Cactus (Indian band)
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Cactus performing in Kolkata
|Origin||Kolkata, West Bengal, India|
|Labels||Sa Re Ga Ma India Limited |
Sunnyo Media Pvt. Ltd.
|Members||Sidhartha Sankar "Sidhu" Ray [vocals]|
Dibyendu Mukherjee [vocals]
Abhirup Biswas [guitar]
Sudipto "Buti" Banerji [keyboard]Sibaji "Baji" Paul [drums]
|Past members||Sanjay [guitar] |
Kanishka (Pinky) [keyboard]
Joydip Basu [vocals]
Sandip Roy [bass]
Cactus (Bengali: ক্যাকটাস) is an Indian Bengali rock band from Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Since inception they have recorded four full-length studio albums and have performed over 2500 concerts across India & abroad.
In the early nineties, the average Bengali youth was restless with the farcical social – political system, the apprehensions of globalization and a sense of alienation. Every initiation, most certainly, is derived from a need – a need to improve the existing state. We were no exception. Circa 1990, the music scene in Bengal was a complete contrast to the present one. We had to satisfy ourselves by taking pride in the music composed much before we were born. The youth was unable to identify with the contemporary music of the time and we also experienced the same emotions.
Moreover, the average Bengali was not used to the idea of Bangla rock. A very small percentage of the mass would listen to rock music which was essentially in the English language. There was also a severe lack of identification with the local music culture which was only doing English rock music. This led to a sense of dissatisfaction, leaving the youth disoriented and confused.
Some hope had to germinate Or rather, a statement – Bold and emphatic ! By the youth and for the youth. Thus, "CACTUS", an outfit that catered to the thirsty youth, was born. We derived our name from the fact that the music scene was then devoid of life as in a desert. And despite the odds, like a cactus, we survived.
Cactus was formed way back in 1992. Inspired by the likes of Deep Purple, PINK FLOYD, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and many others, we started the journey with the purpose of doing rock n' roll in a language closer to our soil, thereby expanding our vistas and erasing all existing limitations. Cactus went on to become the first ever professional Bangla rock band.
The professional debut of the band saw the light of the day on 6 March 1993 at Aban Mahal (CLT), Kolkata. Along this journey we had to part ways with many of our friends for different reasons – some personal, some not. However, we also made many new friends who have helped evolve the sound of Cactus. We have done over 2000 shows since we started and the journey towards the sun continues. We welcome you to be a part of this magical journey.
Early years and self-titled debut album (1992–1999)
The self-titled debut album, released in 1999 from HMV, became a rage with a touch of blues and psychedelic rock. With numbers like Brishti,oooh Ma! and Icchamati this album portrayed psychedelia in Bengali music for the first time. Halud pakhi, on the other hand created a long lasting sensation in the contemporary Bengali music scene with its nostalgic feel being perfectly accompanied by Shudhu Tumi Ele Na and Amra Bhishon Eka complimenting the overall mood of the album. They tasted some success when their first self-titled album was released in 1999 by HMV.
Line up – Sidhartha Sankar "Sidhu" Ray [vocals], Sibaji "Baji" Paul [drums], Sanjay [guitar], Kanishka (Pinky) Sarkar [keyboard],Shubayan Ganguly [bass], Rajesh Lahiri [vocal]
Films: Nil Nirjane (2001–2002)
In 2002, Cactus composed and performed the score for the Bengali movie Nil Nirjane. The song "Mon" from the soundtrack became extremely popular and is still a crowd favourite. A Hindi version of the song was used as the intro song for Love Story, a TV series in SAB TV.
Line up – Sidhartha Sankar "Sidhu" Ray [vocals], Sibaji "Baji" Paul [drums], Sanjay Bhattacharya [guitar], Kanishka (Pinky) Sarkar [keyboard], Shubayan Ganguly [bass], Abhijit Barman (Pota) [vocal]
Rajar Raja (2002–2004)
The band released its second album titled 'Rajar Raja' in 2004. The band with this album moved ahead and incorporated new sounds. Different genres of music were experimented within the album. Buddho Heshechhen and Lash Kata Ghore being examples of classic rock, flirting with folk rock in Bodhu re while Rajar Raja portrays influences from funk rock. Though this album had new sounds, the nostalgic quotient was very much there with songs like Udaaner Gaan, Krishti, Ude Jete Chay and Kamalar Swami representing blues and the psychedelic facet of the band sound.
