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Heads Up: Top Headliners to See at Upcoming Music Festivals

Here is our roundup of those big name artists you can’t afford to miss at a festival stage near you

David Britto Oct 17, 2018

(Clockwise) Joe Satriani, Mohini Dey, Poets of the Fall and Pentagram. Photo: Courtesy of Mad Ink PR; Dushyant Raval; Tiia Öhman; Colston Julian

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Poets of The Fall

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Meghalaya and Bacardi NH7 Weekender Express Kolkata

When: November 2nd (Meghalaya), November 3rd (Kolkata)

What to expect: The Finnish alt rockers are sure to bring a hard hitting set when they return to the country as part of Weekender’s Meghalaya lineup. The group’s breakthrough hit single “Carnival of Rust” off their 2006 sophomore album of the same title will have Indian fans in a tizzy as the song is extremely popular in these parts. The band will also plug tracks from this year’s eighth studio release Ultraviolet. Strap in for arena-rock levels of fun.

Switchfoot

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Meghalaya and Bacardi NH7 Weekender Express Kolkata

When: November 3rd (Meghalaya) and November 4th (Kolkata)

What to expect: With a catalog spanning 10 albums over 21 years, California alt rock band Switchfoot have a plethora of songs to choose from for their upcoming Weekender set. From hits like the marvelous “Dare You To Move” and sparkling “Your Love Is A Song” to tracks off their 2016 release Where the Light Shines Through, be prepared for strong rhythm sections, guitar wails and splendid harmonies.

Guthrie Govan

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Meghalaya

When: November 2nd

What to expect: It seems like British guitarist Guthrie Govan can’t get enough of India. He’s visited, performed and held guitar clinics in the country since first coming in 2010. Govan knows how to light a smile on anyone’s face with his effortless ability on guitar from his harmonic sense of playing to his knack of shredding it up every once in a while.

Zero

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Meghalaya

When: November 3rd

What to expect: Mumbai rockers Zero who aren’t full-time any longer, always get together for a yearly reunion gig, and this time it’s at the lush state of Meghalaya for Weekender. The band is known for its strong foundation courtesy of drummer Sidd Coutto and bassist Bobby Talwar while guitarist Warren Mendonsa adds his flair and slick solos over vocalist Rajeev Talwar’s steely vocals. Zero’s magnum opus “PSP 12”” from 2002’s Hook will surely be a massive sing along.  

Pentagram

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Meghalaya

When: November 3rd

What to expect: Pentagram – who played their first show since 2014 at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune last year – are set to deliver a massive set at the festival’s Meghalaya edition this time around. The Mumbai electro-rockers definitely know how to make the loud louder with tracks like the dystopian “Nocturne,” the scorching “Tomorrow’s Decided” and the freaky hectic “Mental Zero.” Frontman Vishal Dadlani’s high-energy showmanship is second to none and also be prepared to stretch your vocal chords when the band breaks into their hit track “Voice.”   

Joe Satriani

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune

When: Between December 7th and 9th

What to expect: American guitar master Joe Satriani is set to return to a stage in India over some extremely luxuriant rhythm sections. Get set to jump to the sounds of the classic “Surfing with the Alien,” croon along with Satriani’s guitar to the emotional ballad “Always With Me, Always With You” and bob your head along while the guitarist performs the can’t-fail infectious “Satch Boogie.”

Hiatus Kaiyote

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune

When: Between December 7th and 9th

What to expect: Australian soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote is one group that you can just sit back and listen to while their music takes over. Vocalist-guitarist Nai Palm’s silky delivery along with the band’s jazz, blues and R&B sounds makes for an interesting combination of sonic elements, one that will want you crying out for more. Watch out for hits like the beautifully arranged “Nakamarra” and the smooth “Breathing Underwater.”  

The Contortionist

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune

When: Between December 7th and 9th

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What to expect: American prog metal band The Contortionist is set to rep the heavy, ethereal sound at this year’s Weekender in Pune. The band – who released their fourth album Clairvoyant in 2017 – will perform songs off their recent release such as the slow burner “Reimagined” and the complex “Return To Earth.”

