By Havi Zayed
The “Battle of the Bands” days
Everyone waited tensely as most of the lights flickered off on the stage casting an eerie glow to the set. Silence, as the crowd waited nervously for any sign of movement on the stage. A girl with pierced lips, dark lipstick and dressed completely in black stared at the stage not willing to remove her eyes from it in case she would miss something in the blink of an eye. A teenager about 17 years old with spiked hair donning a black leather jacket barely suitable for Karachi’s heat and sporting a red armband extending from his forearms to his biceps waited along the side of the stage for any movement.
As time lingered on there was movement in the darkness which ending the long wait. Suddenly the crowd roared with approval as the band members of EP slowly took their positions. The quietness gave way to shouts, roars, screams, hoots and whistles. Then abruptly the guitars picked up. The people recognized the song at once and cheered even louder and the noise level reached its pitch. As the dazzled audience watched, EP started rocking Karachi with Kahan Hai Tu. The crowd sprung into motion and teenagers banged their heads in unison, sung along and many people danced at the front of the stage.
Those were the good old days when we used to see EP performing at the battle of the bands. EP did reach the final with Aaroh but did not win the battle of the bands. Nonetheless they gained an audience of over 4000 hardcore loyalists and thousands of admirers for their music across Pakistan and abroad. Several Pakistanis still believe that never in the history of their country has such a great rock band existed or made such an impact on Rock Music.
When questioned the younger audience of Rock Lovers without any thought vote EP as the best rock band in Pakistan. For them even Junoon never had so much influence on Rock Music as did EP. For them Junoon signalled a musical revolution for the previous generation. For this generation the revolution is Entity Paradigm.
Perhaps this was exactly the reason these same people were so hurt when EP claimed it had disbanded in 2007 after a long period of inactivity. It felt as if all Rock Music itself in Pakistan had been dealt a severe blow. With the end of the Linkin Park of Pakistan the same individuals who were known to be their diehard fans were forced to go to rock concerts of other bands and to gigs by underground bands but wherever they went in Pakistan they could never find any band or artist that had the same feel or produced the same rock mixed with rap vibes and ever came close to Entity Paradigm.
Today 6 years have passed since the battle of the bands and the launch of EP’s first album Irtiqa, an album revered by all Rock Lovers in Pakistan. Over 2 painstaking years have passed since EP’s announced its break up.
After all these years of searching for a band that could take EP’s place the hopes and aspirations of fans have been revived again. EP had announced its official comeback early in March 2009 with a concert in LUMS though it is still not widely known by the general population that the band has returned.
EP also rocked Karachi at Ramada Hotel on 1st May where they introduced their new song shor macha. If that isn’t something for EP lovers to bite on for the time being the band is also claiming that their latest album TBA is set to hit the market in December 2009.
Currently EP has a different line up than it did before it announced its break up. Since Sajjad Khan and Xulfi have left EP the band now consists of Fawad Afzal Khan on vocals, Ahmed Ali Butt on supporting vocals and keyboards, Salman Albert on lead guitars, Waqar Khan on drums and Hassan Khalid on Rhythm Guitars.
Unquestionably when after such a long time a band that is so deeply admired by a segment of the population returns it definitely creates a bang amongst its enthusiasts and EP addicts are preparing to get rocked. Since EP has returned after such a long time new expectations have arisen and we hope that EP will not let its followers down. Not at least this time.
Article by Havi Zayed. A journalist, student and the owner of a Production/Design Studio known as Revolutionary Productions.
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