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NH7 Weekender Line Up Announced


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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).


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).


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).


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.


NH7 Weekender’s Long Awaited Debut In Kolkata


NH7 Weekenderone of the country’s largest music festivals, finally made it to Kolkata, much to the delight of the city’s music-hungry population. The fourth and final leg of this event was to be held on the 14th and 15th of December, and with the completion of exams at most of the city’s educational institutions, the organizers seemed confident of wooing the huge student community to the venue grounds. In fact the Kolkata leg had a lot going for the city’s music lovers. With the highly discounted ticket prices when compared to the three other NH7 Weekender venues, the tickets rates for the City of Joy were a complete steal! And for the student population there was even an under-21 ticket to add to the bouquet of benefits.

The mouth-watering lineup comprising of more than 40 artistes, spread over 6 stages was surely enough to whet the appetite of even the most cynical music-lover in town. However, the venue chosen to host the 2 days of musical madness left many disappointed. Ibiza Resort, located on the outer fringes of the city in South 24 Parganas, was indeed almost in the middle of nowhere. Not only the distance, but the traffic jams and shitty roads were also a big downer, and due to these factors there were many who ultimately decided to skip the NH7’s debut in the east zone. The organizers too, must have had sleepless nights, owing to the initial negative feedback about the venue. But finally on the day of the event, the Kolkata music-lovers did not disappoint and the massive turnout on days 1 and 2 was enough indication that despite all odds, Kolkata’s love for music would always prevail over long distances, bad roads and traffic jams.

The action on the Day 1 started approximately at 3:30 PM. The layout for the 6 stages in the festival grounds was well thought out by the NH7 team and thankfully most attendees were spared the long-distance-run between the various stages. In fact the biggest conundrum for gig goers was trying to prioritize which artiste’s performance to watch, since many performances would be going on simultaneously at different locations in the venue. The timings of performances at the Dewarists stage and at the Bacardi Arena were the ones that caused the most consternation and those not too adept in time-management had a trying time juggling their schedules.

NH7 Weekender’s Long Awaited Debut In Kolkata

Many music-lovers from the North-East turned up in huge numbers to catch Shillong’s blues giants Soulmate up on the Dewarists stage at 4:30 PM. This gig pulled in huge crowds, and having always been a favorite among the blues lovers in the city, Soulmate went all out to impress one and all with a virtuoso performance. And there was no getting away from the mesmerizing vocals of Tipriti Kharbangar that literally blew the crowd away.

Mumbai metallers Demonic Resurrection were already getting proceedings underway at the Bacardi Arena – the first of three back-to-back metal bands to be performing on Day 1. Demonic Resurrection were hell-bent on bringing brutality to a new level, and in their allotted 40 minutes this veteran metal act managed to captivate the crowd with songs both old and new, including ‘The Unrelenting Surge of Vengeance’, ‘The Warriors Return’ and ‘Bound by Blood, Fire and Stone’ – all tracks from their last album A Return To Darkness. The crowd loved every minute of their performance but 40 minutes were hardly enough to satisfy the metal hungry crowd. It would be approximately another hour until the Bacardi Arena lit up with the second metal act of the evening.

In the meantime, over on the MTS Other Stage, local boys Ifs ‘n Buts were having a ball playing their brand of indie music with the help of a few friends. Unfortunately this particular stage was plagued by music “over-flowing” from the adjacent music arenas and it was not really the best way to take in the band’s acoustic set. While Ifs ‘n Buts were busy enthralling their faithful fans, city heavy weights and NH7 veterans Pink Noise on the Dewarists stage and Mumbai’s Zero over at the Red Bull Tour Bus were both getting ready to up the volume. Choosing which act to catch that evening was indeed a painful decision. The veritable flip of the coin seemed to be the only way to decide which band’s performance to watch.

