Think Faridkot, think rural Punjab, Punjabi music and bhangra. But Faridkot is also the name of a five-member Sufi rock band from Delhi that specialises in Hindi blues-rock. Most people would remember them from last year’s band competition, Launchpad.
After one year, the band returned to play in the city at Hard Rock Café on Tuesday night. Faridkot combines pop vocals, bluesy guitar playing, funk bass lines and melodic electronic layers, with jazz-based drums. The band consists of vocalist IP Singh, Rajarshi Sanyal on guitars, Akshay Raheja on keyboard and electronics, Gavin Pacheco on bass, and Sahil Mendiratta on drums.Lauded for their soulful singing, Faridkot’s live performances have won standing ovations from Palash Sen (Euphoria) and Subir Malik (Parikrama), among others. "We sing in Hindi, because we think in Hindi. It’s not a conscious effort. We are inspired by rock and roll and the vocals of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan," says Singh. Faridkot’s most popular tracks include Haal e Dil, Jashn, Madhav and the exceptionally melodious Laila.
Faridkot is full of session musicians. Keyboardist Raheja performs with sarangi maestro Kamal Sabri, and bassist Pacheco is a member of funk rock and blues band Hypnosis. Pacheco won the Bass Player of the Year award at The Jack Daniel’s Legendary Mash Indian Rock Awards 2008.
The band is currently working on their first album, which they plan to release soon. They have been playing extensively across the country, and say the response has been overwhelming. “We’ve been very lucky and there has been no trouble with the band. I would like to see ourselves with about 50 songs to our name,” says Singh.