Tag Archives: Reggae Rajahs

Losing Yourself to Dance: An interview with Su Real

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Photo Credit: Sachin Soni 

Su Real is the alter ego of Delhi-based Suhrid Manchanda. In the realm of dance floors, he rules supreme whenever he takes over the DJ console. Belting out song after song in his trademark bass-heavy style, his knack at recognizing and delivering what the audience wants is commendable. He released his debut EP ‘The Grind’ in 2013, and quickly followed it up with his first LP ‘Trapistan’ in 2014. Not restricting himself to any one genre, Su Real has explored multiple avenues in his songs, which lend a robust, no-nonsense, beat-driven feel to them. His most recent EP ‘Brown Folks’ released last month, and he is currently on tour promoting it.  Read on to know how his sound has evolved in ‘Brown Folks’, how he transformed the sleepy Hauz Khas village into the party-goer’s destination, how he relaxes after a particularly tiring set and his thoughts on the perennial question of mainstream versus underground.

WTS: You are known on the clubbing circuit for playing really long, dynamic and diverse sets, that go down very well with the audience. How do you keep the party going?

Su Real: Wow, it’s nice to be known for something! Well, first and foremost, it pays to be prepared. I continue to be shocked by certain DJs who almost never rehearse or practice. It’s really like playing any live instrument and the art demands hours and hours of practice and preparation. Its like sure, anyone can pick up a guitar, learn 4 chords and get on stage – but if you want to do solos, write complex arrangements or just even be able to perform without making a single mistake, you have to practice!. If you look at my setlists or “crates”, by now I have over 100 sets organized by BPM, genre and theme – and I’m constantly practicing them and improving on them. That means that no matter what situation I’m put into, there’s a strong chance that I can adapt to the crowd’s needs at any time of the day or night. Secondly, it helps to be healthy! As a notoriously self-destructive personality, it’s been a long struggle to curtail my bad habits. But as I’m learning from friends like Reggae Rajahs who run and jump all over the stage, and also Nucleya who takes flying leaps from above the DJ console, being a live performer these days means more than just playing a song. If we look at a lot of the top DJs and pop stars – having super busy schedules and not being able to take time off for sickness or recuperation – they all have personal trainers who make sure they stay fit and healthy with a good diet and exercise routine. We are after all only human, and only  when the body is operating at 100% can we deliver 100% to the audience and fans.

WTS: What’s your idea of unwinding after a gig?

Su Real: I might not be your typical DJ in this regard… Not too long ago, I started shunning the after-parties in favor of a quick shower (Su Real shows get hella sweaty & dirty!) followed by some nice food and watching cartoons. Maybe a couple of close friends will be around with me, but definitely not a crowd. Sometimes I’m so pumped from the gig that I dive right into producing music until I finally pass out around sunrise.

WTS: Your recently released EP ‘Brown Folks’ has a more catchy, pop vibe to it as compared to ‘Trapistan’. Was it a conscious decision to change your sound?

Su Real: Yes, absolutely, it was a very conscious decision. First of all, the line between what’s underground and what’s commercial has blurred so much that it’s almost disappeared. The common listener might not realize this, but as a music specialist in a way it’s my job to understand this. Many of the artists whose music I spin in my sets or whose sound my production style is similar to went from being underground to mainstream in the last couple of years – from Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” blowing up to Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Dillon Francis, etc. At the same time my sets are largely based in hip hop – and so I’m working with Grammy Award winning or nominated artists – Jay-Z, Kanye, Drake, Nicki Minaj, etc. Even pop stars like Madonna and Justin Bieber are working with underground producers! So, after being underground for pretty much my whole life, we’re at a great position now where it’s possible for underground genres to seek wider commercial acceptance, and even mass appeal. Especially here in India, where the underground is a tiny niche compared to the massive mainstream, any artist seeking a viable, sustainable career eventually comes to the same realization. But at the same time, here in India now, because so much of this scene is brand new and there are still so many young people being exposed to these sounds, genres and cultures for the first time – and there is a demand for it – it’s possible to be the gatekeeper that connects the dots for the Indian audience, helping them better appreciate and understand what they’re dancing to.

