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Bangla boom
Fossils performs at the Dhaka Rock Fest 2007

A reigning favourite on the city stage, Bangla band Fossils toured, performed and made news on its recent trip to Bangladesh. Invited by the Bangladesh ministry of culture to perform at the first-ever international Bangla rock festival — the Dhaka Rock Fest 2007 — Fossils made its first public performance in Dhaka on November 9 as the prime attraction of the mega event.

The open-air concert at Basundhara Convention Centre, Dhaka, meant to raise funds for flood victims, saw high-voltage performances from leading underground bands like Warfaze, Artcell, Black and Powersurge, with Miles and Fossils rounding off the daylong event.

“We performed Bicycle chor, Ekla ghor and Keno korle erokom, among others, which already seemed to be a hit with the crowd and they sang along. It’s probably because we are the only Bangla band from India whose music is available on the Bangladeshi portal www.amadergaan.com,” says Fossils frontman Rupam. He recalls being invited to a chat show with his band members on Radio Foorti, a radio station for the youth, which has also requested permission to play the band’s songs for Dhaka listeners.
“Thrilled and excited” about Fossils’s acceptance, Rupam has been flooded with offers from progressive metal bands in Bangladesh keen on working together for future projects. “Our interaction with Bangladeshi artistes has always been there. During this visit, we bonded well with Artcell and Warfaze, who expressed their desire to collaborate with us for an album. Ornob, an ex-member of Bangla, has also asked us to join him on his independent electronica project,” says Rupam.

Asked for a feeler on how Bangla bands from Calcutta compare with those in Bangladesh, Rupam says: “Bangladeshi bands are a lot more ahead musically, since they’ve been into this for a longer time. They have better backing, in terms of practice pads and proper equipment. They get a lot of support from recording labels for album recordings and don’t worry so much about live performances, unlike us, who bank majorly on that.” But Fossils agrees that Calcutta bands are still one up in terms of their “broad approach to creativity, lyrics and music, unlike Bangladeshi bands who lack individuality because of the thrash metal sound that all of them generate,” adds guitar player Partha Bose.

Fossils will soon upload a video recording of its show in Dhaka on the official website www.fossilsmission.com, which it hopes to launch in the next two months. The band is also gearing up for its next album release in March, featuring a new set of songs like O ma, Guru and Phire chalo, already big hits on stage. Till then, Fossils fans can queue up for a string of live shows that will keep the band busy in the coming days.

Mohua Das
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