Apr 1, 2011

The Nagaland rock bands for ‘Rocknock festival’

Eximious, Black Rose, OFF & Graffiti 

This rock music festival comprising some of the better-known rock bands from Nagaland fascinated me. The rock bands in performance were former Music Safari and Hornbill Rock prizewinners Eximious, Hornbill Rock prizewinners Black Rose, Hornbill Rock prizewinners OFF (Original Fire Factor) and one of Nagaland’s 90s rock forerunners Grafitti.

(Right: OFF in performance during the March 30, 2011 Rocknock festival in Kohima, Nagaland.  Photo/The Morung Express)

Fascination #1: 
The concept of the event – The rock music festival had a number of well-known social commentators including Niketu Iralu offering insights in an event that had all the paradigms of youth clichés.  The statement from the organizers explained that the event represents an aspiration to ‘change encourage, educate and spread awareness’ on ‘various issues that need to be redressed at this day and age.’ So there you are – social academics and your neighbor-friendly noise mongers on plate. I love the concept major time.  

(Eximious. A hairy hairy nice photograph of Tali's gang. Photo/The Morung Express)

 (Left: Grafitti. No, don't be deceived by the glasses - they are not geek-core rock dudes - they play the harder stuff. Photo/The Morung Express)

Fascination #2: 
The rock bands: You would have expected Divine Connection. However, the MTV Kurkure Desi Beat winners were not there to join the noise (I am assuming the organizers felt Divine Connection’s already into big time so the chance this time was for the other guys). The Rocknock festival had progressive rock group Eximious and Kohima metal group Black Rose, protest rockers OFF (Original Fire Factor) and (surprise, surprise) Grafitti – a band I club to be in the league of one of the earliest popular rock bands in Nagaland, The Oleanders (led by that inimitable, tiny Lopeno Ovung).

All these years I’d though ‘hey, Black Rose and Grafitti are dinosaurs now.’ Nevertheless, no one is complaining. The guys are still good. Especially that Black Rose had Azha Usou – the dude who gave you that sublime death/symphonic metal piece ‘The Last Serenade’ (2008). And in Graffiti, guitardude Yanger – former The Oleanders, former Diatribe, and former all-round-every-rock-band man – that guy is one of my favorite Naga guitarists. 

(Right: Black Rose. 
Azha, please be a gentleman and give the seat to her.
Photo/The Morung Express)
Fascination #3: 
Coincidence or not, I could not help feeling that the organizers were quite imaginative with the name ‘Rocknock’. Naga events are not that famous for coming up with imaginative names. Nevertheless, the question was: what if they had sneaked the name of my blog? My Naga ego told me ‘hey you have one of the larger and comprehensive contents on Naga musicians and rock music (just ask Google and its traffic pundits) this side of India so maybe them organizers ran into my blog and snitched my blog name thing?’ I dunno. Alright Mr. Ego, get out.  My sincere congratulations to the organizers of the event for the knocking the rocks out of us Nagaland rock dudes with the novel event. 

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