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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Monday, July 4, 2011
Arts & Entertainment

A Lesson in Evolution of Bangladeshi Rock

Concert by Qubee Junction

(From left clockwise) Uchcharon, Azam Khan's band; Warfaze and Nemesis perform at the concert. Photo: Mumit M.

Bangladeshi music lovers might often be unaware of the background, early struggles, key moments and initial line-ups of their favourite bands. They may not able to judge the musical evolution, such as transition from mellow rock to progressive or alternative. Qubee Junction -- a musical endeavour by the broadband internet provider Qubee -- provided an opportunity to get acquainted with the evolution of Bangladeshi rock music. The concert took place at the National Indoor Stadium, Mirpur, in Dhaka on July 2. It featured 13 selected bands -- from 1970s to late 1990s.

Apart from live performances, the concert also featured backgrounds of and information on the bands through video clips.

The concert zoomed in on the history of Bangladeshi rock -- starting from its early days. The event kicked off with pioneering band Souls. Souls' act featured its two former members Naquib Khan (now with Renaissance) and Ayub Bachchu (LRB). Khan crooned three of the 70s' mellow tunes, including “Nodi Eshey Poth” and “Mon Shudhu Mon Chhuechhe”.

Later Khan and Bachchu performed with their respective bands as well.

All the bands were scheduled to perform three/four numbers because of time limitation. Keeping that in mind, Miles opted for a medley featuring several of its popular numbers including “Ek Jhor Eshey”, “Shesh Thikana”, “Dhiki Dhiki”, “Phiriye Dao”, “Jala” and “It's Magic”.

Feedback was the other featured band from the '70s.

While the early phase of Bangladeshi rock is marked by romantic songs and mellow tunes, with the arrival of Warfaze, the genre was redefined. With its groundbreaking attitude -- both in terms of music and lyrics, Warfaze established itself as the pioneering progressive rock band of the country. It became one of the leading bands of the 1980s. Another notable band from that era is Renaissance.

However, without the virtuoso guitarist Komol, Warfaze seemed to lack its musical depth, as Oni alone on lead guitar could not shine during the heavy riffs of the songs “Boshey Achhi” and “Moharaj”. Renaissance's steady performance featured its classics “Bhalo Lagey”, “Hridoy Kadamatir Murti Noy” and “Aaj Je Shishu”.

Arguably, the early 1990s was the most productive phase of deshi rock. Bands such as LRB and Dolchhut firmly established themselves as the representatives of this era. Cryptic Fate and Maqsood O Dhaka were the other notable bands from that era.

Artcell, along with Black and Nemesis were the representatives of the late 1990s. Artcell performed its popular songs -- “Onno Shomoy”, “Dukkho Bilash” and “Chilekotar Sepai”. Nemesis -- with Maher (lead guitar) and Zohad (vocal) -- delivered a brilliant, energetic performance. The band's repertoire included an unreleased song, “Kobey”.

The concert ended with a tribute to the recently deceased 'Guru' Azam Khan. His band Uchcharan covered the mega-popular “Bangladesh”.

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