Badnaam thrills music lovers
KARACHI: It was pure thrill to see and hear schoolchildren from Karachi’s district central chanting ‘Badnaam, Badnaam’ on Wednesday afternoon at the Arts Council’s open-air theatre to cheer the folk rock band Badnaam as the musicians sound-checked before their performance.
The three-piece group is the runner-up of last year’s Pepsi Battle of the Bands (BOTB) contest.
Like the winner of BOTB, Kashmir, who performed on Saturday at the same venue, Badnaam too faced some sound issues, something that organisers of the event should look into. But they did not dither for long and started playing their songs in order to entertain the crowd without delay.
They set the tone with Ustad Hamid Ali Khan’s Punjabi track ‘Mein nu terey jaya sohna’. The energy that the band exuded, especially the vocalist and lead guitarist Ahmed Jilani, proved infectious and the young girls and boys reciprocated it by clapping and swaying to the beat.
Badnaam upped the excitement by following their first track with a piece ‘Shaam-i-Qalandar’ that they had also performed on BOTB. Jilani always sings it with a lot of heart, signifying the band’s spiritual bent in music.
Next up was a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Sochta hun ke woh kitne masoom hain’. It seemed that the audience knew the qawwali. They received it with a generous round of applause.
Then the band played one of their original songs. It has to be said here that Badnaam’s bassist Rahim Shahbaz and drummer Ahsan are often overshadowed by their front man. They are no less capable musicians who were in good nick on Wednesday too. They fed off each other like all quality bassists and drummers do. Their combo in the original track was pretty exceptional. The song had a little different feel from what they had so far played in the gig, having a little bit of grungy sound to the composition.
One of the songs that Badnaam played during BOTB was ‘Aaj kala jora pa’. It was a hit among music lovers and judges of the show. Jilani asked the Arts Council audience whether they knew the Punjabi song and could sing with him. To his pleasant surprise, they did. It was a nice little joint effort by the musicians and their admirers.
The concert was part of the council’s ongoing youth festival.