Bol­ly­wood mu­si­cians slam UK fans walk­ing out of Rah­man con­cert

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Yashika Mathur yashika.mathur@htlive.com ■

Academy Award-win­ning com­poser AR Rah­man (above right) cel­e­brated his 25 years in the mu­sic in­dus­try on July 8 with a con­cert in Wem­b­ley Arena, UK. How­ever, some au­di­ence mem­bers walked out of his show in protest over Tamil songs be­ing per­formed at the con­cert. This be­hav­iour has been high­lighted in re­cent reports that say some con­cert­go­ers are ask­ing for a re­fund.

Clar­i­fy­ing the or­gan­is­ers’ po­si­tion, Balaji Gover­thanan, direc­tor of Hue Box Entertainment, tells us, “The Tamil name [of the con­cert] Ne­tra In­dra Naale was only men­tioned on the Tamil chan­nels… We never men­tioned that we’d be play­ing only Hindi songs or only Tamil songs. Any­one who had bought the ticket and asked us this, we told them that it would be an equal mix.” He adds that the num­ber of pro­test­ers is very small.

The pub­lished track list shows 16 full tracks in Hindi; 12 full Tamil tracks; and one med­ley with a mix of Tamil and Hindi. But one con­cert­goer tweeted: “That was my first ever Tamil con­cert guys. Al­beit com­pletely un­in­ten­tional #ARRah­man #SSEArena #Fail #Re­fund?”

This is “ex­ces­sively en­ti­tled be­hav­iour by the au­di­ence”, says singer Rabbi Shergill, who has worked with Rah­man in the film Raan­jhanaa. “How dare they walk out be­cause he sang a cou­ple of songs in Tamil?” Rabbi adds, “Peo­ple feel they can dic­tate what they want to lis­ten to — if that’s so, they might as well just lis­ten to songs on their USB drive.”

Singer-com­poser Vishal Dad­lani is “dis­ap­pointed” that peo­ple have made this an is­sue, since “mu­sic is the uni­verse’s first lan­guage”.

Singer Shaan points out, “You have to be open to not just lan­guage but the ex­pe­ri­ence of lis­ten­ing live to some­one. I can be sit­ting in Brazil and lis­ten­ing to a Span­ish band... and I can’t ex­pect a re­fund from there.” Shaan adds that it’s “very dis­re­spect­ful and wrong” to as­sume that all of Rah­man’s songs would be in Hindi.

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