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Extreme and Nazareth Set for ShiRock 2019 in Manipur

The third edition of the free festival hosts two hard rock/metal veterans between October 16th and 19th

Rolling Stone India
Rolling Stone India Oct 01, 2019

American hard rock/glam metal band Extreme will make their way to India for ShiRock Festival in Manipur this month. Photo: Courtesy of International Talent Booking

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When Manipur’s tourism ministry-funded ShiRock Festival put itself on the country’s music map last year by announcing American heavy metallers Queensryche for headliners, it would have seemed like a tough feat to top.

However, the forthcoming edition of ShiRock in Ukhrul brings together two more classic bands for a weekend of hard rock and heavy metal. Scottish metal veterans Nazareth and American glam metal/rock band Extreme will make their way to Ukhrul on October 16th and 19th, respectively.

The prolific Scots in Nazareth have been soldiering on since 1968, with bassist Pete Agnew being the last founding member in the current lineup. Expect a career spanning performance across five decades, including their seminal album Hair of the Dog (1975).

A bigger draw for fans in India will likely be Extreme, best known for the easygoing acoustic ballad “More Than Words” off their 1990 album Pornograffitti. A few years after the album’s success, guitarist Nuno Bettencourt began releasing solo material, while vocalist Gary Cherone joined glam metal legends Van Halen for their album Van Halen III. Even though Extreme called time on the band in 1996, they reunited with full intent in 2007. Their latest release is 2008’s Saudades de Rock, with a new album in the works.

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ShiRock will also include a band competition, with the shortlist of 22 bands from the North East already out. Notable contestants include Nagaland rock band Papersky and Assamese metallers Nephele, amongst others. The first prize from the ShiRock Band Competition receives Rs 10 lakh (and the opening slot for the final day when Extreme take the stage), while second place gets Rs 5 lakh and third place being awarded Rs 2.5 lakh. Additionally, ShiRock is also inviting solo singers for their Voice Competition, with the top prize being Rs 2 lakh.

ShiRock takes place at Bakshi Ground, Ukhrul, Manipur between October 16th and 19th. Entry: free. Details here.

Watch the video for “More Than Words”

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