Nazareth have crowd swooning in euphoria
R LESTER MAKANG
UKHRUL, 17th Oct: On a warm Wednesday with a sunny start, a monstrous downpour suddenly battered the length and breadth of Ukhrul Township, leaving the Bakshi Ground saturated, moments before the musical extravaganza ShiRock commenced on the opening night of Shirui Lily festival.
However, the marshy ground of Bakshi Mini Stadium, Dungrei did little to dampen the spirit of tens of thousands of festive attendees and rock aficionados who thronged the venue to witness a dream-come-true experience with legendary rock band Nazareth performing in their own backyard.
The Scottish rock band which established an international audience since early 70s officially opened the ShiRock musical event for this year. Although many were visibly missing the band's original front man Dan McCafferty, the audience was by and large, hopeful of being treated to a host of its evergreen hits attributed to McCafferty, by the new Nazareth line-up which retains only original bassist Pete Agnew. Nazareth did really lived up to the expectations of the crowd, as they managed to intersperse their new tracks with old ones throughout the proceedings.
"Guys, you are so far away, come on closer," vocalist Carl Sentance, who has been leading the band since 2015, repeatedly shouted out to the audience who were some 20 yards away from the performing stage.
Nazareth had the euphoric crowd crooning along with them as Carl Sentance belted out old ballads like 'Razamanaz', 'Dream On', 'Love Leads To Madness', 'Love Hurts', 'Where Are You Now?', 'Star' and others. The band performed around 17 songs including their new tracks 'Change', 'Tattoo on the Brain', etc., during their first ever concert in the north east.
Nazareth, which have Carl Sentance on lead vocals, Pete Agnew on bass, Jimmy Murrison on guitars and Lee Agnew on drums, arrived at Ukhrul on Wednesday and left the same day after their performance which ended around midnight.
The opening night also witnessed performance by Guru Rewben Mashangva, Tribal Euphony 2018 winner Alamle Heraang and ShiRock 2018 winner Reverse Tragedy. Earlier in the evening, a total of 13 finalists including Asherie Haokip (Imphal East), Danison Moirangthem (Imphal East), Dziipani Athiisi (Senapati), Galsuipou Gonmei (Tamenglong), Jellsh Mungleng (Ukhrul), Kaichung PH (Imphal West), M Nongthang (Imphal East), M Premjit Meitei (Thoubal), N Sanjeev (Imphal West), Nelson Irom (Imphal West), Peimmichon Rumthao (Ukhrul), Sam Gangte (Imphal West) and Supriya Laimayum (Imphal West) performed, vying for the coveted title of ShiRock 2019 Solo Voice Hunt.
ShiRock, an annual musical event is organised as a part of Shirui Lily Festival by Manipur State Tourism Department with an aim to conserve the endangered state flower 'Shirui Lily' and also to promote upcoming bands and artistes from the northeast region.