NH7 Weekender’s Long Awaited Debut In Kolkata

Zero’s energy and verve on stage belied the fact that the band was making a comeback and playing in the City Of Joy after almost 10 years. In fact, it almost made it seem like they had never been on a break! For 40 odd minutes the band dished out a host of evergreen favorites like ‘PSP’, ‘Hate In Em’, ‘Lucy’ and ‘Mariachi’ – and for those 40 minutes the Kolkata crowd was in a complete state of trance. Zero easily delivered one of the best performances of the day and those who attended their gig at the Red Bull Tour Bus stage, left fully satisfied.

Amidst the Zero mayhem, another local musician and singer-songwriter, Tajdar Junaid, was getting ready for his performance at the MTS Other Stage. Tajdar’s recently released album What Colour is Your Raindrop has received critical acclaim from most musical quarters, and for fans of his mellow, lounge-influenced acoustic style of music, it was indeed a treat to see him perform in his hometown – more so since it was his first performance in Kolkata after the release of his album. Tajdar did not disappoint the crowd with his set that included tracks like ‘Aisle’, ‘What Colour Is Your Raindrop’, ‘Though I Know’ and ‘Dastaan’. One of the highlights of this gig was when ace guitarist Warren Mendonsa came up on stage to collaborate with Tajdar. All in all, this was a most satisfying performance.

Day 1 was mostly about the metal mayhem that was to take place at the Bacardi Arena. Judging by the number of metal-heads who had lined up in front of the stage and also taken up strategic positions in and around the vicinity, it was definitely not an advisable place for the faint-hearted to be. After Demonic Resurrection’s early evening assault, the next act to occupy the Bacardi Arena was Delhi’s masters of disaster Undying Inc. Right from their first song, these metal mongers were relentless and they forced the crowd into submission with their raw and powerful aggression. Front-man Shashank Bhatnagar was indeed in his elements that evening, and he had the crowd roaring with approval with his crowd-surfing antics. Shashank was like the conductor of a symphony orchestra, and he expertly orchestrated the crowd into one bloody moshpit after the other – and his efforts culminated in a massive wall-of-death during the song ‘Ironclad’. The fetsival had momentarily turned into a war-zone, and the number of injuries and blood stained faces around the pit area bore testament to this fact. Undying Inc’s setlist included the popular ‘Manimal’ and ‘Contagion’ from their album Aggressive World Dynasty and also their new single ‘Pit Mechanics’ from their new EP Ironclad – and their performance and stage presence that evening left an indelible mark on the minds of every metal lover in attendance. The band certainly upped the ante as far as performance standards go, that many Indian metal bands would find difficult to meet.

NH7 Weekender’s Long Awaited Debut In Kolkata

Meanwhile comedy rock band Vir Das’ Alien Chutney was over at the MTS Other Stage, busy regaling the crowd with their trademark sense of humor. It was the band’s debut performance in the City of Joy, but the huge cheers that followed each song they played would certainly have made it seem like they were Kolkata veterans. The biggest cheers were of course reserved for the song ‘Manboobs’, no surprises there! Vir Das’ on-stage banter, especially about the political leaders of West Bengal also had the crowd in splits.

Day 1 was nearing its end, but there were two huge artistes left before the day finally came to a close. Over at the Dewarists stage, Papon and The East India Company were facing some technical difficulties which delayed their show for approximately twenty minutes. Papon was on the check-list of most music lovers since many of them had never seen him perform live before. And true to their expectations, he and his troupe did not disappoint. This was one artiste who could sell out shows and still remain original and true to his music and he demonstrated this by enthralling the huge crowd with songs from his album The Story So Far and tracks like ‘Boitha Maro Re’ and the popular ‘Banao’. Papon and The East India Company were indeed a class act and hopefully they will be in town soon for more shows.

About 10-15 minutes before Papon and his band of merry men had started wowing the crowd at the Dewarists stage, over at the Bacardi Arena, the sea of black-tee clad metal maniacs had again started to huddle around the arena area. For the Kolkata metal community, THIS was the event they had been waiting for – finally, a metal band of international repute would be performing in the City of Joy, finally Kolkata would get to be on the international metal map.

