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Looking back at the pioneering bands of Bangladesh

Bangladeshi bands have come a long way since the inception of rock here in the mid to late ’60s. They have transcended generations, musical genres and have firmly made their way into mainstream media. Their incredible popularity among the people of the country can be seen in most music festivals and concerts that are organized here.

Although the younger demographic is the majority to follow such music, there are many acts from older generations that garner a huge fan following to this day.  So we’ll be turning back time, to revisit some of Bangladesh’s earliest and most influential pioneers of band music.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi bands that disappeared after their debut album

Zinga

Zinga was the first documented musical group of Bangladesh or East Pakistan back then. The band was originally formed in 1963 by a group of young students from Chittagong Government College.  Zinga’s music journey started as an Orchestra Band in Bangladesh which later became the first pop group. The group was the first to incorporate western musical instruments such as Drums, Guitar, Grand Piano, etc. to modernize traditional Bangla Tunes by Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam.

Uchharon

The contribution and legacy of Azam Khan and his band Uchharon is quite unparallel in Bangladesh’s history. He and his band are called the Pioneer of Bangladeshi rock music. Their smash hits such as, ‘rail liner oi bostite’, ‘Alal o Dulal’, and ‘Saleka Maleka’ were huge to the point that they are still regularly getting radio play. Azam Khan passed away on June 2011 from oral cancer.

Souls

Souls was formed in Chittagong in 1972. They are considered as the most important band in Bangladeshi rock and roll. They were influenced by the music of The Beatles. In 1980, they released their debut album Super Souls, which was one of the first albums to be released by a music group in Bangladesh. There are still active to this day and is one of the most popular musical groups in the country.

Rock Strata

Rock Strata was one of the most influential bands to introduce and play heavy metal in Bangladesh. Alongside Warfaze, they have laid the foundation for many to today’s Bangladeshi heavy metal bands. Breaking up shortly after their first album, they reunited and also produce and released their second album on 2014. There are also the first to premier their live concert ‘One Last Live’ at Star Cineplex on September 2018.

The Era of LRB, Arc and Nagar Baul

The ’90s saw a huge boom in terms of great bands and great music being produced here in Bangladesh. And the three rock bands: Ayub Bachchu’s LRB, Jame’s Nagar Baul (formerly Feelings) and Hasan’s Arc, were at the centre of it.

These three uber-successful bands firmly established rock bands into the mainstream media with their immense popularity and were called Bangladesh’s ‘Big three of Rock’.

It’s quite difficult to imagine Bangladesh’s music scene without these three bands.

Read more: Trainwreck: The Bangladeshi metal band that rocked Wacken

Honourable Mention: 

Along with the bands mentioned above, the following bands have also played their part in developing Bangladesh’s music scene. They are The Windy Side of Care, Spondon, Feedback, Miles, Different Touch, Aurthohin, Dalchhut, Warfaze, Cryptic Fate, Black, Artcell, Arbovirus and Nemesis.        

Trainwreck: The Bangladeshi metal band that rocked Wacken

What a time to be alive for any fans of heavy metal music in Bangladesh. The country’s very own, Trainwreck, has represented Bangladesh at Wacken Open Air 2019.

They are part of the 29 bands from around the world competing in the “Metal Battle”. Metal Battle is the music festival contest for international newcomers. And judging from their performance, it’s safe to say that they have definitively left their mark on the crowd and back here at home.

The long journey

Trainwreck’s journey all the way to the German music festival was not an easy one. They had to overcome several hurdles on their road to Wacken. They were part of a number of bands to send in their demo which saw them take part and win the first Wacken Metal Battle Bangladesh chapter, up against four other supremely talented local bands.

That paved the way for their slot in the “Bangalore Open Air 2019”. With bands from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, the victor would receive the opportunity to perform in Wacken Open Air. After coming out on top, the band got its ticket to Wacken. They started a crowdfunding campaign to fund their trip to Germany. Some of the country’s most popular musical acts such as Shunno, Arbovirus, Mechanix, Powersurge, Owned, Conclusion and our very Tahsan Khan got in on the action, to raise support for the band.

Read more: Great Bangladeshi bands that disappeared after their debut album

Live At Wacken

Anyone who’s been to their local gigs knows what sort of intensity Trainwreck brings to any show with their brand of groove metal. And to see that same energy on Wacken’s history stage with the flag of Bangladesh strapped to A K Rahul’s a guitar was quite unreal. 

The stage or the crowd of wacken did not seem to faze them and they delivered a killer set. They performed four of their own tracks and finished their set with a bang with their mosh-pit inducing “909”.

Abir Ahmed Shuvo, A K Rahul, Ekram Wasi, Habibullah Farhan, and Asif Mahmood, take a bow, you guys have truly outdone yourself. 

Trainwreck is in contention with 29 other bands from all over the globe as the newest international newcomers and five thousand Euros which will be announced at the end of the festival.

This can only be a blessing for our local music community and industry from all genres here in Bangladesh. Hopefully, it’ll also get us to invest in our music scene which was clearly long overdue.  And as for Trainwreck, the sky’s the limit to them right now.