Band members of Nazareth in Imphal. Image credit - Facebook

Fifty-one-year-old hard rock band Nazareth arrived in Imphal on Tuesday to perform at ShiRock 2019 on Wednesday.

ShiRock 2019, a 4-day-long annual rock music competition-cum-festival will be held as part of the state government-sponsored Shirui Lily Festival 2019 to be held at multiple venues in Ukhrul district of Manipur from October 16.

Soon after their arrival at the Imphal international airport on Tuesday afternoon, the Scottish hard rock band, headed by its last founding member Pete Agrew, addressed a press conference at a hotel in Imphal.

Also read: Nazareth all set for some Extreme performances at Shirui Lily Festival

The band members of Nazareth said they will be happy to perform here.

Pete said with the support and cooperation from their fans, and unique way of performance by current vocalist (Carl Sentence), the band continues to do well.

He informed that the band faces a new challenge as it had to introduce a new lead singer in the band.

In absence of the band’s founding front man and best known lead singer Dan McCafferty, the old time bassist said, Dan was his best friend as they grew up together and did schooling together.

He said he has missed Dan.

Dan McCafferty performed for Nazareth for about 45 years since its establishment in 1968.

Nazareth will make their way to Ukhrul hill town for their 90-minute non-stop performance at Bakshi ground, 80 km north of Imphal, according to sources at the tourism department, the main organizer.

Nazareth has gained international fame due to their cover of country duo Boudleaux Bryant’s ‘Love Hurts’ featured on their 6th studio album ‘Hair of the Dog’.

The band earlier performed in Mizoram in April 2017, reports said.

Recognizing the importance of state flower, the Shirui Festival has been upgraded to a state level fest sponsored by government in May 2017.

The festival aims to spread awareness about conservation of the rare pinkish white flower which resembles the shape of a bell and also “to develop and implement sustainable and responsible tourism in the State” besides promoting Ukhrul as a tourist destination in the Northeast.

The major attraction of this festival is ShiRock competition wherein nearly two dozen bands from five northeastern states will compete for the coveted title ‘Shirock 2019’.

The first prize winner of the ShiRock band competition will receive Rs 10 lakh, the second prize winner will get Rs 5 lakh and the third prize winner will be awarded Rs 2.5 lakh.

Besides, ShiRock will also invite solo singers for their voice competition with the top prize being Rs 2 lakh.

Sobhapati Samom is Northeast Now Correspondent in Imphal. He can be reached at:

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