Indian rock band heads for Edinburgh Fringe FestivalJune 12th, 2010 - 6:46 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) Come August and Something Relevant aka STR, a young band from Mumbai, will be off to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it will perform at 22 venues across the city as part of the event.
The band of seven young men - former St Xavier’s College students - dole out a medley of jazz, funk, blues, reggae, rock-pop, soul and African melodies. STR is billed as “one of the hottest young bands” in Mumbai’s concert ring.
The band comprises Aazzin Printer, Ryan Sadri, Stuart DaCoasta, Aalok Padhye, Luis Chico, Tanmay B, Jahangir Jahangir and guest member Armeet Panesar.
“We will play in 22 gigs in Edinburgh throughout August. The most important concert is scheduled August 7,” Printer, the band’s vocalist, told IANS. In 2009, the band toured Indonesia, Java and South Korea, apart from performing at the Java Jazz festival at Bandung.
“We are the second Indian western music group to represent the country in Edinburgh after Indian Ocean,” Printer added. The band was in the capital this week where it played live at a Micheal Jackson tribute, “Moonwalker’s Night”, sponsored by television channel Sony Pix.
The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, established in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival, is the world’s largest arts festival. It takes place in the capital of Scotland every August and attracts the best talents of performing arts like music, dance and theatre from across the globe.
“Edinburgh happened because of our trombone player Armeet Panesar who encouraged us to send a sample album of our music to the organisers in April. They liked our compositions and invited us. But as the Fringe is a platform for emerging artistes like us, we cannot expect them to fund us. We have to bear bulk of the costs,” band member Jahangir alias JJ told IANS.
“Money is a constraint. Edinburgh will be tough for us. Transporting a nine-member band with equipment to Scotland and lodging for four weeks are expensive. We are still looking for more corporate sponsorships,” Printer added with concern.
STR is composing 20 new tracks for the Fringe Festival. The band has produced one album, Feels Good, and is working on the second one.
STR sings of life and everyday concerns. “Our tracks are originals. We have composed songs on homosexuality (in honour of one our friends who is gay), beer, love, break-up, road safety , bitching, the dumbing down of music and social issues,” Da Costa told IANS.
The band, inspired by Micheal Jackson, is also associated with several causes. “Destruction of environment at the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai tops our list, along with the plight of the children of the Dharavi slums, Printer told IANS.
The members also have a philosophy on music and what it means to them. “We believe in music with a message. Music for us is a way of becoming aware of the realities around us, identifying our strengths as musicians and people as we go about the business of life,” he added.
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Tags: aalok, african melodies, capital of scotland, edinburgh fringe festival, edinburgh international festival, guest member, jahangir, java jazz festival, jazz funk, member band, micheal jackson, moonwalker, reggae rock, s college, sadri, st xavier, tanmay, television channel, trombone player, western music