Rock music of West Bengal

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A Lady Playing the Tanpura, ca. 1735 (Rajasthan)
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Rock music of West Bengal was originated in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. The first known Bengali rock band was Moheener Ghoraguli and also India's first rock band.[1][2][3] In modern times, in this type of music distorted electric guitars, bass guitar, and drums are used, and sometimes accompanied with pianos and keyboards and in early times the instruments used in the modern times were also accompanied by saxophone, flute, violin and bass violin.


Origin (1960s-1970s)[edit]

Bengali rock in Kolkata originated when the first band Moheener Ghoraguli was formed and played out in many concerts. The band was inspired by Bob Dylan and many other western artists. Their music was a mixture of a wide variety of influences, including the Baul and folk traditions of Bengali and rock.

Emergence (1990s)[edit]

Most of the Bengali rock bands in Kolkata were formed after the 1990s. The bands in this era started using many types of effects like distortion, wah wah, flanger, phaser, and delay in their music. Krosswindz, a Bengali rock band based in Kolkata, India was formed in 1990, and have played all over India and abroad, helping to urbanize and popularize the rock music of Bengal.Till now, Krosswindz have recorded ten albums, the highest number of ever recorded by a Kolkatan rock band. The legendary Bengali rock band Abhilasha was formed during this period. Their first album, a mixture of delightful rock and melody was released by the original band members in 1997. Many bands like Bhoomi, Cactus, Parash Pathar, Chandrabindoo, Hip Pocket, Fossils, and Lakkhichhara were formed later in this era. Fossils and Cactus have also brought Bengali metal into this era. Both Fossils and Cactus are regarded as the best Bengali hard rock bands, they have toured all over India and abroad. All their albums and singles have been successful. In 1994, the opening up of Someplace Else (a pub which also hosts live music) changed the rock scene in Kolkata. Now it hosts live music every single night for approximately nine hours.

New Millennium (2000s)[edit]

Many bands formed in the 2000s were influenced by guitar-heavy music. As metal became popular in the 2000s, many bands like Insomnia, Underground Authority started playing heavy metal and Alternative music. Chronic Xorn was the first band from Kolkata to record a heavy metal album. Death Destruction Sermon is their latest album which was released in 2010, it consists of six tracks and the full-length version of the album is 25 minutes 45 seconds.[4] As computer technology became more accessible and music software advanced in the 2000s, it became possible to create high quality music using little more than a single laptop computer. This resulted in a massive increase in the amount of home-produced electronic music available to the general public via the expanding internet. Many underground metal bands like Nitric Dreams and Crystal and the Witches from Kolkata also started recording and releasing singles on their blogs.To encourage the Bengali rock scene a magazine named Bangla Rock Magazine was started on July 3, 2013, covering exclusively Bengali rock. 2014 marked the emergence of new bands like Road Roller,Alo,Mysterious M,etc.

Popular bands[edit]

Popular bands from Kolkata:

Year formed Band name Genre Language
1970 Moheener Ghoraguli Bengali rock Bengali
1990 Krosswindz Bengali rock, fusion Bengali, English
1990 Abhilasha Bengali rock band Bengali
1991 Chandrabindoo Bengali rock Bengali
1992 Cactus Bengali rock, hard rock Bengali
1998 Fossils Bengali rock, hard rock, metal Bengali, English
1999 Bhoomi Bengali rock Bengali
1999 Lakkhichhara Bengali rock Bengali
2000 Eeshaan New Age Bengali rock, Bengali Rap rock, Hip Hop, Dance rock Bengali
2002 Insomnia Bengali rock, alternative, English, Bengali
2002 Maadal All women Bengali folk band Bengali
2001 Prithibi Bengali rock Bengali
2005 Agnish Bengali Rock, Hard rock, Rock n Roll Bengali
2006 Pinknoise Experimental rock, alternative rock English
2006 Pseudonym Alternative rock, hard rock English
2006 Prachir Alternative Metal, Hard Rock Bengali
2007 Five Little Indians Alternative rock English
2007 Chronic Xorn Metal, metalcore English
2007 The Svitch Classic Rock, Rock n Roll, Blues, Pop Rock, Country English [5]
2008 Calcutta Blues Bengali Rock Bengali
2010 Underground Authority Alternative rock, rap rock, hard rock Hindi, English, Bengali
2010 Psyclone Experimental Bengali
2012 Prohor Bengali Rock Bengali
2013 Lotus Eater Alternative rock, rap rock, hard rock Hindi, English, Bengali
2013 Mysterious M Alternative rock, Progressive rock, Hard rock Bengali
2014 Corridors Bengali Funk Bengali
2014 Alo Alternative rock, Progressive rock, Post Folk Grunge Hindi, English, Bengali
2014 Jatiswar Alternative rock,Bengali Rock Hindi,Bengali
2014 Marichika Metal,Alternative rock,Bengali Rock Bengali,English,Hindi
2013 Cryptic Road Alternative Rock, Pop Rock Hindi,English,Bengali
2015 Folk Mantra Folk Rock Bengali,English,Assamese etc.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  1. "Kolkata rockers turn to jazz tunes". Hindustan Times. December 8, 2010. 
  2. "Bangla band music getting global recognition". Hindustan Times. July 21, 2006. 
  3. "Bengali music bands rock in India and abroad". The Times of India. Dec 20, 2010. 
  4. "Let’s rock ’n roll". The Times of India. Aug 19, 2001. 
  5. "Rock along, Kolkata". The Times of India. Jun 19, 2008. 
  6. "Rockilution reaches Kolkata". The Times of India. Sep 30, 2007. 
  7. "Five musketeers in Kolkata". The Times of India. Jul 27, 2010. 
  8. "We will... we will 'rock' Kolkata!". The Times of India. Jan 19, 2010. 
  9. "Rock-er-thek entertain Kolkata". The Times of India. Jan 10, 2011. 
  10. "Rock mela". The Telegraph. March 9, 2008. 
  11. "TAKE FIVE". The Telegraph. July 17, 2010. 
  12. "Ready to rock". The Telegraph. May 20, 2008. 
  13. "Rock on hold". The Telegraph. August 19, 2007. 
  14. "CAMPUS ROCK". The Telegraph. January 29, 2011. 
  15. "Kolkata Autumn Music Festival 2010". The Telegraph. September 23, 2010. 
  16. "Banks back on Broadway". The Telegraph. August 11, 2010.