Dhanaulti did not rock

After rocking last year, this year?s gig turned out to be just a damp squib.

india Updated: Jun 10, 2006 19:03 IST

After last year’s super cool Dhanaulti rock this year’s retake of the fest was a damn squib.

Three days of the cool mountain air, rock and roll and a fabulous weekend getaway concept worked beautifully to the delight of music lovers last year. The concept of a Woodstock-like festival of music in this little hamlet, an hour from Mussoorie, won a lot of appre ciation last year as it had a decent line-up of bands and even gave a lot of recognition to new bands.

This time around, even though there weren’t a whole lot of big bands participating, there was still a considerable audience. Stark contrast However, it was a stark contrast to the last festival. To start with the beautiful venue that looked like a God-made amphitheatre, a playground on the foot of a small hill was gone; instead the concert took place in the backyard of Andijis café. The sound was nothing near decent or impressive that led to bands like Orange Street and Advaita performing in twosome and threesomes. Amateur’s day out Although it was unlimited fun for amateur bands from various colleges who went on stage with sparse, half-baked originals and cheeky Nirvana and GNR covers and their party lasted way beyond midnight.

While last year people came back humming the Kolkata band Cassini’s Division’s original Caesar, this time people wanted to forget the very badly done Aero smith’s Living on the Edge (pronounced aaaeege in a North-east meets Aus tralia twang).

The musical highlights of this year’s fest were few Orange Street members performing an energetic drum and bass set, country man Bobby Cash singing his signature tunes and Cassini’s Division managing a good set despite the bad sound. Hindi flavour Delhi Hindi rock band Manthan made their debut of sorts and brought the flavour of the reservation issue with their original Aukat mein reh ke bol. However, the impromptu jams were what got the crowd along with some decent DJing in between.

Arpan Guha, the bassist of Advaita was the real star of the festival. The bass player took on the lead guitar almost as a natural ex tension and pulled of some very decent melodies along with the organiser Andi Baines of bass, and Varun (ex-Cyanide) on drums.

This year’s disappointing Dhanaulti rock fest was a story of utter mismanagement and a sabotage of a beautiful concept. One must give a note of acknowledgement to Parikrama Incorporated, the company that co-managed the event last year.

First Published: Jun 10, 2006 19:03 IST