Starting their musical journey with songs about friendship and college romance, Noori evolved into a socially responsible band in the latter years and started promoting patriotism with songs like “Meray Log” before the original line-up dispersed in 2005. However, despite the band’s on-and-off internal dynamics, loyal Noori fans continued to follow the members who stole hearts with their power-packed performances and boyish charm. Only recently, the band has returned to the music scene with their latest track “Taaron Se Aagay” and is now preparing for a comeback concert scheduled to be held at the end of this month.
As scripted as this may sound, the band reunion actually took place on a flight to Norway. Gumby ( the band’s drummer in the original line-up) was travelling along with other artists when Ali Noor suddenly showed up and surprised everyone. “I dozed off during the flight and when I woke up I found Noor sitting next to me,” says Gumby. “I inquired about the future of Noori to which Noor answered, ‘From now on, we make music together or we don’t make music at all’.”
Noor, on the other hand, says that it was his daughter Sanjana’s craving for Gumby that made him feel his friend’s absence.
Noori’s post reunion song “Taaron Se Aagay” has received a mixed response as some of the fans have loved the trademark Noori sound while others believe that the band didn’t live up to the expectations.
Noor, however, remains optimistic about the future of their upcoming album. The musician believes that while it is an artist’s job to bring something fresh to the music scene, it is the listener’s job to be tolerant and be patient. “Fans need to realise that we, as a band, are on an evolutionary journey and that they will have to remain as open-hearted to us as we have been to them.”
Even though Noori is trying to bring their old signature style back, the album will have a fresh twist to it since this time around, Ali Hamza is singing most of the songs and Noor has taken a back seat for now. “I was losing my focus as a musician and watching Hamza and Gumby take the front seat in the next album is helping me evolve myself,” explains Noor.
“After the folksy ‘Ek Alif’ and other musical fusions that we have made, we are no longer restricted to one genre hence we can’t really classify our upcoming tracks,” states Hamza.
To India and beyond
Noori has recently returned from their first ever gig in India and are overwhelmed by the response they received there. The band even managed to get some offers from Bollywood which didn’t materialise because they are reluctant to join the bandwagon right now. “The fact that Bollywood is so high-end and there is no room for mistakes struck me hard. Frankly speaking, I don’t think I am ready for that right now,” says Noor.
Hamza, on the other hand, thinks that Pakistanis have a deeper connection with India and that our communication with each other shouldn’t always be about business and politics only. “We respect the mutual lineage we share with the Indians, which is why when we went there to perform we tried to make it more than just business and commerce.”
According to the latest updates, guitar maestro Faraz Anwar and the multitalented Pashto musician Zeeshan Pervaiz have become a part of Noori’s concert line-up. The band is organising a grand gig in Islamabad on February 25 to launch their new song. Noori’s concert performance will be recorded and will be released on audio CDs.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2012.
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