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Festival Review: Ziro Festival Of Music – Day 1

With two stages hosting 10 acts each day over four days, Ziro is the best place to be right now

Anurag Tagat Sep 26, 2014

Menwhopause bassist-vocalist Randeep Singh. Photo: Pranab Doley

As is the case with most festivals, the opening day of Ziro Festival of Music was rife with teething problems. But when you’re in Ziro, time can turn a little abstract. While easy blues played over the PA, organizers handled stage delays due to power supply issues. During rehearsals, garage rockers The Vinyl Records from Delhi, who performed with guitarist Takar Nabam [from Delhi prog metallers Guillotine], who filled in for their originial guitarist Banu Jini, are told by the crowd that they need a better vocalist. Standing next to me, Tana Doni, a metal guitarist based who traveled from Itanagar, says that the crowds in Arunachal are “brutally honest but also really humble.” Says Doni, “They will throw bottles when you’re playing shit, but also really cheer along when you play a good song.”

Although the festival was flagged off an hour later than the scheduled time after a round of speeches from Arunachal’s MLA, Tage Taki and chief minister Nabam Tuki, Kolkata rockers The Supersonics  and Delhi singers song writer Prateek Kuhad took to stage specifically on the ministers’ request. It’s all applause for the acts performing on day one. The audience changed their mind about the Vinyl Records when the band went up with vocalist Cheyyrian Bark, who brought her A game to stage.

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The crowd at Ziro surprised me at every stage. They also crowd cheered on loudly for a rather wobbly, unsure set by fusion/jazz rock act Omak Kamut Collective, who had to replace the original front man with hard rock singer Marbom ‘Marley’ Maro. Gurgaon Electronica duo Maya Moh + Muteverb made their stage debut at Ziro, sticking to a morose electro-meets-Lana-Del-Rey set, which also brought on loud whistles and hoots from young music enthusiasts, who had traveled to Ziro from various regions in the north east. Considering the long travel schedule to Ziro, several artists too showed up early even though their performances were lined up later during the festival. Delhi-based alt rockers, Yesterdrive, originally from Arunachal, are all set to launch their debut self-titled album at the festival, and were among the bands who wanted to attend the entire festival. Says vocalist Molee Lollen, “This is home for us.”

With a late start to the day, the final band to go up on stage, Delhi rockers Menwhopause, played a set of favorites such as “Keep” closing on a high, psychedelic note with their new song “I’m on a Boat, Bitches” from their upcoming album Neon Delhi.

 Come back for more updates on the festival right here, tomorrow.