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Skyharbor Kick Off India Tour This Week

Guitarist Keshav Dhar talks about playing new territory this month, while vocalist Eric Emery discusses his first time on the band’s home ground

Anurag Tagat Dec 01, 2016
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Skyharbor. Photo: Courtesy of the band

Skyharbor. Photo: Courtesy of the band

In the past year and a half, Cleveland-based Eric Emery says he’s “already like brothers” with everyone in prog band Skyharbor, who have toured the U.S. and Europe since he replaced UK-based Dan Tompkins in mid-2015. Emery says, “It’s my first real musical experience where everyone in the band contributes equally. It takes a lot of the pressure off and definitely nurtures creative musical fecundity.”

Emery and Skyharbor are already together and jamming in Mumbai, prepping for their first India tour together, which kicks off in Kolkata on December 2nd and includes first-time stops in Kochi and Mumbai and a set at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune. Guitarist-producer Keshav Dhar says, “I do feel like we can pull a crowd on our own now. It’s more about how much people are willing to pay to get us there.” The setlist will include their recent singles “Chemical Hands,” “Blind Side” and staples such as “Evolution,” “Patience” (which Dhar refers to as the “non-negotiables”) and early material like “Celestial” and “Catharsis.”

Performing old and new material has been a learning curve for Emery, coming from an alt rock background. He cites the opera section in “Blind Side” and adds, “The real challenge has just been trying to memorize eight minute-long opuses without choruses in odd time signatures.”

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The setlist also includes an unreleased track, which Dhar jokingly calls “The Aditya Ashok showcase”, probably referring to their drummer’s drum and bass leanings as producer Ox7gen. The guitarist says their album is nearly ready for a launch in the first quarter of 2017. “There’s a lot of surprises in store on this album, we’re done trying to play safe.”

As for the tour, they’ve had enough sleepless nights around the States and Europe and even India in 2014 to get a hang of consecutive shows followed by consecutive flights across the country. Dhar says they aren’t specifically prepping for Emery for anything on his first trip to India. “It’s just better to throw him in the deep end and watch him roll. He’s never played an open-air festival before, and we told him to get used to a lot more intense crowds.”

Emery says no one in the band has been trolling him about any Indian norms or custom. He adds, “I think the cultural differences have been shocking enough as it is, so I don’t think trolling is even necessary. I am definitely coming well-armed with lots of sunscreen and bug spray.”

Skyharbor India Tour 2016

December 2nd ”“ The Festival, 10 Downing Street, Kolkata w/What Escapes Me, AlienZ

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December 3rd ”“ Bacardi NH7 Weekender, Life Republic, Pune

December 4th ”“ JTPAC, Ernakulam, Kochi

December 8th ”“ The Humming Tree, Bengaluru w/Pangea, Eccentric Pendulum

December 10th ”“ The Gig Week, Antisocial, New Delhi w/Kraken, Yatin Srivastava Project

December 11th ”“ Antisocial, Mumbai w/Pangea, Aswekeepsearching

December 12th ”“ The High Spirits, Pune w/Pangea

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