Parikrama turns 18 this year. The rock band recently celebrated the milestone with a concert
There’s a psychedelic explosion of sound and light on stage when Parikrama performs. Mind-blowing lyrics and orchestration and a fusion of traditional and western instruments — that’s what the band is all about. .
Parikrama comprises Nitin Malik (lead vocals), Subir Malik (keyboard and synthesiser), Sonam Sherpa (lead guitar), Saurabh Choudhary (rhythm guitar), Chintan Kalra (bass guitar and backing vocals) and Srijan Mahajan (drums). All through the last 18 years, experimentation has formed the crux of Parikrama’s music. The band has fused it sound with every imaginable instrument and is now trying to blend the violin and the tabla into its repertoire. In a recent concert at Hard Rock Café, Bangalore, they were accompanied by Imran Khan on the violin and Shambhunath Bhattacharya on tabla and percussion.
Rock, metal and blues
The musicians describe themselves as a blues-based rock band with nuances of metal. Excited about turning 18 this year, Parikrama’s founder member and keyboardist, Subir Malik, says, “It feels great finally becoming adults this year! To celebrate the occasion, we had over 50 musicians from different genres jamming at the Hard Rock Café, New Delhi for three-and-a-half hours.”
Choosing a name
About the band’s name, Subir says: “We wanted to adopt an Indian name when we started off in 1991. Our vocalist, Nitin found the name from an Osho magazine titled Vishwa Parikrama, and the name stuck. Over the years, the name has become synonymous with our way of life.” The band was formed when the members were barely out of school and into college. Parikrama slowly climbed up the ladder to carve a niche for itself in the world of music with its unique sound.
Recalling its first performance in the autumn of 1991 in New Delhi at Father Agnel School, Subir says there was no looking back after that. Beginning with the Delhi AIDS awareness concert, the band went on to open for Iron Maiden several times and also performed at the Download Festival 2007 alongside some of the world’s best bands at Donington Park, England.
Parikrama did a nationwide metro tour with Saif Ali Khan last January adding another feather to its cap.
“We never imagined we would reach such heights, especially to be recognised by Maiden. Maiden loved our music so much that they requested us to open for them again and we’ve done seven concerts with them so far.”
Songs about issues
Over the years, Parikrama has felt strongly about various issues and this is reflected in its music. One of the band’s most moving songs is “But it rained”, based on the abduction of four kidnapped tourists in Kashmir and those who were left behind. “One” was a song written in response to the terror attacks in Mumbai.