Loud motorcycles and louder music make up the ethos of Harley Rock Riders. Back to the city in its second season, the music festival will span gigs in three other cities, featuring homegrown bands such as Half Step Down, Split, Thermal and a Quarter, as well as ageing rockers Parikrama, who will be headlining the finale. The tour kicks off with a show in Mumbai on May 5, at Blue Frog, featuring both, Half Step Down and Split.
Strangely, one of the country’s biggest and best-known acts, Pentagram, is not part of the line-up. Sanjay Tripathi, director of marketing at Harley-Davidson India, explains, “I personally screened the bands during the selection process. Pentagram was not recommended by our partners, Rolling Stone, so we didn’t consider them.”
Tripathi mentions that instead, theychose to bring back Mumbai-based alternative/grunge band Split, because of their stage presence and audience interaction. Collaborating with them this Thursday is guitarist Warren Mendonsa of Zero/Blackstratblues fame. Split is excited about returning to the stage with the tour, saying, “We had a blast at every single gig last year, particularly the grand finale in New Delhi with the big stage, the crowd, the bikes and the energy.”
Half Step Down from Delhi, playing their raw, muddy brand of rock ‘n’ roll have been active in their own locality, but it’s been over a year since they last played in the city. This time, they will be travelling to all four venues, taking over from Split, who were the featured artistes last year. Vocalist Dhaval Mudgal, son of popular classical musician Shubha Mudgal, says,
“We have something special in mind for our gig in Mumbai. We plan to debut new material this time, stuff that no one has heard before.”