India and Pakistan will celebrate their independence rock 'n' roll-style at the Freedom Rocks concert in Dubai tomorrow. We have a rundown of the talent on stage.
The anniversary of the end of the British Raj 65 years ago may have elicited grand celebrations in both India and Pakistan, but tomorrow night the independence of both countries will be heralded in a blaze of heavy riffs during the Freedom Rocks concert at Ratsky 3 club at the Holiday Inn in Bur Dubai. The event boasts a line-up of three Dubai-based bands from both countries that highlights the ability of music to transcend borders.
The Indian five-piece Core 304 are one of Dubai's hardest-working bands. If they are not fronting the stage at one of the city's live music venues, they are called to support visiting international acts. The past year has seen them with India's influential hard rockers Indus Creed and Motherjane.
That's the way the boys like it, says Core 304's drummer, Anurag Tripathi. "We love to play live and we get to explore our influences best when we're up on stage."
As well as a large number of covers from groups including Led Zeppelin and Steppenwolf, the group will also be playing a few originals from the debut album they are currently recording.
"Any band worth their salt wants to release their own album," says Tripathi. "For us, it's just a matter of finding the time to pull it all together. So far, we have four tracks laid down - we are halfway there."
The other two bands are the Pakistani collective On Probation and the Indian rockers Flames Reignited. The latter will add a metallic edge to the night with their Metallica and Iron Maiden covers.
It's not just about singing other people's songs. The bands intend to use the covers only as platforms for their respective country's musical sensibilities. "We won't be using Indian instruments but you will hear the Indian influences in some of the songs," says Tripathi. But he does promise the band will add "one rock-style Indian patriotic number" to their set.
Spirit of community
The three bands are a part of Dubai's growing Indian and Pakistani rock community and have played together before. "There is a very strong rock scene here," Tripathi says. "It's been kind of underground but it's coming out now, especially with events like this."
Tripathi says political rivalry doesn't matter when you share the same musical tastes: "Music is universal. It all goes back to what you've grown up listening to. Once you have that common bond, it just comes out in the music."
Freedom Rocks, featuring Core 304, On Probation and Flames Reignited, will be held at Ratsky 3, Holiday Inn, Bur Dubai. After 9pm, entry is Dh50. For details, visit www.mainstagegigs.com