WTS: You were pivotal in the transformation of Hauz Khas Village from a sleepy avenue to a one-stop partying destination in Delhi. Tell us about the journey; everything from the concept nights you introduced, to your stint as the resident programmer/DJ at The Living Room.

Su Real: Wow, that was a relatively short journey actually, but what I have to say about it could fill up a book! I think the main thing at T.L.R. was to support the local creative arts communities. At the time T.L.R. opened in 2009, there was still almost nowhere for local bands and underground artists to perform. We became a de facto live music venue and hub for all kinds of creative types. Part of this success in my honest opinion was also the training of the staff to respect and appreciate the artists. Also, waiters were instructed that it was OK if some guest was only there enjoying the music and not ordering any food or drink. The reasoning was that that guest who enjoyed his T.L.R. experience would then tell their friends and come back – not just for more gigs but also to spend money on dinner, lunch, coffee, meetings, birthday parties, etc. Unfortunately these days a lot of bars and clubs are under such financial pressures that prices skyrocket and customers are pressured to spend, rather than enjoy themselves. Our philosophy at T.L.R. was always the opposite: create a welcoming, safe and yet exciting and dynamic environment to appreciate the finer things in life and commune with old friends while making new friends – and eventually the financial rewards will find their way to you. It was a long-term strategy and for a while it really paid off. We introduced concept nights for Halloween, Carnival, Christmas and other occasions to expand peoples’ mindset about what event curation could be, beyond the banal “happy hours” concept! We had a small space and small budget but I like to think we pulled off some grand feats! All with the support of friends, regular customers and extended T.L.R. family who all believed that we could do great things together. Unfortunately, all good things must eventually wind up, and for reasons too complicated to elaborate here, I decided to leave T.L.R. as simultaneously while people were recognizing Su Real as a DJ, unfortunately T.L.R. the venue was facing numerous authoritarian pressures – and also intense competition as the H.K.V. area exploded from 6 bars to 60 F&B outlets!

WTS: Artists these days stick to their own sound and refrain from experimenting with stuff that will please the audience. Do you think that affects their careers? More importantly, to what length should a musician be true to themselves? Is there a middle ground where both the artist and the audience can be happy?

Su Real: What a potent question. Whether you realize it or not, this question frames very accurately a debate I often have with my fellow musicians and music industry types. It’s a basic conundrum probably as old as civilization itself: as artists it’s our duty to create meaningful art, but as entertainers it’s our duty to please the crowd… Although it is usually en vogue to criticize and make fun of mainstream artists, I have often been critical of Indian musicians who veer too deep into the underground. Unfortunately, 99.9999% of Indian audiences are just not sophisticated enough to appreciate it. And worse, sometimes it discourages audiences who are genuinely interested in new experiences and sounds. Inspired by music from the West, too many “underground” music followers in India are often ignorant of the socio-economic circumstances there that leads to underground music. For example, the last time techno was underground in my opinion was when poor African-American youth in Detroit ghettos were messing around with stolen and borrowed equipment. When upper class Indian kids spend lakhs on computers and equipment to party in chi chi nightclubs in 5 star hotels with other upper class kids – I wouldn’t accurately call that underground anymore! But also, one must be aware that it’s a cycle: EDM was once underground (Dutch House), Rock n Roll was once underground (Chuck Berry, Link Wray, Isley Brothers), even Jazz was once considered a freaky new form of terrible music created by “outsiders”. There’s a cycle whereupon some underground music breaks through to the mainstream – but I don’t find that sufficient reason to start hating an entire genre of music or a single artist just because they’ve been exposed to the mainstream! Anyway, it’s important to remember these two extremes are not the only possibilities – there’s plenty of space to position oneself between staying true to yourself as an artist and yet adjusting yourself to market requirements in order to have a viable, sustainable music career. Everyone has to decide for themselves where they lie on that continuum. Personally, I believe that if you have truly developed your own style of songwriting and/or performance, you should be able to play any kind of music and yet listeners can still recognize that its undeniably you. It’s also possible these days to use pseudonyms for different projects – so you can have one project that’s all your underground, stay-true stuff, and then an alter-ego for more commercial stuff. But it’s a reality in the creative arts that any graphic designer or stage actor or performing dancer will be quick to inform stuck-up musicians: if you want to make a career out of this, you will have to adapt to a large degree to what the client or audience demands… the trick is to get them to demand YOU!

