Tag Archives: Soulmate

Bacardi NH7 Weekender 2015 – Shillong

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Wanderlust and Music: The Busking Man Chronicles

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People, when beset with the pointlessness of a 9 to 5 routine, often take to dreaming of an escape. Quitting their job, grabbing a backpack, heading out on roads less trod. Meeting people so incredibly inspiring and seeing sights so uplifting that everything they knew about life is changed. Forever and for the better. And that’s where the fantasy ends as we grunt in response to the shrieking of an alarm clock or a demanding boss. Or so goes the story we are all fed to ensure a grudging loyalty to monotony.

Debojyoti Nath, however, managed to forsake that loyalty and break out of the mindless interaction between phone and computer screens that was replacing actual human communication. He took on the avatar of The Busking Man and got people to look up from a glowing LCD to watch him strum out a tune. And he did it in all 29 Indian states becoming  the first one to do so. He started with….well, he tells the story better :

“I was working for Radio City 91.1 FM in Delhi and saw a lot of mindless violence and fighting all around me in the city, in India and pretty much all over the world. After I left Radio City I started working for ScoopWhoop.com as their Social Media Manager and realized first hand how human socializing and interacting was getting limited to their phone screens or laptops. I was also going through a difficult phase in my life where everything around me was falling apart and where I wanted to do something I loved. And one evening it just hit me that I should take my guitar out to the streets, play my music and spread the message of Peace and Love and be the change I want to see happen in this world. I love music and travelling and meeting new people and making them happy in whatever little way I can. So I decided to start busking in Delhi while working. My first busking session happened on a Sunday at Connaught Place on a November evening. I busked a couple more times in Delhi with an amazing response and soon after decided to quit my job and busk all across the 29 states of India within 7 months before I turned 30 on July, 2015. I started busking from the 1st of January 2015. Everything fell into place, I would play music on the streets, I would in my own little way talk about and help spread the message of peace and love and also travel and meet new people. It was the perfect amalgamation of all my dreams.”

And so it began. But, of course, anyone wishing to replicate his lifestyle is probably wondering about the pitfalls of busking in a country where its not a thing ( and by “not a thing”, I mean a lot of people don’t know the word exists). Debo however says a potential busker has very little to worry about :

“Considering that busking is something unheard of in India and never been done on the scale I was doing, it actually wasn’t difficult at all to busk in India. The only difficult thing for me was when I first set out to busk. I was insanely nervous and scared and had no idea how people would react. But once I took out my guitar and started playing, everything was super fantastic after that and the people loved it too even though it took them by surprise. So the only difficult thing for me was to convince myself that I could actually do it and let go of all inhibitions.” 

And he has met other buskers, though not too many. He jammed with one in Mumbai, met two others in Delhi and found a few in Darjeeling who regaled the skies with the sarangi and were singing traditional folk songs.

Wanderlust and Music: The Busking Man Chronicles

But there is more to Debo’s art than merely eschewing the shackles of repetition inherent in everyday existence. It emphasises “peace and love” and uses the much-spoken of topic of conveying harmony and espousing the undesirability of violence. To quote the man himself :

“Everything I did while on my busking tour had everything to do with peace and love. Peace and Love is not about being hippy. Peace and Love to me means that people live in harmony and not harm or kill each other. Like I once said, I’d rather see people holding hands or people kissing on the streets and being there for one another than people holding guns, sticks or stones and killing each other. Wherever I busked on the streets across India people came to me and would ask me about the little Peace and Love placards I display and I tell them the same and till date each and everyone agreed to the fact that this world could use a little peace and love. This is the age of advertisements and so I think it be fair to say that this was my way of advertising and endorsing peace and love. I strongly believe there is hope in this world which is plagued with depression and fleeting humanity and it doesn’t take much to be kind and caring to one another. And like the Dalai Lama said, the planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.” 

