‘Pehli baar London aa raha hoon, pata nahin dekhne koi aayega ki nahin!’ is what prominent Indian playback singer KK said as he walked onto stage, at the Wembley Arena last Saturday evening. He needn’t have worried, for there wasn’t so much as an empty seat in the house! Rock On Music and Air India presented a scintillating concert by Sunidhi Chauhan and KK at the Wembley Arena, London.
Being a true-blooded Bollywood fan, I eagerly waited for the concert to begin at 6:30 pm, however it wasn’t Sunidhi or KK who opened the concert, but another singer. I decided to wait patiently for the ‘real’ show to being. But how wrong was I!! This gentleman treated us to a completely delightful collection of Shammi Kapoor hits like Badan Pe Sitare and several others. We simply had to ‘Baar Baar Dekho’ this very gifted singer as he walked off stage with a flourish.
Back to the main show, KK mesmerised us with a collection of songs from his various box-office hits Kal Ho Na Ho, Om Shanti Om, Devdas, etc. He cast a spell on a very willing audience with a string of hits like Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai and Hai Junoon. Of all the songs he chose however, one particular performance made my heart race. Ever heard of ‘Uyirin Uyire’ or ‘Khwabon Khwabon’ If you haven’t, please do. KK being KK, skilfully proved that music knows no language barriers, and sung this song as a perfectly seamless mix of both Tamil and Hindi. The end result was, as you might have already guessed, a huge round of applause.
Lut Gaye had an exceptional piano score in the background, while (needless to say) Pal left the audience breathless. Somewhere during the show, KK said something really nice. ‘Artists can only be as good as the songs YOU like!’
And then, thanks to a timely warning from compere Ravi, we fastened our seatbelts as sensational diva, Sunidhi made her appearance. Clad in a black velvet outfit and sheer shimmering cape, the truly sexy lady on the floor took the audience by storm!. All one could say was, ‘Crazy kiya re!’
There was NEVER a dull moment as Sunidhi had the audience dancing to the tunes of Pelhi Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai, Marjani, Dance pe chance, Sajna ki vaari, Avi Avi, Mind blowing Mahiya and much, much more. As you might imagine, in between songs, the entire hall rung with chants of ... ‘Sheela! Sheela! Sheela!!!!!’
One particular song started rather slowly, and to squeals of delight, Sunidhi broke into Desi Girl (with lots of little impromptu improvisations). This amazing desi girl got a very well deserved thunderous applause.
As always between performances, there was some brief comedy/mimicry entertainment by Ravi. I truly feel bad for people who made the mistake of taking a quick loo / samosa-chutney-break (as the case may be) during this time. They missed out on some really hilarious entertainment. His friendly jibes at the Gujju, Punjabi, Maharashtrian and South Indian communities were met with raucous laughter and left us in splits.
Now, no prizes for guessing the culmination of the concert... an electrifying performance of ‘Sheeeelaaaa’. It was exactly what the entire audience had been waiting for (or dare I say, come for) It was a perfect end to a perfect show.
The concert was a treat for any Bollywood fan. An enjoyable mix of foot-tapping and slow songs and an exceptionally talented bands of musicians, technicians and singers.
At the risk of sounding greedy, it would have been nice to see both KK and Sunidhi performing together in more songs than just the one (Ek Nazar mein bhi). But hey, I’m not complaining. It was an amazing evening, memories of which will linger on for a long time to come.
The concert truly lived up to its name - ‘Rock On’!!