 

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Enchanted Valley Carnival returns this December!

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Enchanted Valley Carnival, also known as EVC, returns this December on 19th, 20th and 21st of December 2014. The first day of EVC will be headlined by Grammy award-winning electro dance David Guetta on the 20th of December and trance warriors Ferry Corsten and Markus Schulz as New World Punx will perform on 21st December. Some of the foreign acts this year include include Aly and Fila, SolarStone and Aruna while the homegrown local acts include Alien Chutney (Vir Das), Anish Sood, Dualist Inquiry, Lost Stories, Nucleya, Ash Roy, Reggae Rajahs, Nawed Khan, Bullzeye, Clement, Praveen Achary, Quiver and Calm Chor.

Apart from the music festival, Twisted Entertainment is proud to present the ‘Enchanted Village’. The campsite received an overwhelming response last year with it all the tents sold out on the first day. This year Enchanted Village is back with double the capacity and plenty to do during on all the 3 days. The Village aims to accommodate 2,000 people daily with multiple camping options such as BYOT (bring your own tent), Classic tents and Club tents. Activities at the campsite include a series of silent parties, workshops, yoga sessions, outdoor sports, bon fires and lots more!

Shoven Shah, Founder, EVC and Director, Twisted Entertainment said, “While the heart of all festivals revolves around music, the spirit of EVC is in the stages, the community, a campsite which will truly glorify the magic of nature and the environment. At EVC no detail will be spared ensuring every festival-goer feels that their experience was unique and their money well spent! EVC aspires to reinstate this spirit of community, connection and conversations in music that has been lacking in many music festivals conducted in the recent past. EVC will connect fans directly with the artists they love like David Guetta and New World Punx and become a sanctuary for forward-thinking music fans seeking life-affirming experiences.”

Kartik Mohindra, Assistant Vice President, International Brands, Pernod Ricard India added, “ABSOLUT globally has been associated with art and creativity. In India, music has always been a very popular art form which is witnessing a change in the last few years. This is where the festivals like EVC fit in and provides the new age music followers with a great setting to truly enjoy music. Such events are a perfect fit with the brand.”

Mr. Vivek Kumar, CEO Aamby Valley City and Hotel Sahara Star said “EVC is a festival in a category of its own. So working with EVC is a perfect fit, and connects us with the new generation of consumers around the world. EVC is truly a meeting place of music and fans at a one of its kind destination venue. The festival goers are in for a visual and acoustic treat with the headline line-up’s having some world-class names that will breathe life into India’s music scene. We are sure that the line-up coupled with tremendous scale and grandiose of the event will leave everyone asking for more.”

David Guetta said, “I’m excited to be coming back to India and headlining the second edition of EVC Festival in Aamby Valley this December. All my fans from Mumbai and Pune should watch this space for more!’

New World Punx said, “Hey India! We are ready for EVC 2014! This will be the first time for New World Punx to play in India, and to top it off we’ll finally get to meet all our fans at Aamby Valley City, Festival Arena. We’re so excited; you warriors are in for a treat… See you this December!”

Multi genre music along with and some of the most sort after live headliners in the game will be spread across EVC’s many stages with longer DJ sets and a host of curated arenas. The highlight of the event will be the specially created ABSOLUT zones, which will integrate an exclusive brand experience.

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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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Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

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After the mega-success that was the NH7 Weekender Bangalore last year, this year’s event was a must-see music festival for the music lovers of Bangalore. In a city that sees at least one grand music concert and dozens of smaller gigs every month, one would think that there wouldn’t be enough Bangaloreans interested in NH7 weekender to fill the grounds of the Embassy Riding School. On the contrary, after having waited for over a year for the next installment, music lovers in the city braved the harshest weather to be at the event. The experience last time left the audience in awe of how smoothly everything went and how well planned out the event was. What could possibly go wrong this time?

