September 23 2016
Night of nostalgia was a big hit…
By Khakan Qureshi
IT WAS A SENSATIONAL trip down memory lane and had the audience dancing in the aisles.
“The Bollywood Extravaganza” at Birmingham Town Hall marked 60 years of the Indian film industry with tributes to some of the great names of the age, including immortal playback singers, Mohammed Rafi, Late Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar.
The show was packed with golden oldies such as “An Evening in Paris” for those old enough to remember. Carefully choreographed dance routines which fused contemporary, ballroom, Latin, Turkish and traditional Indian had many more than just tapping their feet.
Leading the way was Jasbir Wouhra (lead picture far right), who has recorded several albums and written songs which can be seen on YouTube.
He offered up his own diverse compositions ranging from a ballad with sweeping sounds of strings and keyboards, and a fun-filled dance track to a more traditional sounding folk song for children.
Kiran Sachdev who is on a short musical tour and Sharon Mann Kanghura both paid tribute to Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle respectively with the live band Bollywood Echoes International. The introduction to Shazad ensured a nice smooth tone of voice and melted the audience like mellow chocolate.
Singer Naresh was quite casual and relaxed as he sang, in contrast to Soni, who looked stunning and splendid in her change of saris as she performed.
The songs ranged from the frothy and soda fuelled 1950s to the whisky laden tones of the 1970s song “Monica, oh my darling!” with the seductive saxophone and feathered fans held by the dancers from R & R Productions, choreographed by Rebecca Fowler.
There were so many songs to choose from, it really was an extravagant affair and running at just over four hours – the music never stopped and even when they were due to end, the encores continued and the performers certainly played to the crowds.
The show, hosted by Anila Dhami and Chandri Khan on Sunday, September 11, was sponsored by the Birmingham headquartered food company, East End. Money raised from the performance was donated to St Mary’s Hospice, an independent adult hospice providing care to people across Birmingham and Sandwell.
ACV rating: *** ½ (out of five)
Pictures courtesy of Silver Fox Pictures