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20th October, Kathmandu

The organizers were fully able to transform the cricket/football ground at Pulchowk Engineering College to a fabulous concert venue for Yamaha Gladiator Life Rocks” Strings Concert” on Friday, 20th October 2006. With a sound system of sixty eight thousand watt capacity and dazzling lights placed in by Nepa-Sa, it was sure that the concert would go till dusk. Stated to start at 2:30 PM but the concert got underway only at around 3:30 PM. The hosts Suraj Singh Tahkuri and Mahima Bhattarai were trying to start a competition between Pakistani and Nepali makura.

Then at around 3:45 PM Steam Injuns finally appeared on the stage. Singing around 7 of their popular songs the cool band with a beautiful and talented lady did set the mood for a rocking concert. Consequently X-mantra appeared on the stage at around 4:15 PM. They also had about half a dozen of their popular tracks to offer.

Finally the people were about to get what they had paid for, Strings first time Live in Nepal. It was already 5:15 PM and the sound checks and setting up the instrument and equipment just started. In quest for the impeccable sound the equipment setup ate up much of the valuable time. The crowd was getting impulsive and curious to hear their favorite Pakistani band without any delay. After all the hustle and bustle, the dynamic duo of Strings ultimately emerged on stage. The crowd roared to the talented Pakistani fiery duo.

Strings started their rocking performance at 6 PM with Chhaye Chhaye from their last album Dhaani, a great rock based track well vocalized by the vocalist, Faisal Kapadia. After it Anjane Kyon (Dekha Tujhe) from Duur charged the crowd with the amazing voice of Bilal Maqsood reacing their ears. Subsequently, the ever popular Na Jane Kyon, OST of Spiderman 2 was sung by Karachi-based band Strings with emotion provoking charisma. People in the crowd couldn’t stop waving their hands to the mesmerizing melody of the song. The crowd followed blindly what ever Kapadia asked them to do. The sight when people were waving their cell phones in air in the twilight was a sight to remember. It was amazing to witness the boys shouting their lungs out in the lyrics of Anjane Kyon.

After it a relatively old song called Ja Raha was performed by the talented duo. The mixing of Purani Jeans in the middle by Faisal was incredible. Amazingly the crowd response was extraordinary though it had started getting dark but people didn’t stop jumping. The last song was Sar Kiyae an old song from their album Strings2 the song that made them popular initially. It was very unfortunate that the rain gods showered the untimely drizzle and the performance had to be stopped at around 6:45 PM due to technical difficulties. In just minutes the drizzle turned into a heavy downpour but the performance by Strings was an improbable experience. The crowd was not satisfied as they hoped to witness the performance of great tracks like Dhaani, Duur, Soniye, Kahani Mohobatt Ki and others.

Strings is a very popular band in Nepal as well. They have been voted the most popular Pakistani band in Asia, they received the award of most favorite band award in MTV Asia Awards 2005. The two-man band, comprising vocalist Faisal Kapadia and guitarist Bilal Maqsood are the national ambassadors for HIV-AIDS in Pakistan set by UNICEF. Faisal the lead vocalist of strings was born on 29th June 1970. Placing aside his family business he states “I always used music as a tool to escape the Monotony of numbers.“ He always aspired to be in a band. Similarly Bilal Maqsood the guitarist and back vocalist of strings was born on 23rd March 1971. Son of a writer he states “I never thought I’d take up music as my sole profession”. Bilal the brain of Strings owns a very soothing voice and is listed as one of the best guitarist of Asia.
The band was formed way back in 1989 with four guys Faisal, Bilal with two other friends including Rafiq (Who did keyboards and composing then). The four man band released two albums Stings in 1990 and Strings 2 in 1992 but as usual the band broke up… Sar Kiyae Yeh Pahar from Strings 2 was the song to make Strings a household name. The members went to US for further study, two of them were busy in their own professional fields but the energetic duo of Faisal and Bilal wanted to tryout their creative juices. So they decided to reform the band as they completed their bachelors, but after a decade only two of them could make it out of the regular busy life.

In 2002, the album Duur was released by the reformed two man Strings. Instantly the title track was a big hit. Maine tujhe and Sar Kiya Yeh Pahar were two of the popular tracks then Now restricting their composition to a more slow rock pop base the band’s popularity gradually begin to rise. In 2004 they hit the market with Dhaani. Again the title track with the video did the trick. The album was very popular. When their song “Najane Kyon” got selected as an OST for the hollywood movie ‘Spiderman 2’, their fan following expanded to a worldwide form. The song though being in urdu was in sync with the movie. Almost all the songs were visualized and all of them were musical gems. Among the songs Soniye, Chhaye Chhaye and Bolo bolo feat. Hari Haran were just outstanding. Other projects they got involved in were Jeet Lo Dil with Indian band Euphoria in 2004, It was the official song for the Phillips Indo Pak Cricket Series held in India. In 2006, they sang two numbers for a hindi moive called Zinda. Both songs were composed by Bilal and both had been remixed by DJ and VJ Nikhil of MTV.

With 5 albums and some amazing projects the band’s popularity has rose up in the last few years. Bagging around twenty five videos under their belt, Strings is the ultimate king of melody, rock and soothing sound mixed for a total satisfying experience. The two guys share a unique chemistry as they have been together for the last 15 years. These guys have performed almost all round the world and were trying to be in Nepal to perform from the last three years. Conclusively it was a short but a rocking performance by the brisk, talented and melodious Strings which was cut off by the untimely rain.

Geshan Manandhar (Around 1025 words)

This is one of the longest things I’ve ever written. This is unedited one, an edited shortened version was printed in the “Showbiz” Magazine Dec 06 Issue. The picture has Prashant, Fiasal and Me, we were lucky to get a picture with him Balal was busy with other things then. They day was great except of the Rain, Best part was the innumerable mobiles in the air in the dusk.