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Adil & Vasundhara, Tough On Tobacco, The Lightyears Explode and Coshish To Perform At The Ninth Jack Daniel’s Annual Rock Awards

Four bands, who are also top nominees, will perform on February 21st in Mumbai

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Feb 04, 2014
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(Clockwise from top left) The Lightyears Explode (Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar), Tough On Tobacco (Photo: Kuntal Mukherjee/Escape Festival), Coshish (Bharath Chandrasekar), Adil & Vasundhara (Shima Ahmad)

(Clockwise from top left) The Lightyears Explode (Photo: Monisha Ajgaonkar), Tough On Tobacco (Photo: Kuntal Mukherjee/Escape Festival), Adil & Vasundhara (Shima Ahmad) and Coshish (Bharath Chandrasekar).

To show just how diverse this year’s nominees at the ninth Jack Daniel’s Annual Rock Awards are, four of the top draw bands will perform at the event in Mumbai this month. Delhi jazz fusion act Adil & Vasundhara will join three Mumbai bands ”“ alt rock band Tough on Tobacco, prog rock band Coshish and punk rockers The Lightyears Explode ”“ to perform at the awards ceremony.

Ahead of the show, the performing bands want to make sure they showcase the best from their albums. Says guitarist Adil Manuel from Adil & Vasundhara, “Bombay people are always in the studio, so we’re looking to collaborate with someone who worked on the album with us.” Ampersand, nominated in six categories, released last year and features performances by jazz musicians such as drummer Ranjit Barot, composer Louiz Banks and keyboardist Loy Mendonsa, among others. Manuel adds he was pleasantly surprised to be nominated: “It [the album] is not exactly easy listening. It’s got 10 urban stories, 10 mood swings and borrows heavily from jazz fusion.” It isn’t all new for Manuel, though, considering he [as guitarist for rock band Bandish] and Carnatic rock guitarist Baiju Dharmajan both shared the Best Guitarist award at second JD Rock Awards in 2006. Dharmajan is also nominated this year, for his work on Sanjeev Thomas’s album Epic Shit.

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It’s the second time Tough On Tobacco are nominated and performing at the awards. The first time they performed was at the sixth edition of the JD Rock awards in 2011,when their debut album, The Happy Goat was nominated. Frontman Sidd Coutto says the band is yet to record songs they originally wrote when they formed in 2009. Says Coutto, “We’re about 70 percent done with new material for Big Big Joke Pt. 1 [in typical Coutto humor, part two of the album released in May last year].”

First-time nominees such as The Lightyears Explode, who released The Revenge of Kalicharan, and Coshish, who released Firdous, are happy that their debut efforts continue to be received positively. Says Coshish vocalist-guitarist Mangesh Gandhi, “I didn’t dream it [our album] would get so much attention.” Gandhi is rooting for Bengaluru psychedelic rock act The Bicycle Days to win in the Best Song category and thrash/death metallers Devoid in the Best Metal Band category. The Lightyears Explode [TLE]’s frontman Saurabh Roy says Adil & Vasundhara, Tough On Tobacco and Kolkata dream pop artist Nischay Parekh “will mostly win” at the awards. TLE, who will also perform at the desert festival Ragasthan between February 13th and 16th, plan to release an EP before Roy moves to London to study at Point Blank Music College in July. Says Roy, “We have a few demos and have played a couple of the new songs live. We’ll also keep gigging until then.”

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The Ninth Jack Daniel’s Annual Rock Awards takes place on February 21st, 2014 at Mehboob Studios, Mumbai. Entry by invitation only. Vote for Best Band, Best Song, Best Album and Best Metal Band here.

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