Bacardi NH7 Weekender returns to Pondicherry for its second edition
From folk rock and electronica to hard rock and rap, the Bacardi NH7 Weekender’s return to Pondy promotes variety in music
Are you game for listening to Indian Ocean by the Bay of Bengal? Save the dates then for the NH7 Weekender in Pondicherry next week. Organised by Mumbai-based media and entertainment firm Only Much Louder (OML), the festival is being held in Pondicherry for the second time in as many years, and has the popular rock band from New Delhi coming down to share the stage with rapper Divine, Pune-based music producer Ritviz, and city-based rock band Skrat. Looking at the success of the debut edition last year, which hosted Nucleya, The Raghu Dixit Project, Dualist Enquiry and Sapta, this year’s footfalls are expected to skyrocket.
The gig is a part of a series of preview NH7 Weekender Express editions that are being held in cities apart from the primary venues of Meghalaya and Pune, where the main festival will be held on October 27-28 and December 8-10, respectively. The current Express line-up includes the cities of Kolkata, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Indore and Kochi, with much of the anticipation reserved for top-bill headliners like Dutch metal band Textures, bass master Nucleya again, Kerala folk metal outfit Thaikkudam Bridge and Bengali rock band, Fossils. Textures incidentally is on their farewell worldwide tour from next month, and will take their final stage call in Pune this December.
A wish for Chennai
The NH7 Weekender’s expansion to other cities after eight years in Meghalaya and Pune marks a strategic shift in approach by OML. “When people travelling from other cities come to the main events, there are many of them who ask us to bring the festival to their cities. The Express editions are a great way of giving this audience a taste of what the full Bacardi NH7 Weekender experience is like,” says Vijay Nair, CEO and founder of OML. Sriram TT, guitarist and lead vocalist of Skrat concurs with Vijay, adding his dream of seeing the festival in Chennai some day soon.
Until then, watch out for high-profile names in the main line-up, which is no less splendid this year, featuring Grammy-winner Steve Vai, American mathcore pioneer The Dillinger Escape Plan, progressive metal band Skyharbor, Blackstratblues and others. Chennai gets its time in the limelight courtesy Carnatic musician TM Krishna in the line-up.
Folk and key
Indian Ocean needs no introduction. One of the most recognisable names in the country’s folk rock circuit, the five-piece band from New Delhi is no stranger to the NH7 Weekender, having performed in Jaipur and Hyderabad in previous editions. In Pondicherry, they promise a “healthy mix of past hits (think Kandisa) and new unreleased material”, while giving a thumb-up to the format of the Express editions. “It’s a great way of introducing newer cities to a handpicked selection of the best of indie talent in the country,” says Rahul Ram, one of the founding members of the band, who adds that they have an album in the making as well as a few film projects in the pipeline.
Mumbai-based rapper Divine alias Vivian Fernandes has been frequently seen in Chennai’s festival circuit in the past couple of months. He was also recently in the news for his new collaboration with Indian-American musician Raja Kumari. However, for the Pondicherry gig, he is going back to his tried-and-tested collaborations with Nucleya, with whom he is again teaming up for Anurag Kashyap’s upcoming movie Mukkabaaz. “This is my first performance in Pondy and I am expecting a full house,” says the rapper.
All ears for electronic
Promising original compositions that make up half of his set, Pune-based music producer Ritviz Srivastava will be presenting his brand of trap, hip-hop, and drum ’n’ bass music in Pondicherry, for the first time. “I remember Nucleya telling me that he had a blast performing over there last year, and he even dropped one of my tracks in his set. So yeah, I’m really looking forward to play some more of my music to the crowd here,” he says, adding that he is scoring music for an untitled Bollywood movie at present. “I have also been working on a follow-up release to my last EP, YUV, that was released last July. The songs are almost ready and I plan to release a few of them in the next couple of months,” he reveals.
At The Ashok Beach Resort. November 5. 4.30 pm onwards. Tickets at Rs. 249 on insider.in