Independent music in Kochi gets another impetus with Chenqal Festival

The fest on April 6 will feature 5 artistes

Jose Joy Published :  05th April 2019 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  05th April 2019 12:00 AM
Chenqal Festival

Chenqal Festival

Organic is the buzzword in the contemporary world. In a sense, the indie music scene is no different. There is a unique appeal to something as simple as a few youngsters ‘jamming’ together naturally developing into public shows.

“My brother Abhishek and friends used to play music together for fun at home and we figured that it wouldn’t hurt to let more people in. Six months ago, we started house gig sessions under the banner Arthouse 18 showcasing independent practitioners across forms like Rabindra Sangeeth and Mohinyattam. After hosting a couple of shows, we figured that Kochi’s local artistes deserve much more and charted out plans for Chenqal Festival,” says co-organiser Deepthi Gopurathinkal.

The first edition of the open-air event will be held this weekend featuring four homegrown and one outstation act.

Local lines
Starting from their name, the organisers are clear on their goals. “We want to stay rooted in our own soil and named ourselves after the native rock, chenkal. Over the years, we’ve seen how musicians who want to do something creative struggle with lack of avenues. Now, even though there are big festivals, they also don’t seem to give space to local artistes,” says the organiser. Unlike big galas, Chenqal will offer a more intimate environment with a closed crowd.

The lineup is also vibrant with acts representing various genres and styles of music. Derelicts—who played their disco pop at Mumbai’s famous Control Alt Delete festival recently—is the hot project on the list. Progressive rockers Perfect Equation makes a comeback while psychedelic/experimental act Ago will launch debut EP Digital Muse at the venue. Amata is sure to impress the audience with her versatile musical prowess ranging from soul to pop.


In sync
The project Kochi’s indie music aficionados will be least familiar with is Fish in the Sink. Formed in Chennai, the four-year-old band’s members are now scattered across Goa, Chennai and Kerala. The quartet writes on philosophical themes in an alternative rock style.

“The last time we played together was six months ago. We relocated to different cities recently and have been figuring out a system to make the act work. For the first time, we’ll be playing a stripped-down, acoustic version of our songs as a trio,” says vocalist Riju Andrews Jacob, who will be performing with Sujith Valiyaveetil and Paul Verghese Junior.

Alongside songs from their debut EP The Seed, Kochi can expect new songs like Just A Man.


 Entry only on pre-registration.
On April 6 from 5.30 pm
At Pepper Trails Garden, Kakkanad.