A night of musical feasting with the Cheapmunks

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LAHORE: To have a venue brimming with crowds is a rare occasion for any performer particularly for someone as young and fresh as the Cheapmunks. The feisty young girls managed to get Lahoris on time for a night of musical feasting. With a diverse range of spectators in the house, the energy was electrifying. A tantalising buzz of optimism and energy filled the air when the young congregated one couldn’t help but be drawn into that force.

An emerging band, The Others opened for the Cheapmunks and captivated audiences with the band’s nine-year-old drummer Ali Sultan. The fact that a little boy had the chance to perform live in front of 500 people is a stunning indicator that the youth is becoming a force in the country’s overall music scene. Viral marketing via Facebook and YouTube have made such leaps possible, particularly for a country like Pakistan where even established musicians with decades of experience are struggling to find sustainable work and viable spaces to perform.

The event was organised by Origami, an entertainment management company run by a team of young event managers. Mehreen Rana of Origami said, “We will always provide entertainment for the youth. We will create our own platforms and make our own events. We are not scared to bring out new stuff and if we don’t get sponsors we will fund it on our own.” True to their claim, Origami has been instrumental in creating avenues for healthy and unique entertainment ventures such as stand up comedy, open mike nights and amateur musical performances. The group also brought Karachi’s Saad Haroon and Sami Shah to a standing ovation in Lahore, and have now brought the Cheapmunks to the city’s stage.

In a quest to do something different, the organising group unearthed a Lahori percussionist band Quadrum to the fore. As the name suggests, the quartet with four drums offered a unique musical experience. With no lyrics and just music created from various drum beats, Quadrum’s performance was intense, sensual and hypnotic. Using djemba, darbouka, doumbeic, dhol, duff, castanets, congos and acoustic drums, the Quadrum had the crowd clapping nonstop with resounding echoe of the drums. By the time the final act arrived with the Cheapmunks, the crowd had reached a climax with their energy and excitement.

The hooting, claps and calls didn’t abate but grew stronger as the girls sang their sensational western and eastern fusion remixes, their phenomenal hits “Hum Dum” with “Say my Name,” “Bbaiya” with “Oh My God”with “Bewafa,” with  “I Love The Way You Lie” renditions. Their ebullient personalities and warmth was infectious as they interacted with the audience.  “The experience was brilliant,” said Suhana Baluch of the Cheapmunks. “We are so overwhelmed and extremely happy. The crowd in Lahore is much more excited and pumped up than that in Karachi. There’s a lot of energy in Lahore. At the end we had everyone standing and swaying to the music,” she added.

Overheard

The Cheapmunks shot to fame with their unique renditions and mixes of desi with western songs. Their debut performance in Lahore was met with a full house, here’s what a few people in the audience felt:

Alizeh

It’s awesome! We should have more shows like this in Lahore.

Mustafa

I’ve attended better ones. Their vocals are not in the right place. They can’t sing heavy songs; their pitch goes all over the place.

Haider

They are not ready yet to have their own show. They should open for other bands

Ehsan

It’s amazing! I love the mixing of songs.

Danial

They’re innovative but they’re very young. They’ve got talent but it’s very raw and needs to be honed.

Quraish

They can’t sing to save their life. But Quadrum was great; now that’s talent.

Written By Hani Taha

Source : The Express Tribune

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