January 24, 2013

The Fentones - Simla Beat Theme (1971)

In 1970, India’s oldest cigarette company, Simla, decided to host a battle of the bands competition to gain the favor of young people in the country. The contest, which ran annually through 1972, awarded the winner of the contest with a recording session overseen by India’s veteran record producer V. P. Vendraswamiran (VPV, for short), who’s studio was an ex-British Navy minesweeper ship that had been moored in Bombay.

Many of the participants in the competition used flour to give themselves a more Western appearance, as all of them had chosen to sing in English. Many of the bands sang pop songs from the West or traditional Indian songs reinvented with electric guitars and power chords.

This band was one of the participants in the competition that took place in 1971. Their song heard below sounds like a surf song from the early ‘60s, but was apparently recorded in 1971. It was included on a compilation album put out by the cigarette company each year after the conclusion of the show.

album art

The Fentones - Simla Beat Theme (1971)

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