Metronome yet again redifine and dazzle the music scene in Manipur

Borun Thokchom *

Amidst the turbulent time the state of Manipur is going through, one rarely gets a chance to enjoy music outside of the living room. Known for its inclination to western music with a passion, the state has been a hotbed of bands which had made its presence in the Indian Rock scene.

In the last few years, music lover has seen many good bands fading away while many struggling in the underground to make a mark.

On the other hand, changes that comes with the passage of time and the prevailing situation of Manipur has also affected the movement of rock music in the state and the music scene literally remain dormant with thousands of music lovers longing to see bands perform live.

This is where 'River Boat' steps in. Formerly known as 'Spades', an event management team committed to bring back the lost glory of Manipuri Rock scene as well as nurturing of upcoming Bands/artists, 'River Boat' has successfully organized its second episode of 'Metronome' to mark this winter.

Launched in the last part of 2007 under the theme 'A Minor', 'Metronome' became a successful affair and a perfect launch pad for 'River Boat'.

The second in line of 'Metronome' became even more successful when it was held for the second recently as a free concert at Hapta Kangjeibung Imphal as a tribute to late Konsam Hemchandra, who had a big hand behind the formation and success of 'RiverBoat'.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the latest chapter of 'Metronome' is that it gave a break to many upcoming new bands that genuinely pursue music with creativity. No wonder! New bands like 'Cleave' presented many of their own composition in a rare feat.

Among the bands were 'Krad O' Beats', 'Cleave', 'Recycle' and solo artist like the talented young female artist Fila and the legendry rock icon of Manipur of the 80s, Lien Gangte.

The concert started with a rendition of 'Wish you were here' (Pink Floyd) by members of the band on the evening's bill followed by performances of their own.

As the musical trip of Metronome begins, the enthusiastic crowd keeps pouring in the venue despite the chill weather of winter. Young and old alike were seen enjoying every moment of the evening while the bands keeps on dishing out music that keeps the concert lively with hardly a dull moment.

The spectacular stage setting by 'Shallow Rivers' with enhanced backdrop displaying images that match the songs deserves a mention, apart from the enthralling performances from the bands on the bill, the host of the evening, Nancy, also make the evening lively with her witty hosting, overall everything was quite appreciative though the sound was not that up to the mark.

Veteran artist of the state, Lien Gante presence on the stage was welcoming for all and he manage to thrill the evening with catchy and melodic songs like 'Starstruck' (Rainbow), 'In this Arms' (Bon Jovi), November Rain (GN'R) among others.

Many metal heads had a good time when 'Cleave' took over the stage and shell out their original numbers. Songs like 'Soldiers of silence', Dusk or Dawn' and the haunting 'Instantly Silent', all which are original compositions make their brief presence on the stage worthwhile.

The concert keeps going in a smooth pace with the emerging heavy metal band "Recycle's" cover of some metal numbers. It was when the young talented female vocalist Phila took over the stage, the large crowd went wild. Her rendition of the ever popular 'Kiss Me' (Six Pence None the Richer) was well received by the audience so does 'White Flag' (Dido) in which many of those in audience were heard singing along. She bows out gracefully with 'Break Away' (Kelly Clarkson).

Next to take the stage was the house band 'Krad O' Beats' fronted by Bulu. The band went to cover on some of the evergreen songs 'Over the Mountain' (Ozzy), 'Time' (Pink Floyd), 'Mr. Crowley' (Ozzy) while the band cover of the all time alterna-favorite 'Heavy' (Collective Soul) and the band's version of 'Unwell' (Matchbox Twenty) was noteworthy. Striking guitars works of the house band 'Naresh' stole the show and the house band did manage to captivate their stint on the stage and was quite impressive.

Lien Gante made his appearance again and this time around belted out some good old time metal numbers including 'Don't talk to strangers' , 'Holy Diver' (Dio), 'Deeper the Love', 'Fool for life' (Whitesnake), 'Stormbringer' (Deep Purple) and a beautiful rendition of the ballad 'Bed of Roses' (Bon Jovi). He left the stage as the cheering crowd cried for more. The veteran artist who easily managed to perform varying genres of music was outstanding.

As the gig came to an end, a moving homage to late Konsam Hemchandra was paid collectively by artist on the bill with the theme song 'Wish You Were Here'. The concert did wind up on a positive note and the enthusiastic audience remained till the end.

Until the next 'Metronome', the gig will surely keep the fire rekindle in the hearts of those who believe in the beauty of music.

Related Articles/Photos:

* Borun Thokchom ( a Reporter for NETV ) contributes to regularly. The writer can be reached at borun_thokchom(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was webcasted on 31st January 2009.

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