Raghu Dixit Project from Bangalore is one of the foremost indie bands of India. If you’re into folk music fused with western rock riffs then this band is for you. Their music is rooted in Karnataka and somewhere in Deep Purple (going by the guitar that accompanies the vocals). Raghu Dixit’s mission seems to popularize folk songs of poets from Karnataka and other places like Rajasthan where such folk forms survive against the vagaries of development in the modern world. That being said the band is a sell out doing gigs for corporates and music festivals at a breathless pace. They have been featured on BBC and in the MTV coke studio series besides having performed in various folk music festivals in the UK . Their music is more like ‘pop folk’ to my ears but I guess it’s the first of its kind on our shores. The all-pervasive Bollywood is easily traceable in their renditions which also explains the exceptionally large fan following I noticed at this performance in Pune. They also compose soundtracks for movies.
Sentiment forms the bedrock of the folksy tunes this band belts out. It’s easy to see why lead vocalist and band front-runner Raghu Dixit is so loved by an audience besotted by Bollywood.
The Raghu Dixit project is a commercially successful band. I was more enamoured by their costumes than the music per se. Especially so, as they have a designer from an art school (my daughter attends) to do it for them.
Sure the notes fall like rain from his guitar but the long emotionally charged intros to his songs took something away from the music, a certain simplistic sound that leaves you wanting something else. Food perhaps.
This is Gaurav Vaz who not only plays the bass guitar but manages the band, makes websites, evangelizes about really cool products, takes lots of photographs, and by his own admission is obsessed with everything to do with the Internet! They have positive press all over any media channel thinkable.
I’m assuming that Gaurav Vaz (seen here) had also managed the band’s arrival from Singapore for this performance here in Pune. Their fan following includes 194403 likes on their Fb page if stats are anything to go by. Their songs on you tube have similar if not a couple of million more likes.
Rock guitar fuses with folk songs from the hinterland of India, Here Gaurav Vaz appears as soothsayer, blessing the band’s fans who were in a wild state of ecstasy. Perfect branding is what I was thinking.
Besides the melodic arrangement driven by rousing vocals and violins, the track’s lyrical style leans towards the mainstream. For John Mc Laughlin fans like myself I was glad to have the camera for company.
This is Bryden Lewis taking his curtain call. He plays the guitar, banjo and ukulele. He has a counterpart Parth who I couldn’t spot since I wasn’t as mesmerized by the music as the massive crowds around me.
‘Amma’ is mother in most South Indian languages. It was the title of the song in progress when I shot this one.
Like their colorful lungis (gladiator like skirts), beads and vests, the music is happy and emotionally charged, something that works with the milieu. The band has been on MTV, BBC and what not. I should’ve been impressed.
Check out the music. It doesn’t matter you don’t know the language. There are a couple of songs in English too.