Monday, August 31, 2009

The Great ADP Independence Day Weekend: Part 1

So the Independence Day Weekend 14th-16th August was a dream weekend for ADP. We had two incredible concerts, one at the Indus Valley School for Art and Architecture (yes, I have to say the whole thing, it makes it sound grand) and one at Rangoonwala Hall.

We used to have a college love affair with IBA back in the day when we started, now it's with Indus Valley. They always have such a great, festive atmosphere at their events and we jumped at the opportunity to play at the their annual Independence Day Mela.

Now it's always tricky playing Independence Day Gigs because there is this pressure to perform patriotic songs, i.e. Dil Dil Pakistan, Jazba Junoon or sing the Roz Roz Good Milk jingle because the crowd demands it. We took a conscious decision not to play any national songs because a) we sucked when we tried to play them b) Omar Khalid refuses to play a bhangra beat c) we thought it might look like we're trying too hard to pander to the audience. Now don't get me wrong, I am an expert panderer to the audience as long as I get love. (Listen carefully children, this is what an attention-whore sounds like). But at the same time, the whole 'qaumi'-songs-on-14th-August has been done to death and the whole idea of forced patriotism is just cheesy to me.

I shall now save you haters the hassle of leaving stupid predictable comments accusing me of being unpatriotic by doing it myself.
This is the problem with burger bachas like you, you hate Pakistan and all things desi and you love America that's why you don't sing qaumi songs on 14th August.
You're just trying to be too cool by not playing patriotic songs
Our culture...blaah blaah...national identity..bllaah blaah...Begum Noor Jehan....bllah inspiration.Jeevay Jeevay Pakistan....blah blah... i'm proud to be desi...blaah generation...I hate you.

Anyway, so the Mela itself was great, we had a couple of local college opening acts that went on before us, the most memorable of which was a duo that played an angry, punk rock, completely out of tune version of The Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way"

I got my face painted in the spirit of things, and the boys and I all chose to wear some form of green. (Notable exceptions were Rahayl who wore black, because he hates happiness and Omar Khalid who wore red because he supports communism. But also because it was a present from his wife.)

As we were sound checking, a large gentlemen in a starchy shalwar kameez came and wistfully asked OK if he could play some bhangra because him and his buddies were in the mood to dance. I kid you not, this actually happened. OK, never being one to miss an opportunity to mess with someone then told the gentlman that he didn't know how a bhangra beat went. Obviously the guy proceeded to demonstrate with his best bhangra-beat-box effort. OK then pretended to get the beat and forget it, driving our starchy bhangra man insane.

Right after sunset, we were ready to take the stage. There was a massive , really excitable crowd and they were warmed up by some Pathan students (who introduced themselves as the rather mencaing Pukhtoon Federation) came and did the tradiotional dance to Bibi Shireen. I thought it was fantastic and the crowd really got into it.

With all the excitement bulding up, we took the stage and kicked off with Baba O'Reilly.

It was absolutely fantastic! Even though the stage was sparse and had only two floodlights on either side, it ended up looking really dramatic with the huge Pakistan flag in the background. We had been treating this show as a bit of a warmup for the big one we were going to do at Rangoonwala Hall, but suddenly with the crowd and the electric atmosphere it became a full-on rock show. We played a short set, probably only half an hour but it was really energetic and the crowd were having a fantastic time singing along and dancing. We also got to unveil our brand new "Get Your Aunty On" ADP t-shirts and chucked a couple into the crowd (much to our managers dismay).

After the show, we were completely drained, but relieved. This had been the first ADP show with new line-up of Ali and Rahayl and we felt the curse had finally broken. We hadn't done a live show since we were in LUMS in May and this short, fantastic little gig had really done wonders for our confidence. We were all set for the big one on Sunday...

Photography by Aroosh Naqvi.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Some more promos for the concert

Here's two more promos for our gig on Sunday

Please check out our website for the show here for information.

Tell all your friends in Karachi! We'll be debuting brand new tracks from the upcoming album, never been played in public before! Also lots of ADP merchandise will be on sale.

Hope to see you guys there, GET YOUR AUNTY ON!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Aunty Disco Project Invites you to their gig.

So here's the promo we made for our concert. You can get further details here at

Sigh..yes...I know.

Hope you guys will come!

More promos to follow.

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Blog Returns

You know, sometimes when there is so much happening, you really don't know what to blog about first. In the end, you end up blogging about nothing. So here I am, all apologies, getting back to blogging. A lot has happened in the past month, but there is some extremely exciting stuff coming up for ADP. Things are finally looking up for us after a pretty dry run. So here goes.

1) Omar Khalid got married

That's right! All you female OK fans out there read and weep, because he is now officially a married man. Now you will have to make do with the other Omar in ADP. So yeah, OK walked down the aisle, and there was much rejoicing. Heck, we were supposed to perform at his mehndi, but a couple of days before no one could decide on the set list and no one could meet to practice.