NH7 Weekender’s Long Awaited Debut In Kolkata

Dutch metal giants Textures had previously been to India three times – and having previously performed in the south (Bangalore, 2009), the north (Delhi, 2010) and the west (Pune, ) in past tours, it was befitting that the band finally completed their Bharat yatra by being named as one of the headliners of Kolkata’s NH7 Weekender leg. And they gave to the city’s ardent metal fans a performance that they would not forget in a long time. The show began with the slow melodic instrumental ‘Surreal State Of Enlightenment’ but once this completed the band launched themselves into a set-list which pulverized the crowd with its sheer brutality. ‘Messengers’, ‘Old Days Born Anew’, ‘The Sun’s Architect’, ‘Laments Of An Icarus’, ‘Black Horses Stampede’ and ‘Sanguine Draws The Oath’ were just some of the songs that regaled the crowd that evening. However with the mosh-pits getting more brutal by the minute and with the metal-heads baying for blood, it took two of the band’s more popular compositions, ‘Awake’ and ‘Reaching Home’ to finally appease the crowd. Textures were truly majestic that evening and they won the hearts and minds of everyone who was fortunate enough to attend their power-packed performance.

And so Day 1 of the Kolkata NH7 Weekender ended with a bang – and there was not a single unhappy soul at the end of the day’s proceedings. Even the bunch of young metal-heads who were feuding over Textures’ drum sticks went home happy when the band finally resolved the situation by offering a plectrum to each of the aggrieved parties.

Another bright and sunny December day, and the expectations of the crowd were sky-high after the success of Day 1. There were some very big names scheduled for Day 2, including a few young acts from Kolkata. And in fact two of the day’s openings acts were The Monkey In Me on the Red Bull Tour Bus and Ganesh Talkies on the Dewarists Stage, the latter opening their set with the song ‘Style’. The band’s flashy style of music was accentuated by their colorful but loud outfits. Their catchy music had the crowd dancing, jumping and doing all sorts of crazy stuff, especially when the vocalist Suyasha Sengupta requested the audience to show some “Bappi Lahiri moves”. Their set included ‘Roadside Romeo’, ‘Pyaar Ka Tohfa’ from their EP Three Tier Non AC and some new material like ‘Dancing, Dancing’ and ‘Brother From Another Mother’. A fun band, especially if you aren’t allergic to the Bollywood style of music.

Day 2’s opening act on the Bacardi Arena was New Delhi’s The Ska Vengers. This 8-piece band was making their Kolkata debut and they were easily one of the best acts of this two-day music fest. Right from the word go, these merchants of ska got the crowd dancing to their compositions which included set regulars like ‘Rough And Mean’, ‘Bam Intifada’ and The Velvet Underground rendition of ‘I’m Waiting For The Man’. The Ska Vengers had a great gig, and special mention must be made of their female vocalist Miss Samara C whose charismatic stage presence hypnotized the Kolkata crowd.

Over on the MTS Other Stage fans of Gangtok’s Girish Pradhan were busy being enthralled by this singer-songwriter’s set-list that comprised of originals and classic rock covers. Girish started his set by playing an instrumental version of ‘Hotel California’, and followed this up with a string of originals that included ‘Loaded’ and the ever popular ‘Angel’. The set also included ‘Hey You’ and a brilliant cover of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Rock and Roll’. Girish Pradhan’s amazing voice and vocal range stunned the crowd and he easily won over the hearts of those in attendance.

NH7 Weekender’s Long Awaited Debut In Kolkata

As soon as Girish ended his set, it was back to the Dewarists stage because Swarathma was the next act to be performing. Their set included popular originals like ‘Duur Kinara’, ‘Topiwalleh’, ‘Kooraney’ and ‘Ee Bhoomi’. During the performance of their song ‘Pyaar ke Rang’ vocalist Vasu Dixit came off stage right in the middle of the audience, which got the crowd going. Despite the obvious language barrier in some songs, Swarathma’s gig was indeed a fun one and there was no doubt that the crowd would be remembering the band’s performance for a long time.

