After cancelled fights, delayed connections, and a postponed concert in Chennai, the Lahori Blues reached Coimbatore for a much-awaited performance. Their concerts forThe Hindu Friday Review Music Fest are their first performances in India. And they premiered many of their songs right here.
Asked if they had a special repertoire for India, Haniya said they were singing “what they would sing back home”. The artists said they did not have any particular genre, though Haniya loved the Blues, and hence the name.
“Nights” is a song they have been working on for a year and they sang it for the first time for the Coimbatore audience.
It is to be a part of their forthcoming album. They said the audience reaction to the song would decide whether they would put it in their album.
They started straight away with the song “Chup”, the first song they ever wrote together, followed by a song inspired by Bollywood music director O.P. Nayyar.
A beautiful introduction on the flute launched them into “Kahaan”, written for absent friends.
Afghan Pop songs have been a great influence in their music and “Laili Jaan”, a love song they grew up with, was the next offering.
Then came songs based on the words of famous poets, Turkish folk songs, celebratory melodies, emancipation anthems, a paean to Haniya's home, Islamabad, which she said was her inspiration to become a song writer.
“Kal to suraj nikelegaa, kal to roshni aayegi” was haunting, while “Bibi Sanam Jaanem” had the audience tapping their feet. “Paimona dede”, based on a composition by the Royal Composer Zahir Shah Khan was soulful, melodious and full of yearning.
The love song, said Zeb, is well received everywhere they sing it. Anjan Srihari, a fan of Lahori Blues, summed up the evening nicely.
“The peppy songs, the soulful lyrics and Zeb and Haniya's infectious smiles had me hook, line and sinker. It was a beautiful evening of swar, taal, pop and rock, what more could a fan ask for?”
Keywords: Coimbatore November Fest