Fans lined up at Karachi’s Ocean Mall on Saturday for a chance to meet Noori after the band’s long absence from the music scene.
This third record is a concept-album, which aims to highlight the youth’s existential crisis, pushing them to question what role they are playing as Pakistanis.
Welcoming Noori back
The ground floor of Ocean Mall saw long lines of CD-clutching fans, waiting to get their album signed and photograph taken with the band. It was like the noughties all over again when buying CDs wasn’t out-dated.
Considering how many laptops don't even come with CD drives, and the album was released online on music hosting platform Patari at Saturday midnight, the fact that innumerable people bought CDs is a promising baby-step towards the revival of supporting Pakistani music again. It is also a ‘phew’ moment for the band itself, who had to resort to burning all these CDs themselves due to the plummet in CD manufacturing plants in Pakistan over the years!
The band stood in their cordoned circle for hours, hugging, clicking selfies and shaking hands with fans. It appeared like this time it was really important for the band to make the effort to connect with fans, to give them a reason to pick up a CD in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad, the three cities where the launch was organized to take place.
“It was madness”: Ali Noor
Images cornered Noori at the jam-packed event for a 5-minute chat with the band, during which Ali Hamza revealed that the band plans to hold more interactive events in the future.
As a fun, non-serious repartee with the band ensued, we had to ask whether we’ll have to wait another decade for Noori’s next album. To this, Ali Hamza retorted with a smile, “Abhi yeh wali album toh enjoy karlo!”
We asked them both how it feels to finally have the album out there. “Madness!” Ali Noor said with a beaming smile. “Ecstasy!” he went on. “Yeah, we didn’t have to take a pill,” Ali Hamza added jokingly.
Celebrities like Syed Yorguc, actress Muzna and director Wajahat Rauf were also spotted in the crowd with their copies of the album, showing their support for the band who has come a long way since their first album Suno Ke Main Hoon Jawan (2003) and their second album Peeli Patti Aur Raja Jaani ki Gol Dunya (2005).
What are the songs like this time around? That’s another story.