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Dhak to drum, religion to rock
- Curtain raiser to december’s music fest

Oct. 7: From dhak to drum, religion to rock, that’s where Guwahati is headed to, a day after Durga Puja.

The countdown to the first Guwahati International Music Festival begins tomorrow with the curtain-raiser rock event, Rocktober Riffs, at Shilpgram.

At Guwahati International Music Festival, to be held on December 2 and 3, more than 30 top artistes from across the globe and nation are scheduled to perform in the city for 48 hours of cultural exchange through music.

Rocktober Riffs will be a rollercoaster ride through “good old days” of rock with bands like Menwhopause from Delhi, Original Fire Factor from Nagaland and city-based rock bands Project Patkai and Stags sharing the stage at the event.

“The focus is on good old rock,” said Aiyushman Dutta, secretary of the Eastern Beats Music Society.

The music society is organising the event in association with North East Zone Cultural Centre, Dimapur and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

Menwhopause, known for their alternative-meet-psychedelic sound, was declared “India’s top rock band” by a jury of noted musicians in the Jack Daniel Polls 2008 held at Nashville, USA.

“This band of five musicians each of them from interestingly different professions loves to call their music ‘post-office’ rock. They call it so because they meet after office and that is when the music happens,” said Satish Warier, manager of the band and a chef who owns a restaurant, Gunpowder, in Delhi.

“Anup Kutty is a guitarist and also an editor associated with music magazine, Rolling Stones. Inder Pal Singh who plays the acoustic guitar is a puppeteer and works with a national news channel. Randeep Singh is a bassist and an interior designer while Sarabjit Singh Chadha is a vocalist. French drummer Paul Scheiner is a sound engineer. Together, they are the Menwhopause,” said Warier.

“We are promoting our third album, Easy, and this is our first visit to the city. We have already toured Shillong and Dimapur and Guwahati will be a nice opportunity to spread our music. We will come gain during Guwahati International Music Festival and are very happy to be a part of it,” said Randeep Singh.

Nagaland’s rock outfit Original Fire Factor (OFF) is a four-member alternative rock band and had won the Hornbill National Rock Contest in 2009. This being their first visit to the city after winning the title in Hornbill, Lui Tzudir, frontman of the band, said, “We are looking forward to performing tomorrow and will be dishing out the original numbers. We want everyone to have a good time tomorrow.”

Guwahati-based classic rock band Stags is looking forward to woo the crowd with their number from rock bands like CCR and UFO.

“We want people to rock and roll to the tune of classic old rock of the seventies and eighties. This event is not only for the youngsters but also for people with children who can enjoy an evening of classic rock,” said Peter Alex Todd, guitarist of Stags.

“Tomorrow’s evening of rock is a curtain-raiser of Guwahati International Music Festival. This music festival has been conceptualised to fill in the need for a music festival in the country which can showcase the best of regional, national and international talents in the field of music to the people of the region. Besides serving as a platform for interaction among musicians, music professionals, music lovers, music trade firms and music institutes, the festival will also help initiate cross-cultural dialogue among people and artistes of the region with those from other parts of the country and the world,” said the fest’s creative director Aiyushman Dutta.

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