This Chennai indie music fest brings together over 26 acts


The Road To GIF is a music festival with ambitions, and wants to gather dozens of Chennai’s indie music talent from different genres, together on one, open-air stage

For about eight years, the Global Isai Festival (GIF) has been bringing musical talent from places as far flung as France and Reunion Island to Chennai .

The festival’s next edition will be coming up in February 2020, but before that, GIF plans to use its platform to celebrate the varied musical talent of the city.

Enter: The Road to GIF, a two-day music event that aims to bring together most of the city’s indie music talent. The 26 performances are set to be held under the open sky at Buck’s amphitheatre over the weekend. The talent consists primarily of Chennai’s home-grown musicians, and in classic GIF tradition, genre is no bar. From hip hop to electronic, metal to gaana, the line-up features it all. Adding to the revelry will be face painting stalls and a flea market organised by Red Bug, featuring everything from brownies by Brownie Heaven to goodies for your pets by Lee Pets.

Offstage offerings
  • The fest will also feature an open mic session for singers, comedians and storytellers
  • A range of paintings and other installations will shine the spotlight on Chennai’s up and coming artists

Jazz-rock quartet Jatayu will take the stage, as will metal band Frankendriver, alternative hiphop band Maanjah boys, and soulful pop duo Tabby and Sanjai. Veterans Eddie and Shenkar (who prefer to be known by their stage names) will be play together under the name Radiotronics, an EDM act.

Eddie, aka Edison Prithviraj, the director of Unwind Center, is one of the brains behind both GIF and The Road to GIF. Another prominent musician set to take the stage is the percussionist Master Shah, who will be kicking things off on day one with a drumming circle.

But The Road To GIF is not only about Chennai musicians. A few bands will also be coming in from other cities, such as the four-man Sawan from Mysuru and heavy metal band Eclipse from Guwahati.

Sawan specialises in ambient post-hard rock, and came out with their new single ‘Zero Gravity’ this January. “Our first EP will be out in 2020,” says Harshith Rao, frontman of the five-year-old band that has managed to catch the attention of rock music enthusiasts in the US. They are used to questions about their ambient post-hard rock, and explain: “It is not a lyric-heavy kind of genre, but sometimes spacey and sometimes psychedelic. Because we want to break boundaries, we have incorporated lyrics in it, and are also bringing in instruments like tabla and sitar,” says Harshith. The latter instruments will be in sample tracks that the band will blend into their performance.

Then there are Chennai-based talents who have been creating their own sounds, and have gotten together only recently. Mr Kev And Friends, for instance, comprises singer-songwriter Mr Kev, guitarist Joseph Gosman Nishanth, composer Praveen Powers on the keys, Jeric Ashwin Fernando on cajon and Anouk Dubois on flute, ukelele and vocals.

“We first came together earlier this year at the OnePlus contest,” says Kev. He adds, “Anouk does jazz numbers and can sing in Spanish and French. Praveen has composed music for short films in the industry, and can play jazz, blues and other genres. He also played in my track ‘Kho Gaya’.” The band of five will primarily be playing some of Mr Kev’s popular tracks.

Other musicians to look forward to are Siennor, Masal Vada, Othasevuru, Kulee Padaii, Arcus, Voltage B and Golisoda on day one. Day two will feature artistes like Jack’ Styles, The Syzygy, Devoid, Army, The Prodigal, Tune Station, Groove Train, Raku, Dacalty and The Owl Monk Collective.

The Road to GIF will be held on November 30 and December 1 at Buck’s Theatre, YMCA Ground, Nandanam, from 11 am to 9.30 pm. Day passes are priced at ₹200. Tickets are on

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Printable version | Dec 16, 2019 6:33:27 PM |

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