It's always tricky when playing at a wedding. Theoretically it should be joyous, "I'm in a band, of course they should play at my wedding" and there are fantastical scenes of the entire band rocking out on stage and the happy guests tieing their ties/dupattas around their heads and indulging in a violent bhangra.

The reality is, its always going to be awkward performing at a desi wedding because most people will assume you are a maraasi band and will wonder why you are lecherously shaking your nether regions while singing "Kiss" by Prince when you should be doing "Pehla Nasha". Without the willy shaking.
Obviously no one above the age of 35 knows who the hell ADP are, so there's no point in singing your originals so in the end we usually settle for a couple of Indian songs and of course some vintage Vital Signs/Junoon. Great wedding songs include "Neend Aati Nahin", "Khwaab" etc. Let's not forget that since you are now a wedding band, you basically have to act as a karaoke machine for every aunty/uncle/cousin/friend who has been waiting for an opportunity to showcase their talents. Sometimes this works, and they sing perfectly well with the band. More often than not, they sing off key, out of time and when they screw up, they glare back at the band like..."what the fuck dude, why are you messing up my shit". I once played at this wedding for a friend where this aunty kept blaming me for messing up her glorious version of "Raaja Ko Raani Sey Pyaar Ho Gaya". She would start and then stop and then start again, turn back and say "Beyta Tum Sahee Nahin Baja Rahey" ("You aren't playing it correctly"). I wanted to grab my crotch and tell her "Aunty Aap Meray Tattey Baja Lein" ("Aunty why don't you play with MY BALLS") But I was talked out of it by the maulvi who did the nikah. He was all like "Beyta, sub ko tattey nahin dikhaya kartey" ("Son, it is not proper to show everyone your balls").

Anyway I digress.

We ended up not playing the wedding finally because Omar injured his pinky quite grotesquely in this freak accident with the drum stool. So for the rest of the wedding, he walked around with a big with bandage/plaster on his finger. This meant that basically every guy who met him had to make a masturbation reference.

So anyway, it was weird seeing OK get married, I mean he was always the last guy who I thought would get married in ADP. He's always been the 'cool' one from the group, not one you would expect to settle down this early. But he did, and to see him greeting relatives and old aunties and uncles and being...well CLEAN was a weird sight. But he pulled it off and I wish him and his pretty wife all the best. We're all really really happy for him.

2) We're back in the recording studio

Exactly 3 years since we recorded our first studio effort, we're now back in the recording studio working on our first commercial album. Emad-Ur-Rehman is producing it, his previous credits include working with Junoon and Ali Azmat's "Social Circus" album, so we picked him because he had rock cred. So far we've recorded two brand new songs "Mujhey Sahara Do" and "Hum Na Rahey", and I have to say, we're extremely excited about the results. Work has been really slow on the albums because of OK's wedding and with the rains in Karachi destroying everything, but we're steadily inching along and I'm quite proud of the work we're doing, it's more mature and more organized and obviously we're better musicians than we were three years ago, so I'm confident that the efforts will pay off this time.
I'm going to put up a separate blog post detailing the recording process because that tends to get kinda technical and will probably appeal more to the music/tech nerds out there. But in the meantime, we're still working on it, hoping to release the whole thing by the end of this year. Inshallah, we'll release a couple of single before that, probably around October 09. Expect new ADP material very soon! And in case you can't wait that long

3) We did MTV Unplugged

Yep! we did an 8 song performance for MTV Unplugged. It aired last night and will air again this week, I'll post the timings up for it here so that you guys can catch it. I saw it and was pretty happy with the result, I thought the MTV team did a great job putting it together. Our performance was really energetic but a little rough around the edges, plenty of mistakes but it's all part of performing live. We'll be posting the videos and audio up soon on our new website, stay tuned for further details.

4) We're finally playing live again

As you know, we haven't done a proper concert since the disastrous LUMS trip, and technically that doesn't count because we didn't get to finish our set. In fact, ever since Rahayl joined we haven't done a full proper concert. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and organize our own, without any sponsors. We're just hoping your love will pay for our expenses.

Catch us live in Karachi on August 16th at Rangoonwala Auditorium at 8 pm, with opening act Flam!

Also if you haven't already done so, please join our Facebook page, it's much easier to update everyone on band activities over there. Unless you are one of those people who don't really care about the band and are here to read my angry rants and dick jokes. Then just come here. More to follow.

Since we're promoting ourselves...

5) They said something nice about me in the papers.

Read this article in The News Instep

I usually don't want to toot my own horn. But the Ali Azmat comparison... made my day. Thank you to whoever wrote the article, I am truly honored and humbled to be included in the same list as the musicians above.

It's good to be back people, stay tuned!