winning awards for ’Best Drummer’ and ’Best Bassist’ earlier that night, put together a very tight set playing songs from their album Winding the Optics, while also playing some of their new songs like, ‘Resisting the Equation’.

The next set of awards was for the ‘Jury awards’ category. ‘Maeva’ by Skyharbor won the award for ’Best Metal Song’, while Eccentric Pendulum picked up the award for ’Best Metal Album of the Year’ for Winding the Optics.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

The last award for the night was the coveted Critic’s Choice Award for ‘Best Metal Band’, which was bagged by Goddess Gagged from Bombay. The closing act for the night was the mighty Zygnema, who will be representing India at the Wacken Open Air festival in Germany later this year. The energy that the band’s frontman Jimmy brings into every performance is phenomenal and Sunday night was no different. Add to that the genius of Sidharth Kadadi on guitars, the brilliance of Mayank on drums and Ravi on bass, and you have all the ingredients for an explosive performance! The crowd went berserk as they broke into a huge circular pit in front of the stage, while the band belted out songs from their album Born of Unity, including crowd favourite ‘59’(which has almost become an anthem now) along with some newer tracks like  ‘Endangered’.

The Rolling Stones Metal Awards at The Blue Frog, Mumbai

To say the night was phenomenal would be an understatement. Watching the pioneers of metal in India and all their fans under one roof celebrating the growth of the Indian metal scene was testimony to their love for metal and its success India.

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