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Music from the Subcontinent

This weekend tune into the 8th edition of the South Asian Bands Festival

Written by Somya Lakhani | New Delhi |
November 6, 2014 10:47:50 am


A few days ago when the line-up for the 2014 edition of South Asian Bands Festival was announced, a few names stood out. One of them called Chirkutt (pictured) aroused curiosity for its obvious Hindi meaning of being an imbecile. The six-member act from Bangladesh too gets the joke, fortunately. “Chirkutt in Bangla means a piece of paper through which we send messages. The word has a different meaning in India, and we hope you won’t judge our music by that,” says Sharmin Sultana Sumi, the vocalist of the band.

Chirkutt performs as part of the 8th edition of the annual South Asian Bands Music Festival on Friday at Purana Qila in the Capital. The band was formed in 2002 but it was only in 2010 when they released their debut album Chirkuttnama, which got them a grand fan following back home. “We call ourselves an ‘epic fusion’ band because we work with every possible genre, from rock, blues and jazz to folk and classical,” says Sumi. The band’s USP is their obsession with all things original, so even when they’re working on folk tunes, it’s their own compositions and tunes. “We believe in love, peace, spirituality, humanity and our roots. Our music reflects this,”says Sumi. Chirkutt is also one of the few bands in Bangladesh that dabbles in film music, a fairly new trend there.

This, surprisingly, is not their first gig in India. Chirkutt  performed at the India Music Week two years ago. “After that gig, we got a call from MTV India and since then our tracks are being aired on MTV and MTV Indies,” says Sumi. The band performed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday evening.

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Apart from Chirkutt, the South Asian Bands Festival also hosts various other acts from the region such as Zebunissa Bangash from Pakistan, The Forsaken from Bhutan, The Herb and the Remedy from Sri Lanka, The Kinetic Operations from Maldives and Success from France. Of course, there are Indian voices too such as The Ska Avengers and Mrigya, among others.

The three-day festival begins on November 7 at Purana Qila, 6 pm onwards. Entry is free

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