Celebrate Eid Nasheed Concert – London
I attended this event on Sunday 21st November with my wife and two children, Meem Music kindly gave me some complimentary tickets for the event. I know it’s a bit late but I had started writing this a few days after the event buut never finished it.
The acts at the show were Omair Ali [comedian], Moez Masoud [speaker], Shaam, 786 Boyz and Raihan.
I hadn’t seen any of the acts perform live apart from Shaam; and I had heard 786 Boyz and Raihan on CD. The compere for the day was Omair Ali who really held the whole show together very well with is witty sketches and observations and persistent goading of the 786 Boyz (all in good humour), the audience really took to him and he worked the audience really well. My kids thought he was excellent.
The first act up were Shaam, they went through their usual qasidahs and they were quite simply superb, they have really improved considerably from before, not that they were bad but they just seemed much more together and “tighter”, there was a real purity about their performance and they created a very spiritual and mubarak atmosphere.
I never was big fan of harmonies and so Raihan didn’t appeal to me but having seen them live now I can honestly say that I was impressed. On CD the whole harmony thing just didn’t do it for me but live it was something else. They went through their familiar songs and did so with great delight, these guys are the original nasheed band and really know what makes their audience tick. One of the main singers had a sore throat from the previous night’s performance but they were so good you just couldn’t tell.
The other act was 786 from Detroit. They are not a nasheed group as such although they do perform nasheeds and na’ats. They are the first Muslim “boy band”, 5 good looking young guys, dressed in a modern western style and with great singing voices. Now, there will be many people who will criticise them for their dress, their haircuts, their lack of facial hair, their singing style and their occaisional use of instrumentation but as a father with small children who are going to be exposed to all forms of music, I for one am greatful to them in providing an alternative. My youngest child, Binyamin aged 7, now knows a little about Palestine because of the song of the same name! Someone complained that their sing style is too western as it is an RnB type of sound, I thought about this and came to the conclusion, so what? Aren’t the musical styles of Indo-Pak na’ats based on old Hindu surrs and raags, qawwalis on pre-Islamic Persian music, qasidahs on pre-Islamic signing? I don’t think we should object to 786 based on their singning style.
Moez Masoud gave a very inspiring talk on Loving Allah and how we must attach ourselves to the Divine. Moez has the knack of being able to send a message to people of all levels, he appeals to the young and the teenage, parents and senior people alike. He is generally well know within the Arab community as he has his own TV Show on ART Iqra. He is not so well known to the wider community, many people approached him after the event and told him how they were inspired and moved by his talk.
We hope to have Moez come back to the UK to give a series of talks insha’Allah as I believe he can be of immense benefit to young Muslims in the UK.