Shahid Khan Picture: GAIL D'ALMAINE

Mehboob Bawa

IN February last year I attended the London’s Calling concert featuring the talented Shahid Khan and Abira Shah. Like most local lovers of Bollywood music I was not familiar with these artistes, but knew that their performances had received much acclaim in the UK. Both pulled out all the stops in delivering stunning performances leaving audiences clamouring for more. Well, London’s Calling Again. Their latest show will be performed on May 1 at the Grace Performing Arts Theatre in Beaconvale at 8pm.

A hallmark of the previous show was the wonderful manner in which these accomplished singers interacted with the audience, especially Khan, who was only too happy to take direction and requests from an audience that quickly grew into fans.

Khan is equally adept at belting out the latest Bollywood songs, as well as delivering the classics with great finesse. But he is equally at home singing the works of Michael Jackson and Bruno Mars. A truly all round entertainer, he had young and old eating out of the palm of his hand. Khan comes from a family steeped in classical Indian music. He started singing at the age of three and by the time he reached 10 was already receiving professional music training. According to Khan his greatest influence has come from the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, who many top Qawwali singers revere. To his credit, Khan, while receiving a grounding in the classics, has a wide range of music in his repertoire.

Since winning the 2002 UK Asian Star Search competition he has worked on a number of musical projects including Bhangra Latina and From Hollywood to Bollywood with the BBC Concert Orchestra. His latest accomplishment is being included in the cast of the stage version of the hit film Bend It Like Beckham.

Shah is also a London based singer who has received professional training. Her family is involved in various facets of music and she received great encouragement from her mother, who is a singer in the Pakistan film industry. Her greatest inspiration, she says, has been Madame Noor Jehan, one of the greatest singers of yesteryear. Shah has performed extensively in live shows with Khan and solo as well, throughout the UK. A highlight of her career was being selected to sing at the B4U Mehfil Night, a major musical event staged by the popular international Bollywood television network B4U.

Backing will be by the Durban- based group Dilkash. Led by Rajive Mohan, the group is one of the top performers of Bollywood music, both pop and classical, in SA. There will be dance recitals by popular Cape based group Taare and singers will also be given an opportunity to strut their stuff.

Fans of Bollywood songs, the classics, as well as western pop music will definitely be spoilt for choice.

l Shahzadi, 021 633 9765.