For a band that won the nation with their upbeat ‘desi’ sound (remember the catchy Do your thing… from Bend It Like Beckham (2002)?), it’s surprising that Basement Jaxx (BJ) have never been to India. This year, the Londoners are set to visit Pune, as they gear up to headline the second edition of the three-day festival, Bacardi NH7 Weekender.
“I’m really excited to perform at the festival. I’ve never been to India, so it’s completely new to me,” says Felix Buxton, one half of the Grammy-winning outfit, adding, “I’ve heard a lot about the country and all my friends have travelled around, so I’m very excited to go there myself.”
The duo are slated to perform at the music extravaganza that will also feature indie artiste Imogen Heap along with over 150 international and local artiste, from November 18 to 20 this year. About the bigger, better second outing, Bacardi India’s Arvind Krishnan promises, “With 75 pre-parties, 6 stages, 17 acres and 3 days of music, the overall experience will be elevated.”
And while last year’s multi-genre music jaunt witnessed performances by Asian Dub Foundation (ADF), The Magic Numbers and Susheela Raman among others, ask Vijay Nair of Only Much Louder, which is organising the festival, why they handpicked these underground house scene pioneers from the ’90s after ADF last year and he says, “ADF is an act that stood for the scene; what they did abroad and what they mean out here aligned with the festival.
This year, we’re upping the game with BJ. The first time I went to Glastonbury, they were headlining. That’s when I understood what a ‘festival band’ was – one that can totally change the mood of the people and a festival. I can’t wait for them to do the same in Pune.”
Closer home, among the hordes of fans waiting is actor Divya Dutta, who featured in the video of BJ’s popular Bollywood spoof, Romeo… Says Dutta, “It’s great news that they’re coming. I’m ecstatic. It would be amazing to meet the guys who were instrumental in my first foreign foray in 2001. They wanted a typical Indian face and so, their team came down and we shot the video in Hyderabad. But I’ve never met them, though I love their music.”