The Show Must Go On

A concert is a concert is a concert is a concert. An album is an album is an album is an album. Musically, both have nothing in common.
Klaus Schule
For us, music is a shelter from the storm of brutal realities. It entertains us, and more interestingly, lifts us up on a different plane of connection. Music is a lingua franca of humanity; and we need neither Google translator nor some How-To books to understand it.

The taste of music varies from one individual to another. However, it is open to question why, as there are as many forms and styles of music, there is a wide difference between our taste and their choice. Some prefer classical music to kitsch; while some are die-hard fans of romantic songs and some are born aficionados of rock ‘n’ roll.

But can anyone prove me wrong — when it comes to us, the Manipuris — that we love music as much as we love ngari, hawaijaar, yongchaak singju or chagempomba? Music is like a soul-buster for every generation. This is best exemplified by the so-called pop music of each generation. We know the show must go on; ultimately, even our taste varies as we move ahead with time.

Notes from the Underground
Let’s check the rock setting in the state. Since the demented Seventies, many bands have been holding our undivided attention through their endearing performances. It is amazing how we can copy an alien cultural concept so nicely, so artistically. Jokes apart, we love listening to most of the performances by Manipur-based rock bands as much as we love listening to any other rock outfits elsewhere.

‘Have you listened to all the songs from the bands?’ This is perhaps no more the question. But ‘How much we appreciate or encourage the Manipur-based rock bands?’ In a state where social unrest is as common as ‘chaakluk mapaangi morok metpa’, our youth need an escapade from the brouhaha.

Music is a rescuer for many amongst us. Phungga, Kanglasha, ReCycle, The Dirty Strikes, Imphal Talkies N the Howlers, Eastern Dark, Dead Mobster and so many others. Many of them would have been on the cover of the ‘Rolling Stones’, well, if the magazine could dare to cover the present rock scene and if we dare to dream.

Recently, there has been some kind of maturation in the scenario of rock music in Manipur, with several bands performing regularly and also with new bands coming up, ready to climb the stage and rock. Teaming up with the ‘established’ rock bands, the new ‘kids on the block’, are gearing up to redefine the culture of rock in the state. My knowledge on the origin and milestones covered by the various rock bands in Manipur might be bantam but personally, each one of them has my heartiest wishes.

Peace Blast Concert
News, views and snaps on various rock concerts in Imphal are going social. I have even been tagged on some photos of some bands (typed last sentence in vaunting mode). I have even visualized myself cheering up the performers amid a huge crowd of rock fans in Imphal.

Perhaps, my visualization was pretty enforcing that I have now a new fun menu, enlisted on my spring itinerary. The very moment I came to know about the Peace Blast Concert that’s scheduled on 12th March, I could not help counting the number of days I have to spend in Delhi. It is also the perfect getaway for a day, possibly on Yaoshang’s last day. You heard it right; it’s going to be a day affair under the bright spring sky.

Yaoshang is a much anticipated festival for me for many reasons more than one. What has garnered the excitement is that some of my favourite rock bands will be performing at Sagolband Moirang Leirak Parking.

Just back from the North East Carnival in New Delhi, the alternative rocker ReCycle is well prepared for the Twelfth. The co-founders of the band had a quest to bring a change in the then rock scenario in Imphal, which inspired them to come up with the present name-ReCycle. Their Facebook page claims that the band “came into existence in November 2006 with a common urge to bring the musical landscapes of 90’s grunge, Alternative and funk flavor to the Imphal music scene for the very first time.”

The world of ReCycle revolves around gigs, rehearsals and studio recordings. Inspired by Nirvana, RHCP, Incubus and others, the band has metamorphosed since its formation and the current line up includes the versatile Lawrence Chandam on vocals; Deepak Ningthoujam, a practising lawyer by profession, plays bass; Bode Paonam is on guitar; and Somen Soram takes care of cymbals and snares.

A few other bands have also been booked for the show. Dead Mobster, a budding heavy metal core outfit, will take the reincarnation of, possibly, Sepultura. The Dirty Strikes, the post punk indie band has already washed the All-Stars; all is set for them. And Angellica, the fourth performer, will continue their experiment in rock.

The concert, again, will be held during the day. Based on the festival of colours, the Peace Blast concert will rekindle our notion of music, colours, and friends and rejoice the spirit of Yaoshang. We can look forward to one of the most cheerful celebrations of the Yaoshang festival this year and YES a great way to wind up the five-day fiesta too. Be there at the Peace Blast on 12th March.

This article was published on 4 March 2012 
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