Purana Qila to host three-day South Asian Bands Fest from today

By Ashok Dixit, New Delhi, Nov.29 : Cultural boundaries will be crossed at New Delhi's Purana Qila (Old Fort) over the next three days (November 29 to December 1), when 14 popular rock bands from nine South Asian countries take part in the seventh edition of the South Asian Bands Festival (SABF) here from Friday.

Presented by the External Affairs Ministry, the Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Seher, a non-government organization, the event will feature music bands from eight countries who are members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and host India. A band from Korea is also taking part as the ninth and an observer country this year.

The participating bands include What's In The Name (Mumbai), Barefaced Liar (Delhi), ZnG (Bhutan), Circus (Delhi), Biuret (Korea), Stigmata (Sri Lanka), Eman's Conspiracy (Maldives), Papon And The East Indian Company (Mumbai), Pardis (Afghanistan), Susmit Sen Chronicles (Delhi), LRB (Bangladesh), Strings (Pakistan), Advaita (India), Raghu Dixit Project (India) and Albatross (Nepal).

A preview of the much anticipated cultural extravaganza was provided to a distinguished gathering that included President Pranab Mukherjee and Union Minister for Non-Renewable Enery Dr. Farooq Abdullah, besides select media at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Thursday evening.

Three bands LRB (Bangladesh), Strings (Pakistan) and Advaita (India) displaying their variety of musical brilliance for about 90-minutes, sending the audience into raptures. Each band performed three songs each. This was followed by all three performing a unified grand collaborative finale.

Bangladeshi rock band LRB, or Love Runs Blind, which was founded in 1991 by lead vocalist and guitarist Ayub Bachchu, consists of Swapan (bass guitar), Masud (guitar) and Romel (drums).

LRB has performed over 1,000 gigs that have included extensive performances in Bangladesh as well as tours in Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Strings are an internationally acclaimed Pakistani pop rock band. It is currently led by Bilal Maqsood (vocals and guitars) and Faisal Kapadia (vocals). They are acclaimed all over the world for their stringed rhythms and their songs. They have been involved in music since 1988, but with a break between 1992 and 1999.

Advaita are an Indian fusion band based in New Delhi and was formed in 2004.

Advaita currently has eight band members: Abhishek Mathur (Guitars), Aman Singh (Drums), Anindo Bose (Keyboards), Chayan Adhikari (Western Vocals / Acoustic Guitar), Gaurav Chintamani (Bass), Mohit Lal (Tabla), Suhail Yusuf Khan (Sarangi) and Ujwal Nagar (Hindustani Vocals).

Advaita won the GIMA (Global Indian Music Awards) 2012 award for best rock album for The Silent Sea.They also received a nomination under the best fusion album for The Silent Sea. Advaita were also voted the best fusion band by PALM EXPO 2011.

--ANI (Posted on 29-11-2013)

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