After a dull start, Day Two of Bacardi NH7 Weekender saw a dense crowd and impressive acts by drum and bass star Nucleya, reclusive Bollywood composer Amit Trivedi and the British band The Vaccines.
By Somya Lakhani
Every time Delhi-based Udyan Sagar aka Nucleya gets on stage, the party gets louder and wilder. His 45-minute act at Bacardi NH7 Weekender changed the otherwise dull vibe into a happier one.
Fireworks, pyrotechnics, visuals from Bollywood films of the ’70s and ’80s, and a few thousands jumping and dancing — this set was the highlight of the Micromax Mega Mix stage at the venue.
Inspired by Duke Nukem, a videogame of the ’80s, the drum & bass star called his set Duke Nucleya. Apart from his popular tracks such as Akkad bakkad, Bangla bass and Street boy, Nucleya teased the revellers by playing an unreleased track, a high octane mix of Punjabi song Laung gawacha. Raghav ‘Diggy’ Dang of Reggae Rajahs too got on stage as Nucleya spun Little lotto, his track in collaboration with Alo Wala, who were playing at another stage simultaneously.
While Frame/Frame and the Sandunes Ensemble, who performed on the stage before him, set the mood for typical Nucleya devastation, it was his set that made the trip to Greater Noida worth it.
By Shantanu David
Remember those old polio commercials in which a sea of people would stream towards white-garbed doctors doling out the drops? The final scene of the Delhi edition of Bacardi NH7 Weekender on Sunday night resembled that inasmuch as there were hordes tramping towards a dose of post-punk, vaccine in the form of well, The Vaccines, the British band which headlined this year’s festival.
By 9 pm the entirety of the weekenders had assembled in front of the Bacardi Arena waiting for The Vaccines to fill their ears.
The band, despite only being two albums old, has toured extensively. It showed, as the four-member act launched into almost an hour-long gig, crackling with energy and constantly engaged with the crowd like one of Wodehouse’s more lovelorn protagonists.
From singing along to tracks such as Teenage Icon and reminding themselves they’re “No Frankie Avalon” to mass-screaming to Wetsuit, the audience ate up everything the band dished out and came back wanting more. Guitar heavy and riff-rich as the music was, the sound quality was as commendable with nary a squeal of feedback.
Perhaps the best part of the performance was how undemanding it was and the way it just let you be; people variously chattered, cheered, danced and swayed, oscillating their attention between the stage and their friends, smiles all around.
By Somya Lakhani
If there was one act that sucked the energy out of other stages and pulled most crowd, it has to be Amit Trivedi. The reclusive Bollywood composer made his debut on the Delhi weekender stage with a stellar hour-long celebration of everything that’s right with film music.
Trivedi and his fedora brought together a formidable band with noted names such as Mili Nair, Divya Kumar and Arun Kamath on vocals, Arshad Khan on the harmonium, Adi Mistry on the bass, Warren Mendonsa and Sanjoy Das on the guitar, Jai Row Kavi on the drums, Chirag Katti on the sitar and Beven Fonseca on the keys.
The audience sang out aloud every song that they belted out — from Meethi boliya to Manjha from Kai Po Che. The mics turned towards the festival goers when the band played Ik tara from Wake Up Sid, with Kumar jumping in to save the lyrics. Pareshan from Ishaqzaade had as many takers.
Interestingly, Trivedi’s stage presence is one of the highlights of the band. He danced to London Thumakda (Queen), did the garba on Shubh aarambh (Kai Po Che) and wore a pagdi when the band belted a Rajasthani folk song. The chemistry of the band was infectious and even the most sober of the lot found themselves swaying and dancing to O gujariya (Queen) and Ek main aur ek tu.
Trivedi ended the night with his best — Pardesi and Emotional Atyachaar from Dev D, and left many craving and screaming for more.