And over at the Red Bull Tour Bus, local lads Write In Stereo were getting the crowd to groove to their indie dance music. Heavily influenced by the band Mutemath, this quartet impressed the crowd with their compositions that were mainly instrumentals and included ‘Tokyo Kyoto’, a composition influenced by their love for anime, space and sci-fi.
The Bacardi Arena in the meantime was fast filling up, for Mumbai’s electro-rockers Pentagram, who were soon to start their set. It has been a while since this band has performed in Kolkata, and their fans were on tenterhooks waiting for the show to begin. But once it did, a huge roar erupted from the crowd. Pentagram began proceedings with their track ‘Identify’, and their set-list also included tracks like ‘Lovedrug Climbdown’, ‘Drive’, ‘Mental Zero’, ‘Tomorrow’s Decided’ and the popular ‘Voices’. The crowd had a ball, and this was evident from the number of bean bags being thrown up in the air and bouncing all over the arena area. Vishal Dadlani’s showmanship and Randolph Correia’s guitars were stand-outs in the band’s performance – with Randolph’s guitaring especially sounding raw and powerful throughout Pentagram’s electronica blended grunge set.

It was time for The Supersonics to join the Kolkata NH7 party and right from the word go this Kolkata quartet let fly a host of popular tracks – both new and old – much to the delight of their faithful fan following, who were attending in huge numbers. The Supersonics were playing in their home-town after a very long time, and not being familiar with their new material, their home support cheered the most for their older originals – ‘Hey Aloha’, ‘We Are We Are’, ‘In Memory Of’, ‘Fable Of A Lonely Fish’, ‘Have A Drink’ and the crowd favorite ‘Yeah Whatever’ were just some of the songs on their set-list for the evening. All said and done, this was a pretty good performance by these Kolkata homeboys.

The event was fast approaching its climax – after twp days of non-stop walking, jumping up-and-down, standing and head-banging, our legs were starting to feel a wee bit heavy and we also had this constant buzz in our heads. So running around the venue to catch the different performing artistes was turning out to be a tad bit difficult for our weary souls. In the final hours we kind of parked ourselves in front of the Red Bull Tour Bus area, which was pretty empty – but it also gave us a good view of the Bacardi Arena as well, where Delhi classic rock veterans Parikrama were already in the midst of their NH7 gig. Like Pentagram, Parikrama too were performing in Kolkata after ages – and these Delhi rockers were successful in wowing the crowd with a set-list that seemed to comprise of originals only. Quite a surprise, this, since the band have rarely played a set-list of predominantly original numbers in Kolkata. It was almost like they were playing a greatest hits compilation and for a change, the Kolkata crowd had the chance to savor their originals like ‘Am I Dreaming?’, ‘Vaporize’ and the ever popular ‘But It Rained’, which was the band’s closing number.

Kolkata’s Nishchay Parekh was up on the MTS Other Stage during Parikrama’s assault, and being one of the rising stars of the current indie explosion in the country, most people at the venue wanted to check him out. Nishchay’s music has a certain freshness about it, which adds to its cool quotient and it was these two factors which helped him to win over his audience that evening. His set-list which had the songs ‘Ocean” and ‘I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll’ were extremely well appreciated.

Back at the Red Bull Tour Bus Mumbai’s hard-core kings Scribe were busy causing mayhem and promoting the pleasures of moshing. Front-man Vishwesh Krishnamoorthy was in his usual over-the-top mood making the crowd laugh with his outrageous comments, although for the most part he let the band’s music do the talking. This was in fact quite a tame show as per the usual high Scribe standards – and the sound was also a bit muffled at times, although most listeners didn’t seem to be too bothered with the sound aspect since they were either too busy moshing or playing around with the beach balls that the band had thrown down from the stage. Scribe’s set-list was interesting but was well short of being “amazing” – and apart from the crowd favorites ‘I Love You Pav Bhaji’, ‘1234 Dracula’, ‘R.S.V.P.’, ‘Calender Khana Lao’ and ‘Cops!  Cops!  Cops!’ the band played a cover of the Fear Factory song ‘Edgecrusher’.

