Now listen to The Fentones from Shillong

The Fentones at Pinewood Hotel, Shillong
The Fentones at Pinewood Hotel, Shillong

The Fentones were a band from Shillong that won Simla Beat in 1971. They had two songs on LP produced by Simla Cigarette company released that year, Until the Dawn & Simla Beat Theme. Band was founded by Sherlock Giri & Lou Majaw (who left soon) in 1967 and continued with various permutations till 1997. The combination which won the beat contest was :

Sherlock Giri – Lead guitar 

Sherlock Giri
Sherlock Giri

Roland Lyngdoh -Vocals

Bing- Bass

Roland & Bing
Roland & Bing

Radbah-Rhythm

Brightstar-Drums

 

 

Evening shadows fill the night
Glowing starlight shining bright
I will be here till morning light comes round again
Nothing can harm you if you trust in me, my friend
Rest your head on my pillow
Until the dawn, until the dawn

Soon the night will pass away
Soon we’ll see the light of day
I promised you I’d never leave you alone
So close your eyes and hold me, never let me go
Rest your head on my pillow
Until the dawn, until the dawn
Rest your head on my pillow
Until the dawn, until the dawn

The Fentones
The Fentones

 

All-India Simla Beat Contest was organized in the late-1960s by the India Tobacco Company. In an attempt to reach the youth market, the India Tobacco company billed itself as “the oldest cigarette company with a young heart” and tried to attach its brand name to rock music. The contest was first held in 1968 and became an annual event thereafter. As the contest grew, a subsidiary of EMI released the LP Simla Beat 70, which collected the winning tracks from the 1970 contest, and followed the next year with Simla Beat 71. A label named Ten Little Indians reissued Simla Beat 70/71 as a double-LP in 1997, and Normal Records released this as a double-CD in 1999. Simla Beat Contest LP compilations have curiously become a worldwide collector’s item and The Fentones Simla Beat Theme has even been sampled by contemporary artists. And there are some pretty damning reviews of the compilation too. One calling it “…A genuinely strange rare psych compilation…the Indian groups collected here used transcendental silliness to mess with people’s heads…”

Check out a Facebook fanpage for The Fentones

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