While the band is still figuring out how to replace Lodhi, I accepted an offer from my good friend Ali Alam (Of Ganda Banda and the 3-D Cats fame) to perform an acoustic show at The Second Floor.
It's been ages since I performed solo, it's always a touchy subject because naturally whenever theres an offer for a show, the other band guys want to be in on the action. In the band, if you play solo or with anyone else, it's kinda like cheating on girlfriend. (Although playing solo should technically be...masturbation)
Anyway, an incredible crowd turned up in the tiny Cafe, lots of familiar faces, plenty of new ones. Jehanzeb Sherwani opened the show. Now J has got to be one of the most innovative singer/guitarists around. He performed an incredible range of covers from Simon and Garfunkel to KT Tunstall but get this. he performed with a guitar, a laptop and a digital effects/looping device that enabled him to basically record verses while playing, play them back and sing with himself, creating a one man band. Marvellous stuff, really was a treat to watch.
I opted to follow him, since it was Ali's show. I am always more nervous performing in front a small intimate audience. On stage its all CRASH BOOM BANG RAA RAA RAA ROCK AND ROLL SEE ME THRUST MY PELVIS but here it was all acoustic, warm and subtle. When I get nervous, I make jokes, so on this occasion I was talking so much,
I started the set with a too-fast version of "In Your Eyes" and was much more comfortable doing my originals "Likhta Nahin Mein" and "Nazar". (Here's a video a fan made of me singing "Nazar" thanks Aamir!)
The best moment was when I ended my set with "Hallelujah" and everyone in the room was quietly singin the chorus along with me. it was a spiritual moment, all these people singing in tune and harmony, it gave me goose pimples.
Ali Alam performed next. Every time I see Ali perform, I'm always envious because I really do want to steal hi songs. He writes the kind of stuff I wish i could, simple but effective, really catchy and lyrically sound. Plus he put in a great performance, complete with guitar and harmonica.
This show was one of those close-to-the-heart type things where you interact directly with people who come to see you perform and it was an energetic and affectionate crowd as well. It put me at ease, even though my bands future is uncertain, at least I can still perform for people who love music as much as I do.