Line up – Sidhartha Sankar "Sidhu" Ray [vocals], Sibaji "Baji" Paul [drums], Sanjay Bhattacharya [guitar], Kanishka (Pinky) Sarkar [keyboard],Sandip Roy [bass], Abhijit Barman(Pota)[vocal]
The band released its third album, Tuccho, in 2008. The band with this album moved ahead and has incorporated new sounds. Different genres of music were being experimented with in the album. Traces of hard rock was clearly visible. They were then featured in the Rock Street Journal's February 2009 issue. Tuccho contained the hits "Bhalo Theko" and "Rater Pari".
line up – Sidhartha Sankar "Sidhu" Ray [vocals], Sibaji "Baji" Paul [drums], Allan Ao [guitar], Sudipto Banrejee [keyboard],Sandip Roy [bass], Sayak Bandyapadhay[vocals]
"Blah Blah Blah" (2013)
This is their fourth album. This is a very experimental album for them. Asha Audio produced the album and it was published on 3 October 2013.
line up – Sidhartha Sankar "Sidhu" Ray [vocals], Sibaji "Baji" Paul [drums], Ritaprabha "Ratul" Ray [guitar], Sudipto Banrejee[keyboard],Sandip Roy [bass], Dibyendu Mukherjee [vocal]
Musical style and influences
The self-titled album and the two later albums combine soft rock, blues and psychedelic rock. But their last album Tuchho which was known to be the best selling album produced by them had the traces of hard rock although two songs Bhalo Theko and Shabdhane Raasta Perio were more like soft rock.
|Studio album by Cactus|
|Cactus studio album chronology|
Cactus (1999) (Saregama India Limited)
- "Shudhu Tumi Ele Na" (শুধু তুমি এলে না)
- "Amra Bhishon Eka" (আমরা ভীষণ একা)
- "Halogen" (হ্যালোজেন)
- "Tumio Bojho Amio Bujhi" (তুমিও বোঝো আমিও বুঝি)
- "Icchamoti" (ইছামতী)
- "Brishti Oooh Ma" (বৃষ্টি উঃ মা)
- "Bhoy" (ভয়)
- "Chai Shudhu Tomay" (চাই শুধু তোমায়)
- "Holud Pakhi" (হলুদ পাখি)
Nil Nirjane (2002) (Sunnyo Media Pvt. Ltd)
- "Nil Nirjane" (নীল নির্জনে)
- "Noah" (নোয়া)
- "Telephone" (টেলিফোন)
- "Mon" (মন)
- "Dukho Medley (1st)" (দুঃখ মেডলি)
- "Medley (2nd)" (মেডলি)
- "Nil Nirjane – Music Track" (নীল নির্জনে – সংগীত)
- "Dialogue – Cactus and Raima" (সংলাপ – ক্যাকটাস ও রাইমা)
Rajar Raja (2004) (Asha Audio Company)
- "Buddho Heshechhen" (বুদ্ধ হেসেছেন)
- "Udaaner Gaan" (উড়ানের গান)
- "Bodhu Re" (বধু রে)
- "Ude Jete Chay" (উড়ে যেতে চায়)
- "Lash Kata Ghore" (লাশ কাটা ঘরে)
- "Krishti" (কৃষ্টি)
- "Kamalar Swami" (কমলার স্বামী)
- "Rajar Raja" (রাজার রাজা)
Tuccho (2008) (Asha Audio Company)
- "Bhalo Theko" (ভালো থেকো)
- "Kobi Dao – Kobita Hobo" (কবি দাও)
- "Moshiha" (মসীহা)
- "Phire Chawa" (ফিরে চাওয়া)
- "Pokhiraaj" (পক্ষীরাজ)
- "Raater Pori" (রাতের পরী)
- "Tuccho Ami" (তুচ্ছ আমি)
- "Shabdhane Raasta Perio" (সাবধানে রাস্তা পেরিয়ো)
Blah Blah Blah (Asha Audio Company)
- "Blah Blah Blah"
- "Boro Deri"
- "Status Update"
- "Nil Nirjone"
- "A rocking time was had by all". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. 18 January 2006.
- Cactus on screen, 10 years after Nil Nirjane telegraphindia.com. Published 25 June 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012
- "Band with the best". Calcutta, India: The Telegraph. 2 October 2007.
- "Rajar Raja". blog.onenall.com. 17 December 2008.