“For years now, we have heard people hope and pray that Cradle of Filth will come down to India,” says Salama Yamini, head, new business, Spotlight Events & Entertainment. So the Bangalore-based event management company decided to bring the band to India and is organizing a show on Saturday at the city’s Palace Grounds.
“India is still an amateur audience for metal, but they are a hungry crowd,” she explains when asked if the sudden inflow of metal bands into the country surprises her.
Six major metal bands—Lamb of God, Dark Tranquility, Opeth, Katatonia, Orphaned Land and Meshuggah—have visited the country over the last two years, making India the new and hot venue for international metal bands. Cradle of Filth, an English extreme metal band formed in Suffolk in 1991, are visiting the country for the first time and will play to crowds they have never had a chance to gauge. “We have never been invited before,” says Paul Allender, lead guitarist of the band, adding that though they have been sent several samples of work by Indian bands via their Facebook account, they have never had the chance to explore the depth of Indian metal. With their new album Midnight in the Labyrinth scheduled to release later this year, they hope to gain a new and fresh audience with this tour.
The performance, however, will not include numbers from the upcoming, largely orchestral album. “India is a new territory and they are increasing their audience by huge numbers just going by the size of the number of young people in the country,” says Sahil Makhija of local group Demonic Resurrection, who goes by the stage name Demonstealer.
In 2007, Bangalore-based events company DNA Networks took a chance with old-school heavy metal giants Iron Maiden in a concert called Eddfest that had Bangalore’s Palace Grounds packed to capacity. Said to have attracted fans from across the subcontinent, it was a ticket stub that every self-respecting metal fan had to possess. The Iron Maiden concert was indicative of an audience for metal. “Now, younger metal bands are coming in. The notion that heavy metal is not popular has changed,” says Makhija.
An added advantage is that metal bands are relatively inexpensive and draw in large numbers. “At the end of the day, most event management companies are corporates that are looking to make money,” Makhija says. Big names, such as Mark Knopfler or Shakira, are expensive and it would take more than one packed concert to justify the costs. Metal bands with a big and very young following willing to pay Rs 500-1,000 for tickets justify costs better. Yamini agrees. “If I were to bring in Shakira or Akon, I would never be able to finish with one show,” she says, mentioning that the Bangalore show has received a great response.
Tickets for the show are priced at Rs 1,000 and can be bought at the venue. Tickets can also be booked online at Bookmyshow.com