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Begum Launch Debut Album ‘Bagh’ in Delhi This Week

The Delhi experimental rock band will also play some unreleased material at the launch

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Oct 14, 2014
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Begum. Photo: Saptarishi Sanyal

Begum. Photo: Saptarishi Sanyal

Kartik Pillai, frontman of Delhi experimental band Begum, has a good laugh when we ask him what people can expect from their launch gig this week, for their debut album Bagh. Says Pillai, “There’s going to be a little bit of awkwardness, for sure.”

Comprising members from Delhi psych rockers Peter Cat Recording Co and Pillai’s friend Kshitij Dhyani on bass, Begum was formed in 2013 and recorded the 10-track Bagh at their home studio in Hauz Khas. But the album had an unofficial launch when Peter Cat took to stage in Mumbai last month, and sneaked in a couple of Begum tracks, including their first single “Waiting” and “Make It Till 4.” Says Pillai, “It was completely spontaneous [to play Begum tracks]. We were going to end with ”˜Wear Down Stall,’ which is a slow song, and Suryakant [Sawhney, Peter Cat vocalist] didn’t want to do that.” The bonus was that Begum bassist Dhyani, who is currently a student of architecture in Mumbai, attended the gig and joined the band on stage. Says Pillai, “The people [in the crowd] knew the songs, actually. They were dancing.”

For their launch set at Delhi’s Hauz Khas Social, Begum will perform Bagh in its entirety, along with a couple of new songs like “Falling,” which didn’t make it to the album and another untitled track. The vocalist-guitarist adds that they’ve roped in bassist Tushar Mohan [from Delhi prog metal band Nigambodh] to fill in for Dhyani, who will finish his course later this month.

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Begum, Caesars of the Green perform at Hauz Khas Social, New Delhi on October 15th, 2014. Entry: free. Event details here.

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