29 March 2007

Khalid Al Shaikh: The Disappointment

Khalid Al Shaikh finally played in Bahrain’s Culture Hall on 27th March 2007, as part of the annual Spring of Culture. As much as I anticipated the event, it turned out to be a pitiful disappointment.

After a boring one hour wait for the show to commence, and after the agitated audience started clapping sarcastically for the unexplained delay, the curtains were pulled, and so we saw; a show that was way beyond unorganized and unimpressive.

What disturbed me the most about Al Shaikh’s performance was that he failed to pay attention and cater to his devoted Bahraini audience. Al Shaikh developed his “sophisticated” style in music so far away from the ground and forgot to create a rational link between his early, locally popular, Bahraini songs and his new rigid dreamy style. I, like many of my friends who were there, expected Al Shaikh to touch us with his old songs. Instead he chose to brag with a number of cluttered and incoherent ideas which didn’t make any sense to the humbly simple minds like mine. Even when, by the end of the show, he played the songs he composed for Abdullah Ruwaished (again, beautiful songs) he just didn’t hit the right spot.

Khalid Al Shaikh didn’t stop playing maestro. He was too casual on stage, strolling around the singers and musicians, and shouting at the director Amer Al Khuffash at one point, who was, mind you, not on stage. Al Khuffash, might I add, also has own too distinctive style, which usually involves a glitter-faced couple dancing unprofession
ally opposite a dark background. Minimalist in a tacky way. That was Al Khaffash’s touch to the show. At a certain point there were even breakdancers on the stage dancing to traditional music. Nonsense.

The young performers obviously hadn’t practiced well enough, the music was louder than the singers’ voices and lyrics weren’t clear. Though Hala Al Sabbagh’s performance was excellent, and she did most of the singing, I personally had no idea who she was nor why she was there.

I am very upset with and for Khalid Al Shaikh. It is such a shame that Bahraini artists froze in the early nineties, and that includes actors, comedians and musicians. However, considering the current miserable living conditions and the lack of proper freedom of expression, how can you expect a bird to sing lively?


Jess said...

YA that was a mess..it was like he was trying to be cool and one of the homies.."see i'm chattin up the other singers during a performers, i'm so chill"...and i don't even know what he was thinking with the break dancing, maybe it was a comedic interval of some sort..but the waiters/dancers were probably the worst part.Not that they can't dance, but that chereography was seriously laughable. oh and the glittery pants.

the whole set was beautiful, but it was utilized very poorly.

moodz said...

Thank you for the wonderful descriptive post. Like you I still fail to understand why did Khalid turn his back to the authentic and unique beats of Bahraini and Khaliji tarab for on that can only be described as weird desperately westernized wana be.

The guy has great talents, excellent deep voice and outstandingly rich music history, it is just sad to see all of this going to waste with what he is producing now.

nido said...

I was debating whether to go or not but I'm glad I didn't end up going. Everyone who saw it said it was so bad it was painful. An absolute farce. Apparently he hasn't even been going to practices!

Costa-Guy said...

Good post..

I have no idea why such people still go to Khalid Al Shaikh. The guy did not evolve his style neither brought something new and colorful to his talent. His songs are all about "living in La La Land", as if he's singing for a girl hopping in some gardens.

Right now, he's just hanging to his name which he earned by considering him an "oldie"

Having that with a couple of "un-creative" directing and filling spaces with ridiculous dancing sessions, adding to that the attempt to sell the show by singing covers for other artists, suggests that the "Spring of Culture" really needs an investigation committee.

un-proffisional actors with social problems, un-creative directors, weak & shallow screenplays, stupid sarcasm that the viewers would like to hear about (which make us viewers even more stupid listening and laughing to such stuff), and no care for art by the ministry.

I can be talking about artists and musicians in Bahrain for a week but i'll stop here