Twenty-nine years after their first concert, Indus Creed is still rocking. The Mumbai band, which first became famous on the 1980s college rock scene as Rock Machine, is credited with having paved the way for later Indian bands. Indus Creed has trudged a long way since their first big performance in 1985. They've seen the scene and the world too change. And they've played on.India's first rock and roll band to taste commercial success abroad, in 1988, they played at the Festival of India, touring four cities in what was then still the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). After they renamed their band Indus Creed in 1993, they played at the WOMAD festival in the UK, toured the Middle East, and jammed with Guns 'N' Roses guitar player Slash at the MTV Rock concert in Bangalore in 1996.
"The rock music scene was pretty non-existent back then. Just out of college, we used to play for college festivals or rock concerts," says Uday Benegal, lead vocalist and a founding member. "When we decided to take the music out of the country, a name change was suggested by our English manager, and Indus Creed came into existence."
That good old Pre-Lib vibe: Members of Indus Creed before they disbanded. (Photo-Indus Creed)
Disillusioned with what was happening in the music industry - labels and corporate honchos were dominating the scene - they disbanded in 1997. Everyone took a different path except for Benegal and Jayesh Gandhi. Then, in their mid 30s, Gandhi and Benegal flew west and formed Alms for Shanti playing on the New York City club circuit using Indian instrumentation and rhythms. In 2008, Benegal returned to Mumbai and started an acoustic project called Whirling Kalapas with Mahesh Tinaikar. Then, in 2010, they teamed up with former bandmate Zubin Balaporia to restart Indus Creed. The current band has two young members - Jai Row Kavi (drums) and Krishna Jhaveri (bass).
"The first gig after our reunion was at Hard Rock Cafe in Mumbai," says Benegal. "Not just our old fans, many youngsters turned up to listen. It was a great comeback." Kavi says the Internet has changed things dramatically with bands now having much more control over their music. They now also have to do everything to promote their music on iTunes and online song sites. "Although we still play Indus Creed's hit songs from back in the day, we're focusing on the new singles we have created," says Kavi. "Right now we just want to do a lot of live performances." The band closed the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal in September, and has released a new single called Thief. Today, they are all set to rock the capital at the South Asian Bands Festival.
Music Across Boundaries
The South Asian Band Festival brings together rock bands from across SAARC nations. Last evening, bands like Chirkutt (Bangladesh) and Zebunissa Bangash (Pakistan) performed. Don't miss what the festival, being held at Purana Qila, has in store.
The Forsaken | Bhutan
Bhutanese heavy metal band from Thimphu that mostly plays cover songs of well known rock bands.
Alobo Naga And The Band | India
This rock outfit from Dimapur, Nagaland, rose to fame with their single 'Painted Dreams'. Their lyrics are about youth, society and love.
The Ska Vengers | India
The New Delhi band blends 'ska' rhythms with dub, punk, jazz and rap to create music that's refreshingly different.
Indus Creed | India
After successful performances at NH7 Weekender Kolkata and earlier at Ziro, the veterans gear up for the capital
The Kinetic Operations | Maldives
Formed 20 years ago, the Kinetic Operations or K-OPS Band is the official band of the Maldives National Defence Force
Donn Bhat+ Passenger Revelator | India
A music producer, songwriter and guitar player from Mumbai, Donn Bhat performs with his band Passenger Revelator
Mukti & Revival | Nepal
Picking up from the hippie hangover of the early 1980s, Mukti Shakya formed Revival with his old friends to bring back that old charm
Success | France
The rock and electronic band is well known for the hit 'Girl from New Orleans'
6pm onwards, Purana Qila, Entry is free.