EVENT MetroPlus sifts through the 60 artists at the NH7 Weekender to give you the picks

Papon and The East India Company

The Dewarists Stage, Saturday

If you didn’t hear of Papon when Coke Studio took the nation by storm, you were probably being occupied under your favourite rock. But at the Weekender look out for the electronic folk-fusion sounds of Papon and The East India Company. The band is the coming together of Papon on vocals, Brin Desai on live electronics, Jinti on lead guitar, Kirti on percussion, Dipu on bass and Tanmay on drums. The band members bring their own styles – which varies from folk to metal to trip hop – to the table, and the resulting blend is a fine example of new age Indian folk music. Look out for their feisty cover of ‘Dumadum Mast Kalandhar’, and their own composition ‘Banao’.

Martina Topley-Bird

Jack and Jones Other Stage, Sunday

The childlike high pitch of London-based singer Martina Topley-Bird’s voice makes us want to compare her to Corrine Bailey-Rae. But there’s a lot more going for Martina beyond a sweet voice: she manages to create a mood, a sound that’s laid-back and yet not easy-listening.

There’s the simple desperation of songs like ‘Anything’, and the scratchy, trip-hop-infused ‘Sandpaper Kisses’.

If you’re concerned that the retro-style romance of ‘Valentine’ won’t be easy to recreate live, worry not: check out videos of her live shows for proof. She’s not new: she’s been around for over 15 years. It was in 1995 that she shared stage with British group Tricky. She released a debut album in 2003, titled Quixotic: in 2008, her next album, The Blue God, was produced by Danger Mouse (who also happened to produce Norah Jones’ latest album).

The Idan Raichel Project

The Dewarists Stage, Saturday

The Idan Raichel Project is the solo effort of Israeli singer-songwriter and musician Idan Raichel. The man is difficult to miss with his cherubic face and dreads and his music even more with its strong Middle Eastern, reggae and folkloric influences, the heavy use of Hebrew texts and the electronic beats. His music has a slight, slow sway and is true of the universal language of music – it speaks to you. Be alert for his song ‘Mi’ma’amakim’ which translates to From The Depths and has been inspired from the Psalms in the Bible and ‘Bo’ee’ or Come With Me.

Dub Sharma

Pepsi Dub Station, Saturday

Look out for Dub Sharma the music producer and sound engineer from Chandigarh. The boy has some sly tricks up his sleeve and is known for his mixes that could catch you by the collar and knock the wind out of you. He does a good dub and has a great step – the author’s favourite is the Dub Sharma remix of ‘Ik Banere’ and the languid lines and beats of Ah Jah.

Tough on Tobacco

Bindass Fully Fantastic Stage, Saturday

Known as much for their wild stage energy as for their groovy alt-rock, Tough on Tobacco are a six-piece band from Mumbai. They describe themselves as a “humour-tinged” group, and their name is supposed to be (evidently) a statement against smoking. Tough on Tobacco have been around since 2007, with the lineup swelling from their original two-person act to Sidd Coutto on vocals/guitar, Gaurav Gupta on guitar/vocals, Pozy Dhar on guitar, Neil Gomes (violin/sax/flute/vocals), Johan Pais on bass, and Jai Row Kavi (drums/vocals).

The Shakey Rays

Bindass Fully Fantastic Stage, Sunday

The Chennai-based pop/blues outfit do a mean cover of some Beatles classics, but what you should really be holding out for are their originals: fun, guitar-heavy numbers, with airy harmonies from the singers.

The Shakey Rays are Dhruva Gautham, Vikram Kannan and Niranjan Swaminathan, and they’ve just released their debut album, Tunes From The Big Belly, earlier this year. We suggest you keep an eye on them beyond the forty-minute slot they’re likely to get at the festival this weekend. Also look out for Wazulu Da Ill Dravidian, who layers the melodies of exotic instruments with Indian street rhythms and fusing it with beats that ‘drop’. Su-real who is one half of the audiovisual DJ/VJ duo WWYYZZZRRDDZ. He is known for his disco classics, old school hip hop and '80s/'90s pop hitsVisit nh7.in for more details of the Bacardi

NH7 Weekender festival comes to Bangalore for the first time this weekend. A shuttle service is also being organised to and from the venue.

C.R.R and N.M