India's top independent musical artistes head to Bengaluru for the Live Box music festival
Indulge speaks to the headlining acts…
It is that time of year again — when our calenders are marked with music festivals, and international and local band performances. Although the Bengaluru music scene lost some of its vigour with popular venues shutting down over red tapism and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, 2022 has been promising so far. Fans have been heading out to gigs every weekend to support their favourite bands.
This weekend, the Live Box Festival offers a stage to popular indie artistes and acts from all four corners of India, and each of them have something unique to offer. Set to be held at The Lalit Ashok Bangalore hotel, the festival features a mixed bag of artistes and bands who play everything from post rock and Carnatic blues, to dream pop and jazz.
“Live Box was conceptualised with the vision of curating elevated experiences for fans of live music” says Anmol Kukreja, from Skillbox, the organisers of the festival. “When we decided to curate the festival, we wanted to take the property to a city that has a strong affinity for live music. Bengaluru has been the live music capital of the country for years and the trend continues to hold strong even today. It made perfect sense to start here,” he tells us.
“Live Box is a festival where audiences can experience a spectrum of live music genres. The curation is an eclectic mix of genre defining artists,” Anmol adds. The bands taking the stage include Delhi-based Peter Cat Recording Co, singer-songwriter Raman Negi and dream pop duo Parekh & Singh. Some of the newer names that will perform are Bengaluru-based band Space Is All We Have, and Chennai-based jazz-rock quartet Jatayu. Space Is All We Have plays ambient, prog and electronic rock music. Their albums Blackhole Paradise and Thank You, Universe! have won them a loyal fan base. Jatayu, on the other hand, is known for its mix of instrumental Indian classical music with traces of jazz, blues and rock. We speak to the headliners about what to expect...
Peter Cat Recording Co
The headliners of the event are Delhi-based indie act Peter Cat Recording Co, the poster boys of indie music in the country. Founded in 2009, the band shook up the scene with songs like Happiness, Hail Piano and I’m Home, which became instant classics. Led by frontman Suryakant Sawhney, the band has a very distinctive sound that draws from retro Bollywood hits and American legends such as Sam Cooke. At the Live Box Festival, fans can expect them to dish out some of their chart toppers. When asked if we can also expect something new, guitarist Kartik Pillai hinted at the possibility of new music. “I guess everyone will have to wait and see. We’ve been working on new music. Expect some big news soon,” Kartik, tells us cryptically.
This festival marks a performance for the band after a short break, and they admit it’s nice to be back on the festival circuit. “It feels great. I know every one of us was going a little stir crazy. We’re really glad we can go out and play for our audience and we are looking forward to doing shows in India and beyond,” he says.
Parekh and Singh
Kolkata-based duo Nischay Parekh and Jivraj Singh boast such a distinct aesthetic that their music video I Love You Baby, I Love You Doll got a shoutout from director Wes Anderson for its unique visual style. The band has two full length albums in its kitty — Ocean and Science City— and is known and loved for its emotional dream pop sound, and signature pastel suits. “At Live Box, we’ll be doing a mix of new songs and older material that we’ve re-imagined. There is definitely going to be a lot of new music that we have prepared for this show,” Nischay says, adding, “We have a new record that’s ready and will be released later this year in a few months. So we are looking forward to playing some of the new songs in Bengaluru.”
The fest marks the first performance for the duo since the pandemic. “It’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to play at a festival. We like to approach each concert we do with a fresh perspective. We’re excited to get on stage again for sure,” he sums up.
The fanbase of Delhi-based act The Local Train was in for a shock earlier this year when frontman and founder Raman Negi announced his departure from the band after 14 years. Raman told media outlets that he felt like it was time to explore his solo music journey. His performance at the Live
Box Festival will give fans a taste of what’s to come. “I will be playing a brand new set at Live Box. I have released two singles — Mehroom and Koyla — in the last two months and I will be playing a lot of my new unreleased material at the festival. People will get to hear a good chunk of my solo debut album which I plan to release later this year,” the artiste tells us.
Raman is happy to be back playing live since he hasn’t been on stage for the past two years and this
makes for the perfect fresh start. “To start my new life with all new music, and to bring it to people in its most raw form, is very exciting to me. I am playing a very special acoustic set which I have never done before. To share new music as a solo artiste will be a very enriching experience,” says Raman who has been busy recording and producing his debut album in Delhi for the last three months.
Rs 1,799 upwards. July 16, 5 pm. At The Lalit Ashok Hotel Bangalore, Kumara Krupa High Grounds