Indie pop and Hindi rock at Kasauli’s music festival

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Indie pop and Hindi rock music stood out amongst a lineup that included western genres of Jazz and Blues on the second day of the Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival here.

While Lesle Lewis shook a leg with his remixes of retro Bollywood songs Delhi-based indie- rock band, ‘The Local Train’ turned out to be the highlight as it surprised the audience with Hindi rock and roll amongst the lineup dominated by Jazz and Blues.

The hills came alive once again at the fifth edition of the music festival as soon as the band set the ball rolling for the upcoming performances of the international act, Massive Vibe and veteran composer-singer, Lesle Lewis with its high octane Hindi rock originals, ‘Bandey’ and ‘Dil Mere.’

The band paid a tribute to A R Rahman with its rendition of the latter’s famous song ‘Dil Se Re.’

“I’m really glad that the people enjoyed our performance. I was feeling nervous because there are a lot of Jazz and Blues bands and we are the only Hindi band in play but it turned out to be good as we got people singing and dancing with us,” Lead vocalist of ‘The Local Train,’ Raman Negi said.

“We have grown up listening to songs like, ‘Ole Ole’ and ‘Baazigar’, so we could not fool ourselves with anything else and that’s how it came to us. We play rock and roll, it’s just that the lyrics are in Hindi,” Negi said.

The band which began touring in 2011, gave its debut performance here in the backdrop of release of its debut album, ‘Aalas ka Pedh’ in September last year. The track, ‘Aaoge Tum Kabhi’ from the album also featured in Bollywood film, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ which too released last year.

Its performance came second in the lineup after Mumbai-based blues act, ‘Kanchan Daniel and The Beards’ opened the stage tuning in rock and blues together for an electrifying start on day two of the Kasauli Rhythm and Blues Festival.

“I think it’s a good initiative because it’s connected with a cause, not many music festivals do that and generally to bring together so many artists from all over India to such a nice place is wonderful in itself, when there is such a great vibe and energy from people we feel great,” Daniel said.

The lead singer of the band, a cancer survivor herself now works as a clinical psychologist to help cancer patients who don’t have much resources and is now studying healthcare management further to continue working for the good cause.

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Massive Vibe took over the stage with their intense visual productions blended with European flavors of music narrating a story, one song at a time.

The international act with its band members belonging to countries around the globe is known for its motivational lyrics.

Their songs talk about people’s experiences that Massive Vibe has witnessed during their tours over the time.

The band is now working with four Bollywood artists on a remix of one its track, ‘You be the power.’ The remix, still under production will be a upbeat track fused with high energy Bhangra. The track is likely to be released around May-June.

For the finale performance legendary Bollywood composer, Lesle Lewis made the crowd nostalgic, taking them on a ride back to the Indie-pop era of 90s with his tracks like ‘Pari Hoon Main’ and ‘Janam Samjha Karo.’

Lewis further gave the audience a treat as he premiered an unreleased track, ‘Dil Chahe Desi Girl,’ an indie song which Lewis says is completely new and different from what he has done before.

“Alternate music is great, it’s self expression but the art of songwriting is very important and that’s what I am really focusing on, so what’s going to be the new independent music in India, what will be the new wave will be defined by the tracks that I haven’t released yet,” Lewis said.

The festival came to an end last evening with a performance by Jazz bands and Bagpipers from the Indian Army.


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