Date:��Sunday 15 July 2012
Location:��HMV Hammersmith Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street London W6 9QH
Organisers: Global Arts and Entertainment
In what was a first for the duo in London, Salim-Sulaiman came to Hammersmith last night along with Benny Dayal, Shraddha Pandit and Shadab Faridi in what can only be described as a ‘for one night only’ performance. Having performed with the same group in Leicester the night before, it seems the duo and their guest acts were ready to give it their all for the London crowd. BBC Asian Network’s Noreen gave the duo an introduction.
To kick off, Salim entered to a gem of a song from 2010’s ‘Paathshala’, Ae Khuda. Dressed in white Jodhpurs and a smart-ish jacket shirt, he wowed the audiences right from the first performance. It has to be said that Salim’s voice’s resonance on a live platform is phenomenal. This was evident with every song he sang whether it be Shukran Allah from ‘Kurbaan’ (2009) or a slightly upbeat Kunwara from ‘Jodibreakers’ (2012). His passion and empathy in the songs simply brought them all to life. Sulaiman, as a member of the band, made his presence felt in some parts with the way he got involved in songs but otherwise he remained very much a part of the band.
The accompanying acts, it has to be said, gave absolutely sterling performances. There is no one of the three that deserve a special mention because they all performed to theirs and other songs with such grace that it was often difficult to tell that what the audiences were witnessing weren’t the original singers. Pandit gave a goose-bump-worthy rendition of the female Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai from ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’ (2008) and she gave an as worthy performance to the title track of ‘Aaja Nachle’ (2007), whose original singer is Sunidhi Chauhan. The one performance of Pandit’s that particularly stood out was Mar Jawan from 2008’s ‘Fashion’, which was originally sung by Shruti Pathak. Pandit also gave female vocals to duets such as Ishq Hua (‘Aaja Nachle’) and Dum Dum (‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ – 2010), neither of which she has originally lent vocals to.
Faridi’s performances were simply mindblowing. He also gave his voice to Salim-Sulaiman songs which were originally sung by someone else. His talents gave a different voice to gems such as O Re Piya from ‘Aaja Nachle’ and also Yeh Honsla from ‘Dor’ (2006). A special mention should be given to Faridi’s performances of Maula Mere from 2007’s ‘Chak De India’, originally rendered by Krishna Beura.
In some contemporary performances, Dayal gave the overall show a whole new characteristic. He sang some of his own songs such as Aadat Se Majboor from ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’ (2011) and��Tu Hi To Meri Dost from ‘Yuvraaj’ (2008). An extra-special mention goes to Dayal’s performance of the late Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. It completely wowed the audience and his added moonwalk was a total crowd-pleaser. Dayal showed off his talents as a hugely versatile singer who is able to fit into just about any genre that is put his way with just as much ease.
Throughout the evening, it certainly felt like the songs got bigger and better. A special tribute was made by Salim to those who has passed in the last year including Jagjit Singh, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor. Once again, Salim’s vocal talents were immensely effective in these songs which were of a different era.
Overall collective performances that made the evening even more special were Tauba Tauba from ‘Kaal’ (2005) and Ali Maula from ‘Kurbaan’ without Pandit. The song which ended the evening was the anthem that is the title track of ‘Chak De India’ which the audience swayed to on their feet. A very fitting end to a truly extravagant and memorable evening for every one of the audience members who were in attendance.
It was obvious throughout the night that the audiences were becoming more and more impressed. For many, it was the concert of a lifetime with some even stressing that��it was the best concert they had ever been to. It certainly seems that Salim-Sulaiman’s love in people’s hearts grew with this one-off London concert. Hats off to the duo and their special guests!