GET set for some high energy indie music as the second edition of Monsoon Music Mania is ready to hit the city this weekend with an eclectic line up. In its inaugural session last year, the music festival had hosted bands such as The F16s, Thaikuddam Bridge and Lagori. This year they plan to enthrall
music enthusiasts with Chennai rockers, Skrat, Mumbai-based alternative rock band, Daira, Thiruvananthapuram-based experimental folk act, Vidwan, and Chennai-based fusion act, Oxygen. “Many artists are coming up with beautiful original music these days. The alternate music scene in India is thriving. So, the whole idea of this festival is to bring those artistes to Chennai and give them a place to showcase their music,” says Geoffrey Thomas, the
founder of Amaranta Entertainment and the curator of Monsoon Music Mania. Thomas, who is also the curator of The Music Festival that takes place in the city in August, adds, “Cities, like Bengaluru, Mumbai and New Delhi, have their own music festivals. This encouraged many talented musicians in those cities to step forward with their music in the past few years. I started The Music Festival and, later, Monsoon Music Mania for that to happen in Chennai as well.” On November 7 and November 8, 5.30 pm onwards, `350. Details: bookmyshow.com
Bringing an earthly essence to the festival is Vidwan, the seven piece band last seen in Dubai. Known for their melodious folk-influenced electronica, the band has rendered a number of endearing tracks like Kaithola and Dupp. They are all set to make their Chennai debut with this festival. “We have reworked Dupp a bit for our Chennai gig. Let’s hope the crowd appreciates it,” says Anoop Mohandas, the vocalist of the band. On the guitar they have Vivian Varghese, while their bassist is Ben Sam Jones, keyboardist Yakzan Pereira and drummer Pranoy Praveen.
Masters of fusion
Veterans in the city’s music scene, Oxygen is known to blend genres like Carnatic, Irish Music, Folk Music, Hindustani, Pop and Rock, since 2003. Consisting of Girinandh C (keys), KS Ramanaa (persussions), Bharath Ram (bass), Harish (melodion), Karthick Iyer (violin), Prithvi Kumar (drums), Carl Fernandes, and Bob Phukan (guitar), the band launched their fourth album, Oxygen Vol 1, last year. Girinandh says that they have been working on a few new songs for their gig here this weekend. “We have prepared a song called Persian Prophet for the show. It is a beautiful track with influences of Arabic music along with a blend of Spanish music,” he adds. The band is preparing to release their fifth album by early next year.
Twist and shout
Daira is one band that gives Hindi progressive rock an alternative twist. Comparatively new in the circuit, the band consists of vocalist Piyush Kapoor, guitarists Chaitanya Bhaidkar and Vikalp Sharma, bassist Govind Gawli and drummer Pratik Kulgod, and has released their self-titled debut album last September. “We will be playing songs like Maya and Har Subah, from the first album and also a few new songs such as Basar and Bhukamp,” says Kapoor. He reveals that the band has already started working on their next album, which they plan to release next year.
Trio at home
As an Indian three-piece band that can make a crowd of three 3,000 go wild, Skrat has our attention. Consisting of guitarist and vocalist Sriram TT, bassist Jhanu Chanther and drummer Tapass Naresh – the band is known for their high-energy live gigs and recently rendered an impressive performance at NH7 Weekender, Shillong. Chanther says that all the members are itching to perform in their home town and that they have planned something special for the gig. “We will be playing a few unreleased songs at the gig, among which there is a song called Wake Up. We will also be playing the title track of our 2014 album, Queen, for sure,” he adds. He also reveals that a new album is on the cards and that the band will start working on it by the end of this year.