God Is An Astronaut

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune

When: Between December 7th and 9th

What to expect: If you’re into long winding ambient rock tunes – look no further than Irish post rockers God Is An Astronaut. The group’s mind-bending, exhilarating sound is fresh, full of energy and also melodic. The group also use electronica elements to drive their music into different spaces while maintaining their rock core. Sway to the eerie sounds of “Epitaph” and get entranced over “No Return.”

Mohini Dey

Where: Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune

When: Between December 7th and 9th

What to expect: Young Mumbai bass prodigy Mohini Dey is nothing but exceptional. Get ready for hearing sublime bass solos, sticky grooves and Dey making the low end sound as good as it can be.

House of Waters

Where: Jazz India Circuit International Festival (Goa)

When: Between December 1st and 2nd

What to expect: New York-based world music outfit House of Waters’ technical know-how and intricate sensibilities to their songs offer a tasty flavor of sounds to listeners attending their shows. Hammered dulcimer player Max ZT shines bright on the percussion-stringed instrument while bassist Moto Fukushima and percussionist Luke Notary hold a tight groove together on songs like “Raindrops,” “Sense” and “Djigee.”

WorldService Project

Where: Jazz India Circuit International Festival (Goa)

When: Between December 1st and 2nd

What to expect: Invigorating horn sections, heavy grooves and punk-like stage presence is what U.K. experimental jazz group WorldService Project bring to the table. Keep your ears open for effervescent trombone parts by Raphael Clarkson on “Fuming Duck” and spiraling saxophone work on “Plagued with Righteousness” courtesy of Ben Powling.

Supergombo

Where: Jazz India Circuit International Festival (Goa)

When: Between December 1st and 2nd

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What to expect: French Afro-funk outfit Supergombo might just walk off stage with the most new fans at this festival. Their 2017 record Explorations includes fresh guitar solos, groovy basslines, melodic beats, horn sections galore and more. Be set to explore a surplus of sounds with this energetic band.

FKJ

Where: Echoes Of Earth (Bengaluru) 

When: Between December 1st and 2nd

What to expect: French multi-instrumentalist FKJ aka French Kiwi Juice has been championing the new sound of electronica music with his versatility and poignant tunes. After performing at Coachella and releasing his debut self-titled LP last year, the musician has been making waves across the world. Get lost to the sounds on “Vibin’ Out with (((O))),” get serenaded with “We Ain’t Feeling Time” and sway to “Skyline.”

Dusky  

Where: Echoes Of Earth (Bengaluru) 

When: Between December 1st and 2nd

What to expect: London DJ duo Dusky which comprises Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman are known for their house and techno sounds. If you’re for dancing the night away – head out to catch this pair whose music features heavy drum & bass elements as well as emphatic drops.

Kamaal Williams

Where: Magnetic Fields Festival (Rajasthan)

When: Between December 14th and 16th

What to expect: U.K. keyboardist Kamaal Williams’ eclectic understanding of jazz combined with his ability to fuse electronica makes for a captivating performance. The musician’s 2018 record The Return captures his sound beautifully from the slickness on “Salaam” to the funk pace on “Broken Theme” and the groove heavy “LDN Shuffle”

Daphni

Where: Magnetic Fields Festival (Rajasthan)

When: Between December 14th and 16th

What to expect: Canadian born U.K.-based producer Dan Snaith aka Daphni returns to Magnetic Fields this year after missing out on visiting in 2017 due to personal reasons. The producer’s broad knowledge of electronica music coupled with his ability to use samples in the most effective of ways will intrigue any dance music lover.

Peter Cat Recording Co. 

Where: Magnetic Fields Festival (Rajasthan)

When: Between December 14th and 16th

What to expect: New Delhi psychedelic/waltz rock band Peter Cat Recording Co.’s beautifully composed gypsy tunes (“Clown On The 22nd Dance Floor”), jazz offerings (“Portrait of a Time,” “Copulations”) are expected, but the band will also perform new material from their upcoming untitled album exclusively at the festival.

Zero 7

Where: Disrupt (Mumbai)

When: November 17th

What to expect: U.K.-based duo Zero 7’s Sam Hardaker is slated to perform a DJ set at this year’s Disrupt festival. If his set is anything to go by his usual performances with Zero 7 partner in crime Henry Binns, expect euphoric trip-hop and lo-fi tunes with the odd surprise here and there.

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