By Sher Khan
LAHORE: Noori is one band in Pakistan that promises to give their fans a new flavour each time they come back to music. The band has certainly come a long way since the success of Suno Ke Main Houn Jawan, their debut album which was released in 2003. Despite their on-and-off internal dynamics, Noori is still together and continue to charm the audiences with their tugging-at-the-heartstrings songs and power-packed performances. Living up to their promise of bringing something fresh, the band’s latest venture is the release of a first of its kind live album today (May 19).
The album titled Noori Live at the Rock Musicarium, which was recorded during their concert at the Rock Musicarium, a concert venue in Islamabad, revisits the classics while also bringing the formal launch of their latest track “Taaron Se Aagay”. Live albums, despite their long tradition in rock music in the West, are rare in Pakistan. When asked how they came up with the idea, lead member Ali Noor says, “It’s just one of those wacky ideas that we came up with randomly.”
Recording an album live is certainly not a piece of cake as concert spaces are sporadic and sound systems are mostly average or below average. “We worked harder on this than we worked on any other album. It was actually a lot of responsibility,” states Noor to which Ali Hamza adds, “We were up working for three nights.” Recording at the Musicarium in Islamabad required a certain set environment in which the sound, video and other recording-related things could be perfected. “It’s a venue built for rock music by a rock musician,” adds Hamza.
The concert, which took place in February, was a great success but had its fair deal of travails. Noor explains that issues with the sound recording meant that they were considering axing the project altogether. This is when Kashif Ejaz, a sound engineer, came to their rescue. “When you put out an album, people want to listen to it again and again and if it’s raw, it has to sound good enough to make people want to listen to it,” says Noor, crediting Ejaz with a ‘critical role’ in making the album possible.
One of the best parts of the concert was the inclusion of Sajid and Zeeshan’s Zeeshan Parwez as well as famed rocker Faraz Anwar in the line-up. “There is a lot of tolerance and maturity; we are learning to understand each other and to respect each other,” explains Noor. He further adds, “The lines are really blurring. Noori has become very different, now we don’t know who does what and we don’t separate it that way anymore.”
The album consists of 11 tracks, each of them redone with a totally different take from the originals such as “Meray Log”, “Kuttay Te Tho Uttay” and so on. Noori Live at the Rock Musicarium is the band’s second production with the Believe in You records, and will be distributed throughout the country so that it’s available to the Noori fans at all the main urban centers of the major cities.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2012.