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

 

So Day 1 (November 23rd) came by. I remember walking up to the pick-up point with a spring in my step. The sun was out with a smattering of clouds in the sky. If only we knew what nature had in store for us! By the time we got to the outskirts of the city, there was a light drizzle. We Bangaloreans are used to unpredictable weather and the rains – in fact, we love the rains! Well this was put to the test, when a torrential downpour surprised us all about thirty minutes after we walked into the arena. People were swaying and grooving to Bala Subramanyam a.k.a Dakta Dub’s reggae-infused beats at the Breezer Dub Station when the drizzle turned into a full blown storm. Most hadn’t prepared for the rains, including the organizers, and there were very few tents to take shelter under. The attendees took the rains in their stride and just danced in the rain. A perfect opener for the festival, Dakta Dub stuck to slow and hypnotic mixes that was perfect to set people into the mood as they trickled in. Even people with two left feet were unable to stop shuffling around and dancing to his mix of hip-hop, jazz, trip-hop and reggae, made even more irresistible with big beats and deep bass.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

As a true testament to how much the people loved music, no one even thought of leaving and going back. In the muck and the mess, I made my way to the Bacardi Rock Arena where Bevar Sea had already got the crowd in a mosh-pit. The rain had by now soaked right through my bones and showed no signs of yielding. In a bid to keep the chill at bay, I took shelter under a flimsy awning and out in the distance I could see black tees pushing each other into the mud and flipping their hair trying to head bang.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Not wanting to get caught in a mosh-pit, I trudged back to the Breezer Dub Station only because it was the closest one. I stepped into the stage just as Pippin was laying down some trippy, pop, hip-hop and trip-hop tunes. As the evening set in, the relaxed and groovy mix that he played allowed everyone to wind down and lean back on their red bean-bags and chill. An interesting observation was that only the Breezer Dub Station had a full line-up or a full set of artists throughout the day with artists coming on stage back to back. So there was always some good music to dance to if you happened to walk into that arena. I decided to stay back at the Breezer Dub Station as I didn’t think it was wise to walk in many inches of mud without proper footwear.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Well, I seemed to have made the right choice as Dualist Inquiry, or rather, Sahej Bakshi came out on stage to play his solo DJ set. He was scheduled to play with his band on the Red Bull Tour Bus later on but I couldn’t figure out how that would be possible without accidental electrocution of the band members due to the rain. He definitely knew how to get the crowd going. After the laidback tunes from Pippin and Dakta Dub, Sahej got the crowd bouncing with a sick remix of ‘Unchained (The Payback/Untouchable)’ by 2Pac and James Brown, which was featured in Django Unchained, and the Super Mario Bros. theme. He quickly followed this with a very fun remix of the ‘Ghostbusters theme’ and got the whole crowd to sing along to it. From Hip-Hop to Pop, he then moved into the realm of jazz by playing ‘Catgroove’ by Parov Stelar. For his first solo DJ set, he managed to get the biggest crowd reaction, no surprise, for ‘Get Lucky’ by Daft Punk. He ended his hugely popular set with some groovy swing tunes.

 Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Next came DJ Uri – veteran and legendary DJ who was one of the few who still played on vinyl. A quiet and reserved man, his music was enough to get the crowd hyped-up. We were all left gobsmacked with his turntable tricks and scratch effects – a completely new sound from that of the previous artists on stage. He transformed Adele, Eminem and Snoop songs into slick mixes.

 Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Over at the Eristoff Wolves Den, people gathered to listen to Shaa’ir + Func. As Monica Dogra’s sublime form took to the stage, the crowd yelled lustily for some of their most popular songs. They opened with massively popular tracks like ‘Shine’ and ‘My Roots’. Monica’s vocals were pitch-perfect and the band was cohesive but at times Randolph Correia’s guitars did overpower the vocals. One gripe with the performance was that it did become quite monotonous after a while as the band insisted on playing many of their old hits.

 Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

The Shaa’ir + Func performance took place under the heaviest rainfall of the night but the crowd didn’t care and sang along to ‘Every Time You’re Around’ and ‘Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die’. They stayed away from ‘Oops’ and instead played some new catchier tunes like ‘Poker with the President’. Of course, people loved Monica’s stage antics and the fact that she interacted with the crowd as always. As it continued to pour, we walked back to and loitered around the Dub Station as many artists had their performance cancelled that night. Most notably, due to the dangers posed by the rain, TesseracT’s show was cancelled leaving many metal heads disappointed. The F-16s and the Dualist Inquiry Band, whose performances I was looking forward to, were also cancelled.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

On the way back we were informed that we had actually danced through Cyclone Helen. Day 1 was a near-miraculous one considering that most of the performances went smoothly despite all the water.  Unfortunately, members of  And So I Watch you From Afar did get electrocuted during their performance and were forced to play through the rain. Although I felt the mud added a very Glastonbury-esque feel, some women foolishly chose to wear high heels and to no one’s surprise, were stuck in the muck.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

The clouds parted and the sun came out on Day 2 and we were all blessed with quintessential Bangalore weather on Sunday.  An update about the change in the line-up was posted too late on the NH7 Weekender Facebook page and many missed most of Parvaaz’s set. Like me, many of their fans trickled in at 4 p.m. as they hadn’t seen the revised schedule either and got to listen to only about 15 mins of their set. I only got to hear ‘Ab Ki Yeh Subah’ before they cleared the stage and made way for Dry the River.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Their blend of folk-rock and country wasn’t very interesting and the MTS Other Stage had a very screechy band with a horrendous lead singer on stage so I walked over to the Eristoff Wolves Den where Randolph Correia a.k.a  Func was churning out some excellent electronic and dubstep tracks for the small but lively crowd that had gathered. Even though he was without his more famous collaborator this time, a seasoned artist like him managed to get the crowd excited and dancing.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

After this, it was time for me to watch Prateek Kuhad at the MTS Other Stage having heard his E.P. earlier this year. Although the crowd was intimate, he had the loudest groupies of all the artists I had seen so far. He stood alone with a guitar and belted out some amazing acoustic tunes that were perfect for the lazy Sunday evening. He played some of his most popular songs – ‘Yeh Pal’, ‘Be Surprised’ and ‘Be at Ease’ to a crowd that was slowly falling in love with his honest, heart-felt lyrics and soft, breathy vocals. The barebones arrangement and minimalist musical style surely won him a lot of fans that evening. After a lot of pleading from his groupies, he finally played his most famous track – ‘Ab Hoga Kya’, an upbeat and romantic track. Prateek Kuhad switched effortlessly between English and Hindi tracks and was keen to please his fans. After his dreamy set ended, it was back to the Wolves Den for Nucleya.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

His set consisted mainly of material from his latest album ‘Koocha Monster EP’. Although Dualist Inquiry or Sahej Bakshi came in to hype up the crowd for Nucleya, it wasn’t needed. The massive bass and cheeky interludes were enough to get the crowd going crazy. His new material has a lot of Indian street music but at certain times, it did sound too much like an Indian wedding band. Meanwhile, the Reggae Rajahs were bringing the love over at the Dub Station to a frenzied crowd.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Next came KRUNK All-Stars – a collection of some of the best DJs in the country, promoted by management agency KRUNK. The collective consisted of OX7GEN, EZ Riser, Sandunes, Tarqueeb and SICKFLIP. EZ Riser had played a fantastic set the day before and Sandunes was scheduled with play with the Dualist Inquiry Band. The first half saw Sandunes on the effects and synths, EZ Riser on the decks and QX7GEN on drums playing in an all-live format. Brad Tellis joined in on the guitar after a while and the second half was basically EZ Riser, Tarqeeb and SICKFLIP strutting their stuff. Their set was mellower and much more toned down after the explosive bass from Nucleya. Their music was innovative and appreciated but, I would have liked to see more energy from the All-Stars. They were looking into their computer screens so intently without so much as a glance at the crowd, it seemed like they were all reading a novel on their computers.

Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

After a long pause for much needed nourishment, I went to watch British-Indian DJ extraordinaire Bobby Friction. He managed to draw a large crowd to the Dub Station even though the more popular Noisia was playing at the Wolves Den. Looking flamboyant in a large feathered outfit, his fashion sense matched his music – loud, often brash and definitely in-your-face!

 Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Now it was time for the most buzzed about act of the whole festival – Karsh Kale Collective + The NH7 All Stars, where legendary percussionist Karsh Kale would be joined by all the artists who had performed over the last two days. People who waited at the arena beforehand were handed snazzy graphic novels features Karsh Kale! The first artist to join Karsh Kale was singer Benny Dayal, who enthralled the audience with his energetic and powerful vocals. Songstress Apeksha Dandekar came on next. Her restrained yet sultry singing style floored the audience. She was probably one of the best vocalists at the festival apart from Khalid Ahmed from Parvaaz.

 Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

Vishwesh K from Scribe joined in too, with some creative and mile-a-minute rapping allowing the eastern and western musical styles to merge smoothly. Alas, before Randolph Correia and Dualist Inquiry could take to the stage, I had to leave the venue. With a sad heart and weary legs, I ambled out of the venue just as the Karsh Kale Collective were playing their rendition of Ustaad Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Tere Bin Nahi Lagda’. Over 4000 people were packed into the Bacardi Arena as all the other stages were mandatorily shut down for this event. Yet, at the end of the day, the hodgepodge of so many different artists felt like too many cooks in the kitchen and the overall performance did fall short.

 Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Embassy Riding School, Bangalore

There is no other musical event quite like the NH7 Weekender. Once you attend one, it spoils you for every other music concert. It is the happiest music festival and even welcomes you a “Hic Habitat Felicitas” sign as you enter. I even appreciated the fact that there were so many EDM artists this time compared to last year – it gave people an opportunity to dance throughout the day. Moreover, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender has something going for it that no other music festival has – it attracts the most ardent fans of the Indian music scene, whom even the stormiest weather can’t scare away.  Even though there were a lot of problems with the set-up and sound, the artists were overwhelmed with the loyalty of their fans and the rain just helped people let loose much faster. Well, now I have to wait a whole another year to experience it again!

Anusmita Datta

Anusmita Datta is an ardent day-dreamer, music lover, die-hard foodie and occasional writer. Her obsession with pandas is sometimes disturbing and she can be often found lusting after momos!

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Tippa Irie + Reggae Rajahs at The Humming Tree, Bangalore

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Dev Ambardekar

Dev is a music photographer based out of Bangalore. He has been documenting the music scene actively for almost two years during which he has shot several Indian bands and a handful international acts. His expertise ranges from multi-day music festivals to pub shows. While he is not behind the camera, Dev is an Architect and occasional writer. You can follow him at @DevAmbardekar.

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Bacardi NH7 Weekender Date, Ticket, Lineup and Venue Details

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Pune

Date: Oct 18-20
Venue: Laxmi Lawns, Next to Magarpatta City
Line Up:
Ankur Tewari, BLOT vs. Kohra, Blackstratblues, Chase & Status DJ Set, Devoid, Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator, Dualist Inquiry, Indian Ocean, Karsh Kale Collective + NH7 All Stars, Krunk All-Stars, Maati Baani, Midival Punditz (Live), Nischay Parekh, Nucleya, Papon & The East India Company, Parvaaz, Pentagram, Prateek Kuhad Collective, Scribe, Shankar Tucker, Simian Mobile Disco, Skindred, Sky Rabbit, Slow Club, Suman Sridhar feat. Jiver, Textures, The Raghu Dixit Project, Vachan Chinappa, Vir Das’ Alien Chutney, Your Chin

Bangalore

Date: Nov 23, 24
Venue: Embassy International Riding School
Line Up:
Dry the River, Kailasa, Lucky Ali, Mekaal Hasan Band, The Manganiyar Seduction by Roysten Abel, The Raghu Dixit Project, Krunk All-Stars, Noisia, Nucleya, Rob Garza (Thievery Corporation) Solo DJ set, Shaa’ir + Func, And So I Watch You from Afar, Bevar Sea, Inner Sanctum, Karsh Kale Collective + NH7 All Stars, TesseracT, The Fender Benders, Nischay Parekh, Prateek Kuhad, Sulk Station, Zervas & Pepper, Bobby Friction, Cali P & Chiqui Dubs, Dakta Dub, DJ Uri, EZ Riser, Low Rhyderz, Pippin, Poirier, Reggae Rajahs, Sound Avtar, _RHL

