Music

For the love of music

The songs they’re singing SP Balasubramaniam and Roshini perform together; (right) Sharanya Srinivas sings

The songs they’re singing SP Balasubramaniam and Roshini perform together; (right) Sharanya Srinivas sings  

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Sigaram, a concert by SP Balasubrahmanyam, was a treat for a Tamil film buff

The rush of vehicles trying to find a parking spot near the concert area was a reminder of the love and respect that SP Balasubrahmanyam commands. The open ground near CODISSIA had been converted into an open-air concert venue and, as I found my seat on a side row, I watched the excited faces of people as they sat down and prepared to be entertained.

On the stage, lit by colourful focus lights, Udhaya Ragam, UK Murali’s orchestra, was testing the instruments and getting ready to rock the night away. Once the anchor Mohana had greeted the audience, the show began with a devotional song and some numbers by the other singers. The audience was restless and I could hear whispers of ‘marana waiting’ from some youngsters, as they waited for SPB to take the stage.

When the legendary singer entered quietly without any fanfare, claps, whistles and cheers thundered over the open ground. He made a short speech wishing everyone for New Year and Pongal and requested audience members to do away with caste, racial and gender discrimination.

The first number he sang along with Sharanya Srinivas was ‘Andhi mazhai’ from Raja Parvai. In between the various numbers, he spoke about working with people like MS Vishwanathan, Ilaiyaraaja, AR Rahman and others and lauded their contributions to the film industry.

He also spoke of his happiness when KJ Yesudas sang ‘Agaram ippo sigaram achu’ for Sigaram, for which he scored the music. Vairamuthu’s poetic lyrics and Yesudas’s singing made the film’s music a great success, he added, as Subish rendered the number beautifully. On the LED screens that dotted the place, I could see the enthusiastic reactions of the audience.

The songs selected for the show ranged from the 1970s to the 2000s, whether it was ‘Namthana namthana thalam’ from Puthiya Varpugal (along with Sumega), Sippi irukkuthu muthum irukkuthu from Varumayin Niram Sivappu and Valai osai from Sathya (with Sharanya) and Anjali Anjali from Duet and Azhagooril Poothavale (Thirumalai) with Roshini.

SPB’s solos — the rambunctious Megam Kottatum (Enakkul Oruvan) and the haunting Vaanuyarntha solaiyile (Idhaya Kovil) — brought the house down. He also sang the famous Dalapathi number Kaatukuyilu Manaskulle with Subish to much applause.

Sumega and Sharanya also had solos is Bombay’s Kannalane and Johnny’s Kaatril Enthan Geetham respectively. Ravindra Prasad’s table playing kept the energy level high through the concert. When the end came with Sakkalakala Vallavan’s ‘Ilamai Itho Itho’, everyone was on their feet dancing.

While the organisation was impeccable with the police regulating traffic and ensuring that there were no parking issues, what disturbed me was people’s irresponsibility in littering the grounds. When the concert was over, the ground was covered with plastic water bottle, aluminium food containers and all sorts of rubbish. Everyone went home relaxed after listening to some fabulous music. Nobody spared a thought for those who would be left to clean the mess.

What a pity that such a fabulous evening had to end this way!

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 2:13:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/sigaram-a-concert-by-sp-balasubrahmanyam-was-a-treat-for-a-tamil-film-buff/article25879428.ece

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