Wednesday, December 3, 2008

the long friday, a starman graphic novel.

Post. Hmm. I wonder if blog entries may be qualified as posts. Further research needed. Anyway, it seems I have found time to post another entry. Once again I am wondering why I bother. It's not like anyone is going to read it. "not yet" is all I have as consolation.

I have been away, my imaginary followers, for I am busy. Busy with studies! Yes I, rockstar-to-be extraodinaire, also study. Tis the bane of this youth of mine. Speaking of which, I've noticed I feel rather old compared to the young and happy folk I happen to see all too much nowadays. Ah..I feel a rant building up.

ADP, Z&H and Ego.

Friday the...umm...ah 28th. Aunty Disco Project and Zeb and Haniya are scheduled to perform at The Forum( a mall in Karachi for my international followers). I hear about it on the radio. CityFM89 to be precise. Guess what? It's free!! HOLY SHIT FREE!!! Petrol cost 27 bucks a litre when I arrived in this country. It's been upto 84 recently. A medium sized loaf of sliced bread was for 12. Now I think it's 30. Imagine what a step forward, or well maybe backward, a free concert is!

ADP is one of my favourite favourite current Pakistani bands. I'll post a video or two of theirs in this post chalo. Anyway, these guys are insane. Plus they're regular dudes. No bullshit. all about the music. They have regular jobs too! Which makes them all the more appealing to me since they represent the possibility factor of my rockstar aspirations. Though I would readily give up a regular job for a life as a hugeass rockstar but at the very least I'd like to be a moderately huge rockstar if I have to have a dayjob too. Anyway! So um...yeah! They put on a kickass show too! Lots and lots of energy, jumping around and what not, OBA is really good as frontman and Yasir adding that special flavour with his darbuka chops and holyshit OK is like our David Grohl(very very high praise if you are an ignoramus)!!

Zeb and Haniya are also pretty respected in my bands-I-am-a-fan-of list but since I have yet to give their album a proper listen, I was mainly concerned with ADP.

All in all I was pretty psyched about going, and despite the fact that I had exams looming over me head, due in less than 5 days after the concert; I planned to go. I mean come on! Plus since it was on a Friday, there was no risk of The Forums "family day" bullshit which, like is common in our hypocritical nation, mean you cant get in unless you have a "female" with you. "femail" in some places. Or a toddler. Do not think you and your 3 "mail" cousins may enter. Oh no no no, you are not the kind of family that counts. Apparently it has something to do with rowdyism, lecherism, ogling hotties(yeah that's sexist whatever, screw you!) and generally being douches(don't see you resenting that now, do I?).

So I grab Ali Murtaza and the Bilalman and reach The Forum bang on time at 530. Oh hey everything's set up, cool! Lets go lets go..."Sorry sir, families only hai aaj"...."(wtf) friday ko bhi..?"..."jee sir *greasy smile*".

At this point, an appropriate catchphrase to sum up my insanely foul mood would be "HULK F*CKNG SMASH!!!". All I bloody wanted was to show up at a show, with a couple of friends and have a good time and leave. Thats Fcking it! But no! Since our illiterate and unexposed nation is permeated with bloody asshole MAILAS who's idea of a good time comprises of taking pictures without consent and passing comments and general douchebaggery and since like our fckng police our security culture is to try and make the problem just go away without having to actually do anything about it, our people erect these hypocritical, discriminatory FAMILIES ONLY signs that suggest that if you don't have the appropriate amount of Y chromosomes in your immediate vicinity or preferably in you, youre a maila too! This is actually a ploy to hide the fact that any security apparatus erected is a sham and just window dressing. What's the bloody point of SECURITY if you can't fckng SECURE even the will to carry out your own objectives!?

We stayed around for a bit, tried to call in any people who could either bring "family" or be our "family" but to no avail. Some unknown younger brother-elder brother kept Bilal from contacting his elder brother Mikaal and asking him to help us out. He did however mention the situation to his mum when he called to see if he could wrangle his actual family(the kind thats real!) to come and in doing so get us in. That didn't work exactly as planned but it did. When we reached Bilal's house after giving up hope, we found that Mikaal had left and would get us in. By then I was thoroughly depressed, but my spirits slowly began to rise as we returned to the forum and lo and behold! Where there were 3 dudes, now there were 4! But we got in because we had a "family" member with us. Hurray for hypocrisy. Asswipes.

It was 630 when we got in and thankfully, ADP started just as we got in. Yay! Being vertically challenged, I had difficulty seeing over the heads of everyone in front of me. Since my compadres weren't as excited about the deal as I was, I made my way alone to the If you could call it that.

That's Imran Lodhi on bass btw. He's left, it's Ali alam now he's not in this video.

Once again, ADP were INSANE! OBA and Ali Alam were jumping so hard I thought the stage would collapse! OKs skinbeating was so furious the kit was vibrating to no end and Yasir was stealing intermittently like he does. It seemed like this was the show. This was the headline. No one was waiting for Zeb and Haniya it seemed. I wasn't at least.
An eventful moment came in the form of OBA suddenly throwing down his guitar at some interruption and storming to the side to have what he surely wanted to be a heated conversation but it turned out to be a sheepish one as he, sheepishly, came to the mic and announced they would be taking an Azaan break.
They came back in a bit, continued their set and ended loud. Ali Alam took over guitar and vocal duties in between, that was tightness too. Then everyone left so that OBA could do Nazar solo. That didn't really work well due to the hustle and bustle of the environment. An issue that affected the response Z&H generated as well, but I'll get to that in a bit. They also debuted a new song which wasn't totally new but ah well, not everybody's as fan as me! Which isn't much either but over there I was hardcore baby!!