After two days of non-stop music, the Kolkata NH7 Weekender was about to come to a close. There was not a single unhappy soul at the venue, and India’s “Happiest Music Festival” had lived up to its reputation. As Karsh Kale Collective + The NH7 All Stars lit up the Bacardi Arena for the final time, the crowd totally lost themselves to the music, and the dancing and cheering seemed to go on and on. It was truly a wonderful conclusion to a festival that having promised so much was successful in delivering on all counts. To say that NH7 Kolkata did well would be an under-statement – this event was a rip-roaring success and for once everyone, including the fan, the organizer and the artiste, would seem to be unanimous about this fact. One can only hope that the success of the NH7 Weekender Kolkata leg will encourage other event organizers to allow this city to host similar such events in the near future. But if for some reason this fails to happen, well, we always have NH7 Weekender Kolkata 2014 to look forward to!

Reviewed by,

Prasanna Singh and Joy Chakraborty


Interview with Jeepers Creepers


Formed in 2011, Jeepers Creepers flaunt an indie/postpunk sound. Their fanbase has been building steadily and strongly ever since they “arrived” on the scene,having qualified as finalists at Mood Indigo (in 2011). The roll is on, and how! We met Rishi and Andy from the band and here’s what they had to say about their music and their story so far…

WTS: As a band, how has it been this far?

Rishi: When we started out as a band together we did not know what to expect, except that we wanted to give people something new and interesting to listen to.We have had a hell of a time together, playing our music, and being loved for it so far. It has been great among the four of us, and we have a lot planned out for this year which would include our official video release and our forthcoming EP.

WTS: The stuff online sounds good. Are you planning another set?

Andy: Thank you… appreciate it coming from you. Yes, happy and excited to release our next EP soon. We have a set of 12 new songs, out of which we would try and put four songs up on the forth coming EP.

WTS: What is it going to be like?

Andy: We always believe in making music that is well thought out. We have already played these new songs at a number of gigs, where a lot of them were seeing us for the first time, and they seemed to really enjoy the sound. If you have heard our last EP, then this one should sound a bit more evolved in terms of elements that range from pop to dance punk.

Rishi: We tried different approaches while composing and we tend to play around with the tones too. We are all in our element so hopefully, we think this will be a great listening experience.

Interview with Jeepers Creepers

WTS: Where are you recording? Any change in the sound/line up?

Rishi : At Dream Digital with Ananda from The Supersonics. Ananda has been a great help and (has been) helping us with production and engineering. It’s a great experience to have him onboard. There isn’t any change in our line-up. Compared to our last EP, this one will have a lot more elements of dance punk, pop punk and post punk. There aren’t going to be any acoustic guitars and songs about high school heart breaks. It’s all thrill.

Andy: Lyrically, the themes range from an artist’s rebellion against the society and its lack of idyllic sentiments, which makes our song called the ‘Man in the Centre’, to a song called ‘Cheese Monger‘ which is an address to a person who is desperate for attention and acts real cocky to make himself worth interest – so basically, observation and introspection of urban psychology that most could relate to.The songs are a fun, humorous and relative aspect of looking at life.

WTS: When will you release it? Where is the next gig?

Rishi: We plan to release it in another two months.However, we can only fix on a release date when the mastering is complete. We will be putting it up on our Facebook page.

WTS: Are you all for labels or an independent release?

Rishi: Independent so far.

WTS: As musicians based in Kolkata, where do you think the scene is at presently?