Delhi, NCR

Date: Nov 30, Dec 1
Venue: Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida
Line Up:
Chic feat. Nile Rodgers, Dry the River, Faridkot, Kailasa, Lucky Ali, Mekaal Hasan Band, Noori, Benga, Kill Paris, Michal Menert, Nucleya, Sandunes, Shiva Soundsystem, And So I Watch You from Afar, J.Viewz, Karsh Kale Collective + NH7 All Stars, Meshuggah, MUTEMATH, Scribe, SundogProject, The Ska Vengers, Arooj Aftab, Dhruv Visvanath, Nischay Parekh, Prateek Kuhad Collective, Rajasthan Roots, Zervas & Pepper, Baba Jas, Dubtron, Frame/Frame, Moniker, Soundclash, Swaggamuffin, Tarqeeb, The Grind, The Heatwave, YT, Ziggy the Blunt

Kolkata

Date: Dec 14,15
Venue: Ibiza Resort, Merlin Greens
Line Up:
Indian Ocean, Kailasa, Papon & The East India Company, PINKNOISE, Soulmate, Swarathma, The Raghu Dixit Project, Arjun Vagale presents Re:Focus, Bay Beat Collective, BLOT vs. Kohra, Dualist Inquiry Band, Michal Menert, Nucleya, The Ska Vengers, Demonic Resurrection, Digital Suicide, Ganesh Talkies, Karsh Kale Collective + NH7 All Stars, Parikrama, Pentagram, Textures, Undying Inc, Zero, Girish Pradhan, Nischay Parekh, Prateek Kuhad, Tajdar Junaid, Vir Das’ Alien Chutney, AlgoRhythm, BASSFoundation, David Boomah, Delhi Sultanate and Begum X, DJ Uri, EZ Riser, Reggae Rajahs, Sandunes, Smoke Signal, Sound Avtar, Yidam

Ticket Details:
Community Ticket: Rs 3000 The Community ticket is a three-day ticket available to anyone who has purchased tickets to any of our festivals (Bacardi NH7 Weekender, A Summer’s Day or Invasion), or is a registered user on NH7.in
Regular Ticket: Rs 3750 Valid for all three days
Under-21 Ticket: Rs 1750 (You qualify if you were born after Oct 1, 1992)

BACARDI NH7 WEEKENDER WARRIOR
Pune + Bangalore : Rs 4500
Pune + Delhi : Rs 4500
Pune + Kolkata : Rs 4500
All Four Cities: Rs 6000. Buy tickets for 3 cities and get the 4th free. Not transferable.

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Fix Up!! ft. DJ Uri + Reggae Rajahs

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DJ Uri

With a career spanning over 4 decades, DJ Uri has been true to the Hip-Hop movement. Born in East London in 1974, his journey has been in full flow since 1982. Influenced by the “Street Sounds Compilations” and the break dance era, Uri has had a solid upbringing being exposed to underground music from an early age.

Getting his first turntables aged 13 he began to DJ for Hip-Hop crew “The Uptown Posse”, and by the age of 15 Uri was performing to crowds playing Hip-Hop, Disco, Funk and Soul. 25 years on he has the same desire and continues dropping the freshest and funkiest music with regular gigs across the UK, Europe and India.

https://www.facebook.com/DJURI.UK

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Reggae Rajahs
Reggae Rajahs are India’s first reggae sound system. Known for their energetic live performances, they are reggae entertainers and promoters based out of New Delhi.

Formed in 2009, Reggae Rajahs have dedicated themselves to spreading the sounds of reggae music across India. They frequently perform at clubs and live venues all over the country and have also performed at many festivals including Sunburn Festival (Goa), SulaFest (Nashik) and Ragasthan (Jaisalmer). They host their own stage at the NH7 Weekender Festival called the ‘Dubstation’ which has introduced thousands of people to dub based sounds over the last two years.

www.reggaerajahs.com
www.soundcloud.com/reggaerajahs
www.youtube.com/reggaerajahsonline

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Ska Vengers at Counterculture, Bangalore

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Ska is a veritable mystery to this writer. And while I could’ve “wiki’d” the topic to a speedy death before going to watch the Skavengers at Counterculture, I chose not to because I didn’t want mounds of “research” to colour my experience of this eight-piece Ska/Rocksteady band.

