Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Gig at IBA (I am so out of imaginative titles...)

I know I’ve been dragging my ass when it comes to regularly updating the blog but I’ve been under a mountain of work, some day job related and some ADP related. But it was all worth it when last Sunday we performed a surprise gig at the IBA City Campus.
Now if you’ve been following the ADP diaries, you’ll know about our love affair with IBA. We have now performed there three times (at both campuses) and we always love the crowd. This gig was probably our best yet. And the funny thing was we did it with a days notice…
So apparently the IBA City Campus was having some sort of event which got cancelled, and they decided to have a concert instead. Our pals from the band "Above" contacted us and asked us if we’d like to share the bill with them. Now given that the last proper gig we did was back in October ’06 I was both excited and scared shitless. But the boys seemed to be quite enthused with the whole thing, so miraculously we practiced just one day and were ready to perform on Sunday.
It didn’t start well, Omar came in with a fever, and while packing our equipment I forgot my guitar amp! So we gave Omar drugs and then Lodhi and I went barrelling back to get the amp. After Above opened with some great covers, we got on.
Sometimes everything just clicks, we took less than 15 mins to do a sound check, our sound guy was brilliant. When you have good sound and great monitors you just raise your level of playing. And that’s exactly what we did. Here’s our setlist.

Sunshine of your love (Cream cover)
Sheher Ke Aansoo
Pride (In the Name of Love) – ( u2 cover)

Sympathy For the Devil/ Let’s Have a party
This was the first time we played an encore. And one that went on for 15 mins of mayhem. I just didn’t want to stop playing. The fun bit was we were even joined onstage by Shoaib from Above and Khurram from Inertia to do a rock rendition of "Wicked Game".

The biggest thing for me was halfway through the set when people in the audience started shouting for "Sultanat", I was like…"you actually know our songs?".
Now I know we enjoyed the hell out of playing there. But the crowd seemed a little subdued. Granted I couldn’t really see them with the stage lights facing me. I guess because they had been seated on the ground with pillows and shit made them overly relaxed. Anyway they seemed to enjoy it.

Yasir was a big hit with his darbuka madness. He was seen surrounded by several adoring females after the concert. But they left pretty quickly after I shouted "Alright Yasir! Show those Bitches those Ten Inches!". I felt bad. Only slightly.

In the distance I heard what sounded like gunshots. I thought it was a driveby and maybe somebody had confused us with Jay-Z. But it was "Thhha Soda’. Apparently this beverage explodes when you open its cap. And it tastes like 7-up with chaat masala. OK described it as being "most vile".

OK cracks me up, here we have a guy who has a carefully cultivated image of being a hardcore mast-malang-mela complete with unshaven look, everpresent cigarette and few words. Which is why when he says something dainty like "most vile", it cracks me up.

That night we also discovered his fondness for…BEYONCE’S "IRREPLACEABLE". I hate outing OK like this but you guys have to know that this guy is The Prince of Fucking Darkness, he listens to Tool and Black Sabbath and likes to play music that sounds like Satan taking a dump on Bjork’s head. And then he sings "to the left to the left…"

Anyway, I digress. Great gig, great crowd, and great organization, we couldn’t have asked for more. So ADP’s back to perform gigs people, stay tuned for March 9th…something special happening…


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Our First Anniversary

So all you loyal fans out there (all three of you) you will be pleased to know that A.D.P celebrates its one year anniversary this month. I was reminded when I attended this year’s TCF Ilmathon mela which was a blast. It was also the site for our first gig ever. Yep. That’s right, we’ve actually made it a whole year together. Well almost.

I know there are a lot of rumours going around so let me just clear things up. Yes, we are halfway done mixing our songs. (If you were at the TCF Ilmathon, you may have even heard some of our songs as we sneaked them onto the music system :)...)

Inshallah the first song and video should hit the airwaves late March. Some of you may have already heard samples of our music, but we are trying very hard to keep the material as private a s possible till we release.

We are in talks with record companies, so I will post once we have finalized our release dates. But i can tell you that we areall extremely excited andcan't wait to get the stuff out.

We will also be performing a lot in Marhc, for those of you who haven't seen or heard us. We will definitely be doing somethign first week of March, so stay tuned for details.

To commemorate our anniversary, I am going to post a timeline of the bands history.

February 2nd 2006: Omar Akhtar and Omar Khalid (OK) along with buddy Afaan Naqvi perform at Caffeine as part of Open-Mic Night. After the show they are approached by Imran Lodhi, Khawer Amir Khan and Yasir Qureshi. Much homosexuality is suspected.

February 10th : Imran, OK and Khawer get together at Omar’s place for first ever jam. Jam starts badly when Omar blows up Lodhis amp.

February 17th: Imran and Khawer tell the rest that they have a great keyboardist who they introduce as Yasir Qureshi. However the only thing Yasir can do on the keyboard is type "balls" really fast. He discovers Omar’s darbuka and starts to play.

February 20th: Band jams properly for the first time with OK on drums, Yasir on Darbuka, Lodhi on bass/vocals, Khawer and Omar on guitars/vocals. We celebrate by parking our car outside some girls’ house and stalking her.

