The Big Horn Fest Prelude in Delhi had Shrinkhla Sahai hooked for all six days. A quick recap of the event
The indie music scene in India is emerging as a big playing field for artistes wanting to explore their own musical style, genres and alternatives. Promoted by GigSupport Artiste Management and presented by India at 100, the Big Horn Fest Prelude at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi was a six-day musical feast (April 8-13,2011) of ‘Original music only’. Featuring a spec
trum of artistes and genres from rock, fusion, lounge and funk to classical and Punjabi pop, the fest is a one-of-its-kind effort at providing a platform to independent artistes to truly do their thing.
The first in the gig line-up was Five 8 -a popular Delhi-based progressive music band. Their act was marked by dynamic explorations of rock, soul and pop, dampened only by the elaborate sound checks. They were followed by a powerhouse performance by Them Clones with a mix of whip- lashing rock and soothing melodies. A pre-launch of their two new singles Jealous and All About a Heartbreak was a promising finale to the opening night. The second day saw a new band – Jolt, rising up to the occasion with their second gig. Their experimental, rap and electronica musings provided a chilled-out runway for the big daddy of fusion – Mrigya. The audience was in raptures with their eclectic mix of classical-based compositions, Sufi and signature tracks like Ganga and Pahadi Funk. A composition titled Procession was a moving experiment of bringing two religious traditions into musical convergence. The evening tilted to an exciting tangent as renowned saxophonist Phil Bancroft from Scotland, joined the band on stage for an impromptu jamming session.
The classical night was well-placed mid-fest featuring Gwalior gharana vocalist Meeta Pandit and a sarangi solo by Suhail Yusuf Khan. The next evening took off with a group of talented and enthusiastic kids, trained at Music Basti—an NGO working with underprivileged children. A bold curve on the roster of bands came up with Negra Pradera—a Spanish trio. Spanish, Mexican and Cuban melodies clicked well with a keenly receptive audience. Avi and the Uprising regaled with their refreshing urban ballads and interesting lyrics. A band with unique character, they played to unending encores and proved they are definitely here to rock the indie music scene!
Electrifying performances by the duo Hari and Sukhmani got Delhi’s pulse racing with Punjabi Pop. The fest fever cooled down with the final act by Adil and Vasundhara. The euphoric atmosphere of the amphitheatre was matched by the informal, warm and relaxed tone of the fest set by the organisers.
A fantastic initiative for Indie music, the fest is struggling for support and sponsorship for bigger events planned for the rest of the year. Hopefully, it will fulfill its tryst with destiny.