Dressed nattily in white and black formal attire, the band mingled with the crowd before the show; the venue, Counterculture, looked as though it had been infiltrated by genial members of the MIB! But as soon as they got onto the slightly elevated stage, the picture fit. Belting out song after song, the image they carefully cultured through the process of the show was powerful and lasting. They looked like snazzy harbingers of social change, pointing out the difficult truths and gently gibing at the inconsistencies in society with their complex lyrical style – managing to look cool throughout (Samara’s legs were without a doubt one of the highlights of the show). God, was I envious in my un-snazzy work-from-home attire!

Ska Vengers at Counterculture, Bangalore

Rapper Delhi Sultanate (a.k.a Taru Dalmiya) and the dramatically styled Samara equally shoulder fronting the band. Taru prowls around (half-crouched almost) with the controlled, rhythmic moves of the passionate rapper that he is, while Samara gracefully gyrates on planted feet or leans back when belting out a particularly fearsome note (There were quite a few of these). While coordinated in the way they dress, the variations in their performing styles make them as different as chalk and cheese. Stefan (keyboards), Nikhil (drums) and Tony (bass) are familiar faces after our highly entertaining chat with them during Counterculture’s The Big Mushroom Cloud Festival; they were performing as The Jass B’stards. And Raghav (guitar) is a staple of the Delhi Dancehall scene with his collaborative endeavour Reggae Rajahs. Female saxophonist Rie Ona served as a refreshing addition to the line-up on stage.

What’s great about Ska is that the pattern of rising bass lines to most of the songs and the up-tempo nature of the music itself; it had almost everyone jigging in their seats and many people obliged the band when they cheekily asked if there was a ban on dancing (if only they knew, sighed a few veteran Bangaloreans). The pace and the artful mix of lyrics gave the entire performance a sort of refined “mad scientist’s laboratory” feel!

Ska Vengers at Counterculture, Bangalore

The band has a well-balanced set of originals and covers and Taru delivers emphatic introductions to all of them – whether they’re for jilted lovers, empowered women or ribbing a certain politician. Notable covers included Irma Thomas’ classic ‘(You Can Have My Husband But) Don’t Mess with My Man’, Marelena Shaw’s ‘Woman in the Ghetto’, the Lou Reed – penned ‘I’m Waiting for the Man’ and a very heartfelt version of ‘I Put a Spell on You’. Samara’s voice is a smooth operator – rooting through the songs, looking for and expressing every last emotion in them.

But once the band disposed of the relatively lightweight songs in the first half of the set, a tide turned and they brought in tracks like ‘Gunshot’ and ‘Vampire’. The introductory talk-through/rap by Taru for the latter makes you catch your breath in its clever (and sometimes straight forward) put downs of commercialism, economic inequality, unfair treatment, and all manner of other evils.

Ska Vengers at Counterculture, Bangalore

Here are two small extracts to give you a better idea –

(Vampire)

It makes soldiers and police behave like demon men

Every day we come and battle with leviathan

And I still don’t understand.

Why police will take from autos and street vendors

But to the upper class, they have a sweet temper…

Kashmir men dead, nobody remember

Chhattisgarh men dead, nobody remember

North-east men dead, nobody remember

They murder people and call it “encounter”…

(Gunshot) Propaganda on your TV screen

On the exterior they look so nice and clean

In Emporio I see them pose and preen

Wake up, wake up, things are not what they seem.

Ska Vengers at Counterculture, Bangalore

Who said activism had to be dressing in khaki, shouting slogans in a strictly regulated area of protest? The Ska Vengers take that image and recycle it into a super-refined, heartfelt plea to any audience of theirs – wake up and take notice of the “wrong” that we wade around every day, feigning ignorance. Many would think that the juxtaposition of Ska music in the Indian context is like trying to fit a square block in a round hole, but they’d be wrong. As Taru rightly put it, “Anyone ’round the world supports the idea of standing up against injustice. Why wouldn’t they relate?”

Sharanya Nair

Sharanya is a 'writer' and an 'editor'. You know the type. She loves her music too much to share.

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