Mekaal Hasan band rocks with Sufi music
By Jonaid Iqbal
ISLAMABAD: Roars of approval rang in the air at the auditorium of Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA), as Mekaal Hasan band gave a breathtaking performance of Sufi music on Tuesday night.
The band’s performance amply showed why the finest contemporary Pakistani music outfit rules the hearts of the youth. Though Mekaal sang folk songs, he also demonstrated how the classical musical tradition blends with jazz. For nearly two hours Sufi lyrics brought best out of him, enthralling the audience.
He had six musicians in the orchestra — Datu on the taabla and Pappu on flute, along with Hannya, Alam, Amir Azhar. Mekaal played the guitar.
Asad Abbas did most of the singing in a deep voice but remained in rhythm all along. For the audience most of the Bulleh Shah verses were interpreted, alternating with the folk lyric Chal Bulleya from Bhagat Kabir that was accentuated with songs of Andholan, with pleasing verses, there is no peace without you/I am in agony over memories from you. Andholan is a new album that Mekaal is contemplating to bring out next year.
All kafis of Bulleh Shah, particularly main vi jana jhok ranjhan and ranjha ranjha kardi mein aap ranjha hoi, that he interpreted signified a new outlook for his fans, who think of him as the best Pakistani rock musician.
This speaks volumes about the band’s enormous creativity and talent that was in keeping with his promise to the audience about the night of rendering only Sufi songs in fusion with western music.
Talking with Dawn, Mekaal said he had come to give an acoustic presentation without experimentation at the invitation of Tauqir Nasir, the PNCA director general.
The director general made a short speech, expressing satisfaction at the way the youth responded to and understood the depth in the works of Sufis. He was hopeful that the youth would carry forward this precious heritage to coming generations.