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Blend and sketch

May 27, 2013

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KARACHI, May 26: They may be known as a band that plays country music but on Saturday evening at the US consul-general’s residence American group Blended 328 rocked the stage with some assorted tunes ranging from pop to country. But before them Jamshoro-based band The Sketches set the tone for the concert.The Sketches kicked off the gig with a Shah Latif wai titled ‘Pain of separation’. It was an attempt at interpreting Shah Latif’s work in a contemporary style which could have been more effective if the vocalist had not tried a little too hard to sing as powerfully as he could and in the process lost his way a bit. Their second number was ‘Main sufi hun’ followed by ‘Ik insaan’. Describing the background to these numbers the singer Saif Samejo told the audience that it tried to highlight the fact that despite adhering to different creed and despite belonging to different races, human beings are essentially the same. Their last item ‘Main jo ayan so ayan’, a famous Sufi phrase, belonged to the same category content-wise.

Blended 328 came to the stage with fanfare. Members of the band – Kimberly Philips (vocals), Fran Hart (vocals), Katie Marie (vocals), Seth Rooks (vocals, bass), Thomas Spann (drums) and Gabe Jordan (guitar) – from the get go managed to attract the audience’s attention with the number ‘Ladies get your flirt on’. It was a peppy track which encouraged the younger lot to hit the dance floor (read: open space in front of the stage) and get into the groove. Singers Kimberly Philips and Fran Hart egged the crowd on to dance to the beat and hum along the melody.

Their next song had the same flow and feel, but with a more pronounced rhythm. By that time the audience had understood the kind of music that they were going to enjoy in the evening. They were all uplifting compositions. The band members even included the phrase Pakistan Zindahbad in the tune.

Then came ‘That’s how we do it’ which had a hip-hop feel to it and the riffs used by the guitarist were pretty cool. It was perhaps their best offering during the concert because it was musically rich and had more variations. The band followed it up with another party-loving song.The only cover tune that Blended 328 presented was Kanye West’s famous song ‘Gold digger’. The bassist introduced the number with a loud cheer and the band played it with the requisite gusto.

The last track played by the band was ‘Go people’ which basically spoke about freedom.

The final item of the concert on the list was collaboration between Blended 328 and The Sketches, a fusion of sorts.