And it has been rewarding. Turns out, if you give the world a chance and open yourself up to it by taking a chance, its not all that bad. When asked about Debo’s memorable experiences, he had plenty to say :  

“…every place was memorable in its own way. The thing is that every place comes with its beautiful memories. My memories range from bridging religions, to composing impromptu Hindi songs in the North to connect with people, to playing songs for children still suffering at the site of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, to meeting some of the most amazing people along the way who shared their lives with me, to having an eunuch slap me and then become friends, to playing bhajans for the old women at an old age home, to meeting and singing with the kids at Dharavi, to meeting fellow buskers and jamming with musicians in a train, to shooting an impromptu jam with a French guy in Goa, to helping raise over Rs. 5000 within a span of three hours for the Nepal Relief Aid in Darjeeling, to meeting Rudy Wallang and Tipriti Kharbangar of the famous Indian blues band Soulmate and spending my most memorable time with them, to playing songs for an auto rickshaw driver in his auto, to reaching McLeodgunj with just Rs. 250 and having the best time there, to being detached from the world of technology when my phone stopped working which was a blessing in disguise, to simply taking a shower under a waterfall in the wild!”

So, one can’t blame him when he articulates his affinity towards the life of the busker in the following words:

“Busking gives me the pure unadulterated joy of connecting with people through music. It is freedom in the purest form to me. Busking also helps me become a better performer, because its not just the music itself but how you present it to people and how you keep them hooked.”

Wanderlust and Music: The Busking Man Chronicles

And he’s reaching hearts, because he has been all over the country. While he asserts that every location he has crossed has been “fantastic”, he singles out Bangalore, Delhi, Shillong, Darjeeling and McLeodgunj as the top 5. Future buskers, heads up?

Debo admits that the life of the busker isn’t for the majority, especially since the majority are led to believe in the sacrosanct nature of the stagnant, unchanging, predictable existence that is unfairly idolized. But if one did try it…

“If there are people who would love to adopt the busking life, I can assure them that it will change their life in many ways. But personally I would love to see more buskers in India and not just playing music but doing all sorts of performing arts like painting, dancing, street plays, comedy, tricks etc. Wouldn’t it be lovely to see an outburst of art on the streets? I remember that I would tell people to make the streets their stage. People could go about doing their jobs and taking care of all their family or personal business but hit the streets for a couple of hours on weekends or whenever they have free time. It would certainly bring back the glory of human interaction and socializing and not just limiting all these basic human traits to just a screen.” 

And it has certainly changed his life. To the extent that now, he cannot imagine it without taking the guitar out on the road. He might be on a hiatus after a 7-month sojourn around the country, but as he puts it : 

“I don’t think I will ever stop busking. I will keep busking for as long as I possibly can and whenever I feel like it. That’s the best part that whenever I want I can just take my guitar out and hit the streets and start playing anywhere.” 

Don’t get him wrong. It wasn’t all flowers and unicorns as he traipsed across unknown lands inhabited by unfamiliar souls. Fear was real. But so was faith in people.

“There are always safety issues everywhere but I also try to remain cautious and careful as much as I can. I have to be honest that I was a little scared when I was travelling all through the North East and also in Kashmir. But once I was in those places the people were very kind to me and I never faced a problem anywhere. The thing is if you approach people with genuine kindness and love you will always get that in return. People everywhere have been exceptionally kind, loving, supportive and caring to me.” 

The romance of Debo’s busker’s life seems far too poetic to belong to the laidback guy who, in his words:

“keep telling my friends or anyone I meet to take a break and enjoy what life has to offer and pursue what you love doing the most. I love listening to music almost all the time. I love watching a lot of documentaries and I love reading too. I have a keen interest for reading about or watching biopics of successful people and understanding what drives and motivates them. Apart from all this I would love to be an avid listener basically meaning listening to people talk about their lives, issues and problems. “

This apparently contradictory individual has had his share of revelations :

“One thing I realized during this busking tour is that there are loads of people who just need someone to listen to them. If people could open up more about their worries and troubles and talk about themselves, it would cure many people of depression. People need that release. So during this entire tour I became the perfect stranger for most people to open up to and pour their heart out to me. I would love to do this professionally someday, so fewer people have to depend on anti-depression medications or visit psychiatrists. I strongly agree with the quote from the movie Into The Wild which says “Happiness only real when shared.” I just want to see people happy.” 

