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Photos: Folk Nations, Mumbai

Folk bands from across the country performed with terrific energy and soul at the showcase organized for Celtic Connections’ artistic director Donald Shaw

Rolling Stone India Mar 25, 2013
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Saurav Moni Photo: Prashin Jagger

Saurav Moni Photo: Prashin Jagger

Folk fans had a packed Friday last week at the Folk Nations showcase, a new initiative by the British Council, which aims to feature music collaborations by folk artists in the UK and India. The showcase held for the artistic director, Donald Shaw, of Glasgow’s folk festival, Celtic Connections began in the afternoon and like Bengaluru folk musician Raghu Dixit later said on stage, seemed like a mini folk festival.” Imphal Talkies frontman Akhu Chingangbam, who made his debut in Mumbai with Folk Nations, kicked off the showcase. Advaita’s sarangi player, Suhail Yusuf Khan’s electro-folk side project with ex-Faridkot keyboardist Akshay Raheja also made its debut at the show. 

The seven folk acts on the lineup included solo artists such as ektara player and Bengali folk artist Saurav Moni as well as acts such as the five-member Papon And The East India Company, each of whom performed a 45-minute set. Besides the ektara, the audience at Folk Nations was also introduced to other traditional instruments such as Nagaland’s tati, Manipur’s pena, the Arabic oud and the South American charango. Instead of a set list, Moni took a hand-drawn map of Bengal on stage to guide him as he took the audience on a journey from the North to the South of Bengal with his bhatiali [traditional music of the boatmen] songs. 

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The day-long gig ended on a high note with The Raghu Dixit Project returning to perform at Blue Frog, Mumbai after two years to deliver a high energy, hour-long set to a packed house. 



Photos by Prashin Jagger

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