February 25th: While sitting at Karachi Broast, Khawer suggests some ridiculous name. Omar says, "man that’s just dumb, we might as well call ourselves something stupider, like …I dunno "Aunty Disco Project". Khawer gets THAT look on his face.

February 27th: Khawer goes on mad rampage and creates Orkut community for Aunty Disco Project. Band gets stuck with the name. Khawer forces first 50 people to join at gunpoint.

February 28th: Band gets robbed at gunpoint.

March 10th: Band performs first ever gig at TCF Ilmathon under the name "Eastern Comfort". (see pic). We get asked to sign autographs. Then the autograph seekers leave before the gig starts to go attend to Noori concert next door. We play for a crowd of 5 people, including the sound guy. Highlight of evening: A bunch of Pathans getting up on our stage and singing "Bibi Shireen".

March 23rd: Band gets invited to perform at IBA Battle of the Bands. We are declared winners after threatening the organizers with dildos.

April 20th: Khawer resigns from band after dildo-incident.

April 25th: Khawer releases solo hit single "George Bush is Gay".

May 16th: Band plays as foursome at IBA graduation party. Crowd mostly hates us until we play "Papa Kehtay Hain".

June 20th: Band headlines gig for the first time with a show at Caffeine, playing mostly original songs. Everyone agrees that the sound is bad but the enjoyed watching us jump around for a bit.

June 25th: Omar does guest vocals at a gig along with Immu and Shallum (from Fuzon), Khalid (from Aaroh) and Gumby. Band members call him names such as "Butt-Pirate".

July 15th: While Omar is on vacation, band attempts to get on TV by auditioning for show ‘MTV Battle Of The Bands". They are mocked by celebrity judges Strings. Yasir kicks Faisal Kapadia in the nuts and sings "Duur". Show never makes it to TV.

August 20th: Band decides to go to recording studio to make an album.

September to December: Still making an album

December to Present Day: Nobody believes they are making an album.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Suicidal Thoughts...

Oh and finally, Ashfaq bhai (our producing engineer, studio owner) finally gave us his honest opinion about our work. This is what he said, and I am quoting him verbatim,

"Aap key gaanon mein Concert wali baat mujhe nahin samajh ayee, Uss din menay kisi larkey key liay sound kiya….kya naam tha uss kaa…uss kaa sirf aik gaana hit hae…..oho…haan….OMER INAYAT….uss kee taranh, tum logon ka bhi CONCERT wala sound nahin hae..."

(Rough translation: You guys probably suck live. I did sound for this kid the other day, he has one hit song, whatshisname.…Omer Inayat…yeah, you guys suck just like him…)

I have no comment. ....

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Mixed Messages

Things are getting a bit crazy up in here, up in here.

The mixing process has started, FINALLY after waiting for a bleeding month, we hauled our asses once again to Ashfaqs’ to create our first mix of Sultanat.

Once again Yasir and I had to make the trip because OK’s trying to study and Imran is in India shouting "Tendulkar prances around like a little girl" He was always one to stir shit up.

As usual, on Friday when we got to studio we found it locked and bolted. Our new engineer, who calls himself "Vicki" (I kid you not) had gone out to chill for a bit and decided not to come back. Hence I shall now refer to him as S**kDicki.

After the ritual screaming at Ashfaq, he gave us the next session and after running around trying to get harddisks, we got to the studio and started mixing Sultanat.

For those of you who don’t know, the mixing process is the stage where you set the level of each instrument playing in the song. You set how loud the drums are relative to the bass and guitars, you see if the vocals need more bass and treble, things like that. Its done digitally and it is to create a balanced sound for the whole band. Sounds easier than it is, because its all highly technical, in fact there are people in the recording industry who spend all there time just doing this. And here we were, a bunch of wannabe’s doing it without any prior experience. Although I must mention due credit to Yasir whose technical knowledge regarding audio engineering certainly helped to explain a lot to me. (happy Yasir?...)

The hardest thing is trusting your own judgement because most average listeners can’t tell if your song sounds the way you want it to, Its very slight differences in sound and impact that have to be noted. And after 4 hours of listening to the song over and over again, your ears start playing tricks on you. For e.g. I could have sworn that Ashfaq Bhai was singing "My Heart Will Go On" . Okay, so maybe he wasn’t. But I wasn’t sure.

The other thing is that when you create your first mix, it sounds different on everything. So while "Sultanat" sounded incredible in the studio speakers, it sounded really weak and subdued in the car stereo. Drums were too loud, guitars too soft, vocals too tinny. Bottom line: Major depression. I guess it was naïve to think we would get it right the first time. I was so excited about finally having a listenable mix, but then I didn’t make anyone listen to it except a few close people.

It’s just that sinking feeling you get, when you’ve worked so hard at something and when you finally reveal it, and people don’t scream in ecstasy. I honestly had pictures in mind of making people listen to the first notes of "Sultanat" and see them bounce around with excitement. Guess I’ll have to wait a little longer, work a little harder.

On a lighter note, it appears that we will be sharing the studio with ABRAR. That’s right, the man behind hits such as "Billo Dey Ghar", "Majajni" and "Nach Punjaban" is going to be at the same studio as us! Now I don’t care what people say, but I am a bonafide fan of this guy and I cannot wait to meet him and post my picture with him up on the blog. Bhangra Zindabad.

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