Traditional notes blend with new-age music

Traditional notes blend with new-age music

SAARC bands festival

Music from various SAARC countries are set to bring alive the charm of the city’s oldest Purana Quila during the South Asian Bands Festival that begins here on November 7.

The eighth edition of the three-day festival would feature 14 rock bands from countries, which are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India along with the observer country France.

This year, the festival features performance by Alobo Naga and The Band (ANB) from Dimapur, Nagaland formed in 2010. They won the Best Indian Act at a European music awards ceremony in 2012.

Among the line up is Pakistani singing sensation Zebunissa Bangash popularly known as Zeb, who has forayed into Bollywood with her hit tracks in films like Madras Cafe and Highway.

Another Bollywood component at the festival would be provided by Pentagram the electronic-rock band formed by film composer Vishal Dadlani. The band’s music has evolved over the years from what used to be described as Alternative to what is now Progressive Alternative Pop.

“The popularity of the festival is immense. We started out as an event to attract the youth and now it has become popular across people from all ages from 17 years to 65 and above,” says Sanjeev Bhargava,festival director and founder, Seher.

Success an electro-rock band from France known for their unique style of contemporary rock performance combined with traditional heavy metal, rock and roll and electro rock are also scheduled to perform.

The Kinetic Operations which has been for generations representing the official band of Maldives National Defense Force is from the Maldives. 

Kabul and Rock Veda, a Progressive Fusion band from India is set to open the festival. They are known for their mix of classical, sufi and ghazal music and would be debuting at the festival. Hailing from Bangladesh is the band Chirkutt, which was formed in the year 2002 and has gained popularity in the last three years with their energetic live performances and powerful lyrics.

From Sri Lanka comes the rock band Nemesis. Heavy metal band from Bhutan The Forsaken best known for their onstage shows is set to open the second day of the festival.

Other participating bands include Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator and The Ska Vengers both from India.

New Delhi-based world-fusion band Mrigya offers a rich blend of the blues, funk, folk, latin, jazz as well as Indian classical.

“It is our proud privilege to give opportunities and a platform to younger musicians. The festival has become a stepping stone to so many artistes. The biggest excitement is that bands from Afghanistan, Nepal, Maldives, Sri Lanka etc can get to share the stage with big names like Vishal Dadlani etc,” says Bhargava.

The festival is a joint effort of NGO Seher in association with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Coming together of some of the most talented musicians on one platform at the magnificent Purana Qila is the best and truest representation of regional integration through culture,” Bhargava told PTI.