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The South Asian Bands Festival oscillated between some great and average performances

As we made our way to the three-day South Asian Bands Festival held over this weekend,the unbearable traffic near Purana Qila,the venue,meant we weren’t the only ones. Each day saw over 3,000 people.

The festival took it’s time to settle with the crowds,with a sober,almost forgetful day one. Circus and Barefaced Liar played some of their regulars and LRB from Bangladesh got the crowd going with their rendition of Ekla Cholo Re. But for the most part we were distracted by the weather and the hoards of people who moodily waltzed in and out.

Day two seemed like a deja vu of day one,but Papon snapped us out of our musical complacency. His hour-long act had Assamese folk,Punjabi Sufi songs and his popular numbers such as Kyon from Barfi! and Jiye Kyon from Dum Maaro Dum. Day two’s biggest disappointment was the Pakistani band Strings. Their overall muffled sound,and cold,almost detached vocals were a downer,but they found enough people grooving and singing along to their tracks such as Duur,Zinda Hoon and Anjaane.

We had all our bets on the finale act by Raghu Dixit Project. In their signature colourful lungis,they played songs from their new album Jag Changa,serenaded us with a melodic Ambar and taught us a new Kannada song Lokada Kaalaji,the lyrics which quite literally translated to “Don’t give a damn”. While we hope next year’s South Asian Bands Festival’s line-up is a tad more cohesive,thanks to Dixit,we’re not complaining about our sore throats.

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First published on: 03-12-2013 at 05:59:13 am
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