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Gig haven reopens for Weekender launch

Launch dates for Pune’s annual music festival to be announced tomorrow at Razzberry Rhinoceros, to feature ensemble performance by city bands.

music Updated: Aug 24, 2011 15:55 IST

The second edition of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender festival, which was held last year in Pune from December 10-12, is officially on the cards. Following British artiste Imogen Heap’s tweet-up at Zenzi earlier this month, it was understood that she’d be performing at the event. But music portal NH7 will give the full low-down on its festival at the Weekender launch party tomorrow at Razzberry Rhinoceros, Juhu.

Artistes at the launch include Pentagram’s Randolph Correia, Tough On Tobacco’s frontman Sidd Coutto, Warren Mendonsa from Zero and Rohit Pereira a.k.a. P-Man from former band Pin Drop Violence. The approximately two to three hour event will feature ensemble acts by these artistes and a documentary on last year’s festival.

“My initiation to rock music was through Razz and one day, I became confident enough to go and play there,” says Pereira who plays bass guitar for Shaa’ir and Func and whose band Khiladi performed at Weekender last year. “Going back (to Razz) will be nostalgic and magical, as it was the birthplace of rock and metal,” he adds.

The venue, which pulled down its shutters to live performances a few years ago, was instrumental in supporting the indie music scene in the late ’90s through early 2000. The gig organisers, however, were keen on bringing music back to the venue for the launch. “It would be fair to say that Weekender wouldn’t have had 50 original Indian bands perform in the first year if not for the movement of original music that kickstarted at Razz in the ’90s. A lot of the people involved in organising the festival got introduced to live music thanks to


,” says Vijay Nair, CEO of Only Much Louder, which organises the festival.

Rumours go that the launch was initially planned as a four-day event earlier in the month. Why was it changed? “We are adding another day of gigs on August 26, and it will feature our artistes from the Bacardi Black Rock Arena stage, which will feature performances by out-and-out metal and rock bands. We have a lot more planned, but we decided to spread it over the months leading up to the festival,” Nair says. Correia adds, “It’s great to be playing at Razz after all these years. I think what NH7’s doing is fantastic. That they’re pulling Weekender off is clear that the country is changing and accepting modern music as an important part of its culture."

First Published: Aug 24, 2011 11:49 IST