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Chennai’s Skrat and Ahmedabad Rockers Aswekeepsearching Announce Five-City Tour

The Chennai rock band are the main act in the first edition of the 2Stroke Tour, which travels to Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru in June

Anurag Tagat May 16, 2015
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(from top) Skrat will tour with Aswekeepsearching in June. Photo: Ravikiran Vissa (Skrat); Courtesy of the band (aswekeepsearching)

(from top) Skrat will tour with Aswekeepsearching in June. Photo: Ravikiran Vissa (Skrat); Courtesy of the band (aswekeepsearching)

Post-rock band aswekeepsearching [AWKS], based in the gig-parched city of Ahmedabad, is among the young bands in the country that has been active on the gig circuit, thanks to the band’s enterprising frontman Uddipan Sarmah. In addition to taking AWKS across the country to promote their debut EP Growing Suspicions last year, Sarmah also set up gigs for international bands such as Polish instrumental rockers Tides From Nebula and Russian electronic post-rock band I am Waiting For You Last Summer in Ahmedabad, all under his home studio, BlueTree.

The next move for Sarmah is changing the touring culture in India, by actually putting in place tours with consecutive shows for upcoming bands, as opposed to weekly shows. Says Sarmah, “I’m trying to bring Europe to India.” Sarmah and AWKS, along with Chennai rockers Skrat and Bengaluru-based music enthusiast and investor Ramakrishnan Krishnan are part of a new initiative called the 2Stroke Tour, which kicks off in June, with five back-to-back shows in five cities. In their first edition, AWKS and Skrat head to Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Sarmah, who met Ramakrishnan in March and begun discussing the idea of a tour just for AWKS, decided to add a main act since it would allow his band to expand their fanbase. Says Sarmah, “We approached Skrat after we couldn’t work it out with two other artists. Since they’re a fully adventurous band, they immediately got on board.” Adds Ramakrishnan, “I’ve been involved with the scene for a couple of years now, and I always had a thought of investing in a few gigs, especially for lesser known bands. I don’t think anyone is doing this mad, back-breaking kind of stuff and hopefully, we’ll survive.”

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While aswekeepsearching, now with drummer Gautam Deb and bassist Bob Alex from Pune experimental metal band Noiseware, are performing songs from their upcoming 11-track album [due later this year] on the tour, Skrat are looking forward to getting back on the road to promote their new album The Queen, which released in October last year. Says vocalist-guitarist Sriram T.T. about a five-city tour, “We’re no strangers to endurance. Our Loverider Experience tour was the closest we got a hectic tour ”“ traveling and playing gigs, but we’ve never played five gigs. We’re getting into fitness mode.”

Meanwhile, Ramakrishnan says the next edition of the 2Stroke Tour is already in the works for August or September, with the organizers accepting entries from upcoming bands for slots. Sarmah says they do want to expand it to 10 cities after a few runs. He adds, “Everyone has to understand that it can’t just be about one gig on a weekend and then you go back home.” Sriram adds, “If we don’t try it, no one else will.”

2stroke final2 Stroke Tour ft Skrat and aswekeepsearching

June 17th ”“ Blue Frog, Pune

June 18th ”“ Blue Frog, Mumbai

June 19th ”“ antiSOCIAL, New Delhi

June 20th ”“ Hard Rock Café, Hyderabad

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June 21st ”“ Indigo Live Music Bar, Bengaluru

Send in entries to be a part of the 2 Stroke Tour’s next editions here.

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