Published On: Sat, Mar 26th, 2016

The culture of live gigs is dying in Pakistan



Mekaal Hasan, who is Pakistani guitarist-music producer, has recently performed at a concert in Karachi. Mekaal was mourning on the dying culture of live shows as, “We are willing to purchase a Rs1,000 IMAX theatre ticket for a movie that has a bland plot but don’t do the same for music.” His words were true and apparently things are getting better, although at a slow pace.

East Side Story, a folk band, performed their first ever live gig at a local restaurant at Thursday night in Lahore. The co-performer of the show was musical streaming Patari and there were a lot of people to cheer them up.

The pair of guitarist and band front man Casim Mahmood and vocalist Tariq Yousaf Gujjar, known as TG King, started the gig with a few of their well-known originals, for example, Darlin’ Blues, Daru di Botal,MelaQatil Akh and Widow Spider prior to performing wrap versions of Don Williams’ Come Early Morning and Son House’s Walking Blues. Bassist Farhan Ali and drummer Bilawal Lahooti also joined the stage.

Mahmood is of the view that regardless of being across for a jiffy they did not perform live as they never got a polite offer in the past. He stated that “Our songs have gone viral in India but locally we never really got a chance to play,”

Mahmood further added that “We didn’t want to make something that was similar to that of others and we weren’t really desperate to get out there.” He upheld East Side Story is not eager to compromise on value and is firm towards maintaining its recognition.

Maybe it is the motive why they abstained from having on the stage in the past. He added that “A company approached us for a gig but they were expecting us to change our sound and make it louder hence we refused,” though, things were diverse when Patari arrived beside.

Platform co-founder Khalid Bajwa continued as, “People who hear them for the first time develop an instant liking and we wanted to start [the series of concerts] with something different.” He further stated that “We’ve spoken to various artists … the likes of Noori and Mekaal Hassan Band to bring live performances back.”


About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.

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