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THE ALI ZAFAR EXPERIENCE
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed...
Musical Evening: ‘Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi'. Thank you HUM TV for the Invite.
Reviewed by: Afrah Jamal /30th March 2013
‘I came at 8:30pm.....wanted to get the best seats in the house’, said the youngster.
It was now past 9, the choicest seats had been dibbed and the show had yet to begun. Sounds of music filled the open air venue and a sea of expectant faces were focused on the stage every time a worried looking figure with phone in hand came in view.
The price of admission included singers who doubled as hosts, acclaimed stage artists with a trophy (or two) under their belt and soulful echoes from the past. The scene was from HUM TV’s musical show held at a local club in Karachi on a balmy spring night. It featured an array of veterans and fresh idols all set to regale the polite looking crowd with some ‘evergreen’ songs from the romantic collection.
Fariha Pervez, Nabeel Shaukat, Sara Raza, Kamran Saggu, Ameer Ali and Afshan Fawad took the audience down memory lane with their rendition of classics heavily laced with Indian flavors.
Sara Raza (L) with Kamran Saggu (R)
The solos and duets did not need any introduction according to the hostess - at which some youngsters sniffed dubiously but the older generation seemed to agree.
Ameer Ali (R) with Afshan Fawad (L)
'They also needed to be sung in original form sans any improvisation to get the full experience.' And that is how they were presented. A well deserved round of applause for Mr. Mehboob Ashraf – the conductor and his merry band followed and the audience prepared to head back in time.
The nostalgic journey recapped legendary numbers by oldies like Rafi, Kishore, Talat Mahmood, Lata and Asha for starters. Pakistan’s rich musical heritage was represented by just a handful of ditties. The queen of melody, Nur-Jehan would make an appearance but the wave from the 1970’s overwhelmed the arena. But whenever Pakistani masters did manage to bypass the embargo and make it to the beautifully decorated stage, they were hailed by cheers.
Nabeel, also met by happy shrieks and approving nods is the winner of the first Indo - Pak music contest, as well as ‘Azme Alishan National Song Competition’- Season 2 in Pakistan. His historical win hailed as the nation’s victory got the necessary applause. His wish to honor legends stayed true to script.
Nabeel Shaukat Ali
He tried his hand at yodeling, tossed encouraging words at the timid crowd and got them to sing along to the beat of tunes like ‘Ye Jawani Ta Ra Ru Ru’.
Both Nabeel, Ameer and Sara have represented Pakistan on a talent show that pits singers from both sides of the divide against each other. Sara is also the winner of the best OST at the 1st Hum Awards as well as a local singing show ‘Bright Star’ and garnered her share of applause and shrieks. The other singers must be feeling left out when they wondered aloud at the hysteria generated by the award winning duo.
Nabeel Shaukat Ali (L) Sara Raza (R)
Since it was a live recording, the singers appeared concerned with perfection and demanded several re-takes. There were ample missed cues, music left backstage, music sheets flying off the stage, and misplaced cue cards, which will hopefully get edited out. Perhaps this is why rehearsals came into fashion. For many the unscripted moments were just as entertaining as the show. A few, however noted the lack of Pakistani on the musical menu.
The series of trance inducing numbers was occasionally broken by some foot tapping performances. At one point Nabeel had to take five because of instrument failure – some drum sticks met their untimely end during a particularly lively number. Though it was not a request based program, Fariha Pervez promised to perform her trademark song ‘Patang Baaz’ after-wards once the cameras had stopped rolling.
‘Yeh Raat Bheegi Bheegi’ was a collaborative effort by Defence Authority Club & HUM TV that showcased the ‘golden voices’ of yesteryears and put the spotlight on the best of Pakistani talent.
Defence Authority Club