Framing himself into an informal therapist inviting people into the confessional chamber of his music might be the attribute that most succinctly provides a glimpse into the change enacted within him by his movement towards freedom.

And freedom it is, to pursue interests more conducive to a world less terrifyingly abhorrent. He leaves one, and only one message for anyone that has listened to him singing ‘Stand By Me’, ‘Cant Help Falling In Love’ by Elvis, ‘Imagine’ by John Lennon, ‘Redemption Song’ by Bob Marley, ‘Shaam’ from the movie Aisha, ‘Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai’ and some of his original compositions like ‘Love Is For All’, ‘Nafaratey Bhulao Yaar’ or ‘Let There Be Peace, Let There Be Love’. It’s a bit of a cliché, but it’s a reasonable cliché, one we could really profit from paying greater heed to :

“always follow your heart and reach for your dreams because there can be no greater happiness than that. And you should always follow your heart because it will never steer you to the wrong direction. I wish everyone loads of love, peace and happiness.” 

The Busking Man in his element: 

Support him by visiting: 

Facebook page: Facebook.com/thebuskingman

YouTube Channel: YouTube.com/deetornadokidd

SoundCloud Page: Soundcloud.com/debojyotinath

 

And watch out for the book that he is planning to write! 

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An Ode to The Blues at CounterCulture, Bangalore

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Ten Stories Up by Soulmate

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The enduring persistence of blues music is extraordinary. Its roots date back to the turn of the twentieth century, and since then there have been an incalculable number of musicians who have pushed the genre in new directions and refined its sound. When playing music in any genre with about a century of history behind it, there are really just two ways to approach it: experiment and innovate, or play it straight, being careful not to deviate from the established rules that define the genre. In today’s scene, the Shillong-based band Soulmate is one recent band to carry the banner of blues music, and while they fall squarely in the latter category, on their newest album Ten Stories Up, they have honed in on the classic electric blues style to create something truly wonderful.

The core of the band is the duo Rudy Wallang and Tipriti “Tips” Kharbangar who both sing, play guitar, and handle the songwriting. This is their third album after playing together for over a decade and they have gained significant acclamation in the process. It’s not difficult to see why; before getting into anything else, it needs to be said that these two are incredible musicians. Wallang’s guitar leads and solos are sharp and fluid, and Kharbangar’s singing is stunningly powerful. Only one of them will sing on each song, and while Kharbangar is clearly the better singer of the two, it’s unfair to say that Wallang’s voice is bad; he’s a good singer in his own right, but his more straightforward voice is out-shined by her strong vibrato, powerful belting, and dizzying melismatic melodies. That’s fine though, because Wallang’s guitar is just as emotive; on one song, he will make his instrument slowly weep (‘Sadness’) and on another it beckons you to come and dance (‘I Will Be Around’). Because of the difference in singing however, the songs where Kharbangar takes the lead tend to be more interesting. Ten Stories Up is at its best and most masterful when her voice and Wallang’s guitar go back and forth, challenging each other to be more stirring, more impressive, more striking. At these points on the album, such as those on ‘Lie’ and ‘Tell Me’, you’re just fortunate to be along for the ride as each passage continually reaches deeper into your soul to grip you tighter.

While these moments are no doubt impressive, the repetitive song structures across the album unfortunately dampen the impact. Each song follows more or less the same pattern: while a foundation chord progression or riff is repeated, sung verses and instrumental solos alternate until the song ends. It’s a bit too straightforward and lacking surprises, and while this may be the nature of Soulmate’s brand of blues, it still feels like the album didn’t quite earn its one-hour run time. Because the album dedicates so much time to guitar solos, there aren’t any that really stand out as exceptional. None are bad, but at times the sheer number of solos sprinkled throughout the album feels a little like over-indulgence.