Andy: It’s getting better by the day. As musicians in this Bolly-infested country, a land that thrives on vague notions of happy endings and censored reality, the only way we get to make any money is by playing gigs. Producing a good album or EP doesn’t come for free. There is a great dearth of venues here and most musicians in the Kolkata scene go unpaid or very poorly paid. So the musician community is sticking up to support the scene. Neel Adhikary has been hosting a series of Open Mics to help talented young musicians find initial footing. Nishit Arora of SmokeInc has made a significant contribution to the music scene here when he adamantly refused to let cover bands play and supported only original music at his Friday Night Jamsteady.

Rishi: What musicians here really need are more venues to play at, and more people taking interest to support the new wave of original music financially,like event companies or record labels. We are hopeful that with time, musicians here will feel more at home. But what matters most is that past all odds we still have people who love music,and we wouldn’t cease to play,pay or no pay,to give you a good time and rock you to your bones.


Harley Rock Riders Season IV: Find Your Freedom Tour at Bakstage, Kolkata

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Abhisekant Basu

Abhisekant Basu is an engineering student . Photography is one of his major interests and he hopes to be a full time photographer someday.


Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata


Neel Adhikari is without a doubt, one of the unsung icons of the Kolkata rock circuit. The last two decades have seen this gentleman be an integral part of some of the best and well-known bands and projects in the city which includes the who’s who of the Kolkata music scene over the last 10-15 years. My point here, however, is not to highlight how many bands he’s played in, but rather highlight the fact that Neel has never been afraid to experiment with his music. He has refused to give in to stagnation and has accepted new trends in this ever changing music scene.

Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata

Neel’s songwriting has matured through the years and in his latest avatar, Neel and The Lightbulbs, his maturity as both a front-man and a songwriter is clearly evident. For the past year or so many young singer-songwriters have taken the stage and have adopted “indie”-ness with open arms and from this motley crew, Neel’s latest project has managed to surge ahead to the top, which is not surprising, because the packaging of this band’s music (live and recorded) has allowed them to showcase their years of experience and knowledge of the scene.

Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata

Neel’s Lightbulbs comprise of some of the best musicians the scene has to offer, both in terms of talent and years of experience: guitarist Subhodip Banerjee (founder member of the now defunct alt rock band Safire, but more well-known as the guitarist of the Anupam Roy Band and for the popular indie duo Ifs and Buts), bassist Roheet Mukherjee (ex-member of Pseudonym and Five Little Indians, currently holding bass duties for both The Anupam Roy Band and the experimental punk act Ganesh Talkies) and drummer Avinash Chordia (ex-member of Krosswindz and the current skin thrasher for The Saturday Night Blues Band, however people in the city mostly know “Chhotu” as the drummer for one of Kolkata’s top-notch acts, The Supersonics).

Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata

On the 2nd of August at The Princeton Club, Messrs. Adhikari, Banerjee, Chordia and Mukherjee made their appearance for that week’s Jamsteady session. Singing a staggering 18 songs and 1 encore, the band performed a little over an hour and a half to a huge crowd comprising of friends, fans and music-lovers. The musical diversity on display that evening was interesting and did not fail to capture the attention of the crowd, many of whom were familiar with the songs. Starting their set with the song ‘Blue Stripes’, the band steadily progressed through the evening with a list of originals, both old and new, including numbers from their well-received EP House In A Car. The songs featured on the EP were the ones that were most cheered by the crowd while the newer songs played their part in getting the ladies dancing.

Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata

The songs dished out definitely offered a lot of variety and it was interesting to hear the different influences each of them had. ‘MP3’, ‘Broke’, ‘Universe’, ‘Cracks’, ‘Coolio’, ‘One Time’, ‘Go Back’, ‘Padampada’, ‘Bull’, ‘Spider’ and ‘Uh Oh’ – all these songs had something different to offer to the crowd in terms of either musicality or lyrical content, but the diversity in sound was best highlighted by two songs – the bombastic ‘Big Mistake’ which boomed into our ears and had this little touch of swing influence and at the other end of the spectrum you had ‘Friends In The Right Places’, a simple song with oh-so-simple lyrics, reminiscent of a cross-over country/pop number – and yet it is this simplicity that captivated the crowd and egged them to sing along with the band. ‘Friends In The Right Places‘ was definitely the evening’s stand-out song and came closest to defining the sound of Neel And The Lightbulbs.

Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata

The band seemed to be having a ball on stage and their presence delighted the crowd. A combination of light banter and goofy stage antics work well, and so it did for The Lightbulbs that evening. However as much as I enjoyed the evening’s performance, it must be mentioned that the band did fail to capture my attention for the entire duration of the gig. Performing 18 songs one after the other is no easy task, and as much as the band must have wanted to showcase their wares, after a point things started to get hazy. After an hour all the songs started to sound the same, despite the fact that none of them actually were.

Jamsteady feat. Neel and The Lightbulbs at Princeton Club, Kolkata

However I did manage to get back into the groove towards the latter part of the show when The Lightbulbs played songs from their EP, including ‘Lights And Tunnels’, ‘Throw It All Away’ and ‘House In A Car’. The final song on their featured set-list was the ever popular ‘Don’t You Worry’, a song which had actually been made famous during Neel’s Span days. This song is probably Neel’s best known composition, and it showed from the crowd’s excited response to the song. After 18 songs you would think the crowd’s appetite for the band had been whetted. Well you would be wrong! Calls for an encore could not be ignored and Neel and his merry men boomed up Princeton Club with a re-rendition of ‘Big Mistake’ to finally bring down the curtains on this indie evening! A fine performance by the band no doubt, but the success of this gig and the huge crowd turnout is also a good indicator of the fact that the indie movement in Kolkata is gaining momentum.


The Supersonics at The Basement, Kolkata

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Abhisekant Basu

Abhisekant Basu is an engineering student . Photography is one of his major interests and he hopes to be a full time photographer someday.


The Supersonics at The Hard Rock Cafe, Bangalore

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Rohan Arthur

Rohan Arthur is a Photographer + Writer at What's the Scene who enjoys all music that does not involve growling/vomiting into the microphone. Rohan is the vocalist of a blues rock band and also manages another folk rock band. At every given chance, he runs away to the jungles, which he believes are his home.


Live from the Console feat. The SuperSonics at Mehboob Studios

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Sanket Chavan

Walking the fine line between designing a MOSFET and a being in a Mosh Pit, Sanket is a freelance marketer, compulsive traveler, a part time musician, a gluttonous foodie and a maker of all things nice.


The Supersonics at Opus, Bangalore


When The Supersonics took the stage at Opus on Friday, one might’ve thought that they’d died.

No, I’m not talking about audience expiry by pleasure, but the band itself. The photographic slideshow on loop that served as backdrop to the band’s set consisted of old gig posters (that showed the band’s excellent sense of visual style) and a mix of performance, publicity, and fly-on-the-wall pictures shot with a stored-for-decades-in-an-old-shoebox feel teased a nostalgic tear from my eye. Of course, you had four men who roughly corresponded to the photographs playing music on stage, but I still got the feeling that some page had been turned even if the same content was being replicated.

The Supersonics at Opus, Bangalore

The Supersonics, of course, are a Famous band. Not famous, but Famous, i.e. in 2012 they’re spoken of in appropriate circles as The Supersonics are back, even as the occasional interloper lay back and thought of Seattle. A band that stormed into popular consciousness in 2008-09, they released the album Maby Baking in 2009 and gained airplay on MTV too (as if that is a measure of popularity anymore) before disbanding in 2010. But, now, The Supersonics are back.

The past year, I happened to live in Kolkata. Though I harboured vague memories, for the most part, I knew of Rohan Ganguli as the guitarist for The Saturday Night Blues Band – one that popped up any day of the week to play at Someplace Else (really, that’s the name of the venue. There’s also a ‘The Other Place’ in Kolkata. When the Supersonics reunited, I was in attendance for both their first secret reunion gig that had been appended as a secret Japanese bonus performance to a concert featuring The Lightyears Explode,Blek and the aforementioned SNBB. Then there was a later show, also at Someplace Else, at the Kolkata edition of the Kingfisher BeerUp.

