Festival Review: Backdoors Mumbai 2018!

The 2nd edition of The Humming Tree’s Backdoors saw artists like Wolf Alice and Anderson .Paak bless the Indian music scene with an amazing show.

Most people who attended Backdoors Mumbai this year were little disappointed that the festival was on a weekday. By the time people got there at about 4:30pm after work/College, Kerala based band When Chai Met Toast was already halfway through their set. The band played their usual folk-rock, Mumford & Sons inspired set which was easy to listen to as always.

Next in programme we had 44 year-old Danny Goffey, of Supergrass fame opening the BIRA91 Main Stage with a band. Songs like Trials of The Modern Man and Spilt Milk gave off major Joy Division vibes while others like Race of Man (which as Danny made it a point to tell his audience; is about the journey of a sperm to a full grown human being) was well appreciated by the slowly, but steadily growing crowd.

We also had George Watsky gracing the stage and who really brought the heat to Backdoors with his contagious energy. He also performed one of his spoken word poems, S for Lisp, mid-set which brought considerable flavour to the performances.

Prateek Kuhad headlined the Amnesty Stage that all of the other Indian artists performed on as well, and swayed the crowd with his warm vocals and instrumentals and set the Valentine’s Day mood for the couples in attendance. It was midway through Prateek’s performance that the crowd started pouring in, ready for
what was about to come next.

Wolf Alice, who- along with Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals- had just wrapped up their tour of Australia with Laneway Festival. They did an excellent job with their stage-presence and played crowd-favourites Blush and Don’t Delete the Kisses to perfection. Their music ranged from dreamy to progressive metal at times, but we were hooked throughout. Lead vocalist, Ellie Rosswell sent shivers down our spines with her voice and her don’t-care attitude on stage. For their last song of the evening, Giant Peach, when she stepped off the stage and onto the speakers just in front of the stage, guitar in hand, with a devilish grin on her face, the audience began to gravitate closer and closer to centre stage, almost as if hypnotised. All in all, a solid first performance in India for the
North London based band.

Last but not the least, Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals took the main stage. Opening with what is by-far Anderson’s most popular track, Come Down, the group had the entire venue (which at this point, had reached full capacity) grooving. Seeing Anderson on stage was an experience and a half and many people absolutely lost themselves in the music, dancing till their legs ached with their wicked groove and funk. They absolutely sent the crowd wild. Watching Anderson .Paak man the drums and manage to keep time with his own singing was inspiring. It wasn’t just the music, it was the aura that the artists carried. Anderson himself could not stop smiling and seemed to be enjoying the entire set with a tireless energy. Not even halfway through his set, he made it a point to assure his fans that he would most definitely come back to Mumbai , after seeing such a phenomenal
response.

With the Indian gig scene reaching new heights this year, the timing was perfect for an International rapper in his prime like Anderson .Paak to come down, and it’s safe to say we were far from disappointed. There is a market for Rap and Hip Hop in India and we’re glad that Backdoors took notice.

Picture Credit: Akhil Gusain

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