However, that’s not to say that these songs grow tiresome– there are some brilliant arrangements and dynamic choices that give a lot of the tracks enough personality and variation to keep them from all sounding identical. The main overdrive-coated riff on the opening track ‘Sunshine’, for example, is surprisingly hard-hitting for blues, but it transitions half-way through to a mellow chord progression with much cleaner and soulful guitar. On ‘Hear Me Woman’, Wallang utilizes a much grittier guitar tone that, along with fast licks and rapid, aggressive strumming, punctuate the slower, rounder organ and bass patterns that form the basis of the track.

Near the end of the album, the two faster-paced songs, ‘I Will Be Around’ and ‘Keep the Blues’, feature loud, quick riffs and rolling drums that offer a nice break from the other slower tracks. One such song, ‘Lie’, though it plods along, is perfectly smooth and pensive for most of its run time; it’s the type of song that makes you want to just sit down after a long day and sip a cup of chai (or maybe scotch, depending on the day). It’s meditative and melancholy until it explodes with Wallang hammering on the guitar and Kharbangar almost yelling in the final minute. ‘Tell Me’ is likewise just as sleek and gentle, but it is more wistful than somber, and it combines some marvelous electric piano jamming with temperate guitar leads and lively scat singing. In contrast with ‘Lie’ however, the band wraps all these elements in a subtle decrescendo, and though all the different melodies still sound like they are meandering around as they play, the final dynamic shift invokes a sense of delicately letting go.

On the production side of things, Ten Stories Up is crisp and clean; all the instruments sound like they have plenty of space to breathe. This greatly contributes to Soulmate’s sound– every note on the solos comes through clearly, and it only adds to the emotion conveyed. You can hear the pick hitting the strings, fingers sliding across the fretboard, and feedback bleeding through the chords. While these things can sometimes be viewed as unwanted sound artifacts to be eliminated, here they grant another layer of soul to the playing, and it reminds you that this music is very much human– unsynthesized and exquisitely imperfect.

While Ten Stories Up doesn’t offer anything particularly innovative for blues music, it doesn’t seriously suffer because of it. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Soulmate seems much more interested in crafting a thoroughly solid blues album, and in this regard they achieve great success. This album is steeped in the blues tradition, and it is here that the band flourishes by striving to play the best blues possible. Perhaps the best track on the album is their rendition of ‘Nobody But You Lord’. Previously sung by the legendary American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, their intense and impassioned interpretation of the song links Soulmate with not only the blues tradition but the gospel music tradition also. Both of these musical streams have their roots in African American culture, and those who first began the styles poured their beliefs about God, themselves, and their struggles into their music. It’s honestly astonishing how well the band is able to embody the spirit of this old music form, and that is something that needs to be praised. Soulmate succeeds in continuing to carry the torch of blues music in India, and the fact of its international popularity points to something beautiful. In creating a tightly performed blues album, they have given another example of how beliefs and modes of artistic expression still have relevance to people displaced by time, distance, and culture.

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Soulmate’s latest album ‘Ten Stories Up’ now available online!

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After a long wait, the digital version of Ten Stories Up by Shillong-based blues band Soulmate is finally out! “There are ten songs in the album as the name of the album suggests. The album’s about ten years of Soulmate being together. We have played all of them on the road before recording them, so people are familiar with a lot of the songs already. We hope that they sing along,” said Rudy Wallang during our interview with the band at The Mahindra Blues Festival 2014 (read full interview here.)

Ten Stories Up is now available for purchase on OKListeniTunes and Amazon.

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Bacardi NH7 Weekender at Nicco Park Grounds, Kolkata

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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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Jazzing The Blues feat. Tipriti and Karan Joseph at BFlat, Bangalore

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An Ode To The Blues at CounterCulture, Bangalore

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