The Supersonics at Opus, Bangalore

Both performances can best be described as ‘enh’.  Home-turf advantage, an intimate venue and a crowd that could sing-along to ‘Yeah, Whatever’ – what more did they need? Yet, enh. Perhaps they were just rusty.

And that brings us to this particular performance. Opus itself has always struck me as a slightly loopy place, its combination of an open space (with a barely-there roof to keep the outside out) and low slab tables amongst pebbles reminding me mostly of a makeshift wartime medical camp. It didn’t help that the walking wounded were amongst the crowd during gig night – I saw at least a couple of people with a winced stride, and one casted and crutched.

The Supersonics at Opus, Bangalore

It’s slightly better than HRC, in that the band aren’t treated like caged animals with a restraining order that stipulates a minimum distance to be maintained between musicians and crowd, but still not optimal for a concert, and certainly not for a band like The Supersonics. Barely a handful of the people in attendance were standing and the rest seemed to be there for Opus and not the band (one table paid its bill and left in the middle of the set). To borrow a phrase, this crowd was a ‘Wimbledon crowd’ and not a ‘Rajnikanth crowd’ – no singing along and outward expressions of emotion here; all were seated and clapping politely.

The band didn’t care.

Right from their first note, they brought it.

Rohan, of course, has always looked like Nosferatu teasing a guitar, while drummer Avinash and bassist Nitin fit snugly, but the man to watch is frontman Ananda Sen – he is electrifying. He looks like an anorexic John Reis (which, come to think of it, a large portion of Kolkata does) and is 100 percent coiled tension bound by the limited stage, swaying and writhing in place while barely cracking a smile, ever-threatening to break free and pounce at the closest table – or at the least pinch their beer.

The Supersonics at Opus, Bangalore

They tore through their initial set, including Maby Baking staples ‘Far From the Human Race’‘170’ and ‘In Memory Of’, without comment or complaint, yet with a spark that had been missing from their earlier concerts. Maybe they’d just found their groove again. They broke after a (seemingly) criminal barely forty minutes, announcing that they were done for the night. The crowd looked nonplussed for a minute and then, with a vague tinge of feeling short-changed, returned to their food. After about fifteen minutes, the band took the stage again without any flamboyance of an encore, and played on for a further half hour, mingling old cuts like ‘Policemen and Nice Guys’ with new material as well.

Admittedly, while they’re an absolute hoot to experience, there’s a fair amount of ‘spot the influence’ in their songs and the Supersonics are a band that wear their influences on their sleeves (or their t-shirts, as the case may be) – at the least one can spot tinges of the Velvet Underground, Green Day and Weezer in their music (my notes from the set include a scrawl that reads ‘that song that sounds like the Sweater Song’). But, that’s fine. Really, I mean that – they’re good enough, fun enough and bring enough originality to the table that the influences remain just that, influences, and don’t veer into the territory of that nebulous film industry euphemism, ‘inspiration’.

The Supersonics at Opus, Bangalore

Listening to Maby Baking after having seen them live felt like something inferior after something superior, for which an appropriate metaphor shall be inserted at a later date. The donkey-kick to the gut of the drums, the buttery groove of the bass, edgy guitars and, above all, the vital yelps of the vocals are certainly worth the trip, and then some – contrast the live and album version of ‘In Memory Of’, for example. I can’t stress this strong enough – if you have the chance to watch them live, GO.

Maybe I was just feeling sentimental on the night, but looking at those photographs made me sad, even though I could see the band right in front of me. Blame the filters used, but the band on screen seemed to be from another age, while the band on stage…?

It doesn’t matter, does it?

The Supersonics were, but now the Supersonics are.


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Varun Rajiv

Varun Rajiv has tinnitus. The first band he adored with all his heart was Boyzone.