Event groups dedicated to importing and exporting ‘live’ rock acts are thinkable today. If a Roger Waters lands up in India, Shaair n’ Func are acknowledged as the master blasters of Asia.
Independent labels are releasing metal ballads, a concert by Parikrama doesn’t have standing room, and hard rock doesn’t mean noise any more. Movies are no longer devoted to ghazals but to electronic ballads. Nikhil Taneja catches the rock buzz
Three years ago, the Mumbai police banned India’s oldest yearly rock festival, Independence Rock, from being staged at the Gateway of India. There was a huge public outcry, outraged letters from some of the rock daddies. A month later, the venue shifted to the Andheri Chitrakoot Grounds and witnessed the largest ever turnout in the history of Indian rock concerts.
Ironically, in trying to diminish the number of rock enthusiasts, the Mumbai police had only converted thousands more. That was perhaps the defining moment of the Indian rock scene. Today, Parikrama performs as the opening act for Iron Maiden.
Shaair n’ Func, Pentagram, PDV and Zero are drawing more crowds internationally and more festivals are coming up every year. Just some years ago, a garage rock band in India faced an uphill task if it wanted to make it big.
Now, with labels being launched especially for new sounds, hot spots like Blue Frog and Hard Rock Café are playing ‘live’ music, magazines like Rock Street Journal and community websites like gigpad.com spreading awareness about apna rock, we are.. as they say.. rocking. The rock fever has been on since the last two years. Now bands travel across the country, network with each other and form fan bases, all through the Internet.