Camera totting autograph hunters were still stalking Zeb and Haniya an hour after the curtain came down on their performance at the Chowdiah Memorial Hall here on Sunday evening. Not sure if they would get tickets, people started queuing up at the venue much before the show, featuring the Pakistani musicians, started.
At last count there were nearly a thousand people at the venue to watch the sisters whose band is called Lahori Blues.
The 2012 edition of Friday Review November Fest, which came to a close on Sunday, couldn’t have asked for a better final act.
Drawing from their wide influences, which ranges from Sufi ballads to West African grooves, Zeb Bangash and Haniya Aslam had the audience in a trance with songs such as Dil Mein Kahi Mujhe Chupao which was their tribute to O.P. Nayyar. Other songs included a rendition of Pakistani poet Zehra Nigah’s Dadra and a lilting blues melody Ethbar. The angsty song Maine Rona Chchod Diya also got rave responses.
One got a sense of the Lahori Blues’ popularity on the internet as the crowd instantly recognised their songs in Turkish, Dari and Pashto. In fact, the show was as much about the crowd than it was about Zeb, Haniya and their accompanying troupe.
At one point, an overwhelmed Zeb complemented South Indian audiences for their fantastic sense of rhythm. When audiences here clap along, they never miss a beat or go off, she remarked.
The accompanying musicians contributed significantly to the music; particularly Muhammad Akmal on the flute, Kamran Paul on the drums and Zeeshan Mansoor on the lead guitar.