Z&H were up next. We finally discovered that out of the two the guitar player is Haniya and the only vocals madame is Zeb. Haniya had done something to her ankle and was thus sitting down. Their band was the dudes from Co-ven minus Omran. Heck if Omran'd shown up all my dreams would've come true. For just that night and that concert I mean.
So yeah, Sameer is a good bassist and I happen to adore his guitar, Sikandar Mufti is ace drumwise and lol, Humza Jafri is a Talibani. No he isn't but he has the requisite beard. It's more than a foot long! And omg! His guitar his a movable pickup! Instead of multiple pickups and selectors for them, the pickup itself moves! Amazing!

Initially Humza's back was turned to the audience for a couple of songs. Eventually he turned forward. Their show wasn't really wild and crazy, stark contrast to the ADP show but then, it wasn't supposed to be. This wasn't ADP this was Z&H, cool female bluesy folky singers from up north. They did what they do and they did it well. Although I felt their laidback vibe and softer music didn't really work well in attracting people in such a busy environment. A mall is a place where I can now safely assume you need to be loud to be noticed. Lots of requests were being shouted out and they played all their big songs; Aitebaar, Chup, Rona Chhor Diya etc. They even played a stripped down version of Paimana Bitte, on rampant request even though it wasn't part of their setlist.

They were giving out free tshirts too of that very show. But only to the frontmost of the front rows. That too only the girls. Who didn't even want them! Ugh! Discrimination strikes again!

It ended at that. I caught up with Yasir post-show and asked him what we(Flam!) needed to do to be able to play with ADP. He gave me the basic version, stuff that I already knew. get a sponsor, arrange a show etc. Couldn't really work up the courage to ask him if they had any shows coming up where they'd be willing to let us open. And then we left. But the night was not over. Oh no.

The Perilous Journey Home!
En route to Bilal's we stopped at Jeddah Haleem Center near the former Schon Circle in the Mottas area for shawarmas. After that, we'd just u-turned and were on our way towards Teen Talwar when on the turn above the underpass my car which was already out of gas, ran out of petrol as well. A situation I'd been dreading for a few days now since I'd been conducting mileage experiments on gas and had regularly been using up my petrol reserve without remembering to fill it up again. Darkie and Bilal got out and pushed but progress was slow. Very slow. Fortunately a petrol station was closeby but at the pace we were moving I had to get out too and push which somehow drastically improved progress.

As we reached the pump a passerby pointed out that my rear passenger side tire was punctured too. I had not noticed that, till then. I got fuel then turned to the corner where there was a tire shop. Got the tire fixed there. Then sped off to Bilals to drop him. and sped on towards my house. I had gotten barely half a kilometre away when I noticed my engine was heating up to unGodly levels The needle was ABOVE the H symbol! Itsa gonna blow!! I stopped quickly to the side and called Bilal and told him to bring me water to put in. Our inexperience in the matter and stories we'd heard about similar situations led me and Darkie to be overaly cautious when opening the radiator cap to put in water. The one bottle I did have with me I expended splashing all over the place, causing much steam to rise. The place was dark. Really dark. Mobile snatcher dark. Thankfully none came and eventually we got it open and by then Bilal showed up too. Filling up the water, I dropped him back to his house and left with Darkie once again. Thankfully I got home without the car acting up again. Though it did in the subsequent days and the effects of that incident have cost me 3300 bucks so far. Add the tire, shawarma and the fuel charges to that and we come to the grand figure of 3700.

Free concert? Alas, it did not prove to be.

Been down so long, getting up didn't cross my mind,
I knew there was a better way of life that I was just trying to find.
You don't know what you'll do until you're put under pressure,
Across 110th Street is a hell of a tester.


  1. Love the song. Seen Jackie Brown? It's QT's best- or second. Pulp and it vie for top spot.

    if you don't have the appropriate amount of Y chromosomes in your immediate vicinity or preferably in you, youre a maila too!

    Just as a question, bambi, wouldn't you need an appropriate amount of x chromosomes in your vicinity to get in? XY is male, XX is female.

    Wanted to go to the concert, but qasm se this thesis is sucking away whatever little social life i had :(

  2. hehe interesting car troubles, and it always happens when we have the car eh. When i was there somehow i manadged to break the ignition (hell if i know) so that ended up costing me.

    Was this show as good as the first one or better?

    Karachi needs to come up with a Family for hire, you call them up and tell them where you need a female to get in and they show up there escort you in and then go their seperate ways . Could be big money in that i think..My idea dont steal it now :P

  3. dude i'd thought of it a while ago lol. i envisioned a booth outside the cineplex with "family personnel for hire". too red light-y it seemed to the people i ran it past.

    and uh, yes hira i knew that. the appropriate number is zero. hah.

    and yes i have seen jackie brown.

  4. You're such a becharay.