Shreya Ghoshal live in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai – 2016 – clips – pt1

I had written about my experience of attending a Shreya Ghoshal concert in 2016.

As it happened, a musician friend of mine was doing a workshop on Shreya Ghoshal’s vocals and as he usually does when he does workshops on Indian film music, he discussed with me and asked me what I thought were her best songs. We agreed that the songs actually recorded by her (as in written for her by Bollywood composers) often didn’t do justice to her talent while her covers, especially of Lata Mangeshkar songs, were sensational.

I mentioned the above experience and of particularly loving her Lata medley. I had recorded a part of the medley (among other songs) on my phone and wanted to share it with him. But I couldn’t find it. I panicked, thinking I must have lost it.

At last, I did find them on a removable disk (remember those things?).

So what I have decided is I will upload all of these clips through the next few weeks, without judgment. Because I truly believe this concert was extra-special and any memories of it that survive (it was not televised or offered as video/DVD to fans as we don’t have that ‘culture’ in India sadly) should preserved for posterity’s sake.

Mind you, the video is bad (you can see a ghostly impression of Ghoshal on the giant screen at best) because I was seated in the upper stall (which also let me record slightly longish clips rather than 30 seconds or a minute). But the audio came out pretty well for a mobile phone recording (especially one done on a Lumia (!) back in 2016) thanks to the superb acoustics of Shanmukhananda Hall and the fact that a hall, unlike a pub, has plenty of speakers so you don’t get a noisy soundboard effect and instead get something close to the audio actually going into the speakers from the mics.

The first of these uploads is a Lata medley where she sang Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha-Ab Toh Hai Tumse-Kya Jaanu Sajjan. She also sang Aa Jaane Ja after this which I didn’t record. Kya Jaanu Sajjan in particular was absolutely spell binding (you can hear the audience whistle and exclaim just as she sings the first lyric line, so beautiful was her entrance).

I also saw her a month later in an open air show in Borivli where she was very good and did a highly professional job but which didn’t rise to the sheer magical heights of the Shanmukhananda Hall show. Where it seemed like the spirits of the yesteryear greats who had once performed at this storied venue were watching from above and willing her on as they would surely have looked upon her affectionately as the guardian of the mantle after the Lata-Asha-Kishore-Rafi generation.

I had gone out of sheer curiosity to see how playback singers fared live and as a moderate, ‘casual’ fan of Ghoshal who ‘appreciated’ rather than admired her singing. Boy did she convert me! It’s an evening I’ll never forget and I am sure most of us who attended that show would agree.

There’s more to come…

7 Responses to “Shreya Ghoshal live in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai – 2016 – clips – pt1”

  1. anonymousviolin20 Says:

    Hey Madan. I was wondering songs written for Shreya do you think actually did justice to her talent.

    • Madan Says:

      Ha, mostly I don’t think they do justice. She still does an amazing job with the songs she gets but she really deserved to work with the great Hindi composers or with peak Raja back in the 80s.

      • anonymousviolin20 Says:

        I see. Which 80s IR songs do you think she would’ve nailed? Personally, I think En Vaanile would’ve sounded pretty good in her voice.

      • Madan Says:

        Maybe En Vaanile, yes. Tho I really think that if Raja had the opportunity to work with her in the 80s, he would have written songs for her voice. So we don’t know what kind of tunes he would have come up with. If anything, her slightly husky flavour in lower pitch matches up better with Swarnalatha. So he may have tried to tap that quality. A song like Ovvoru Pakkam. Or Chitra’s Kadhal Ragamum (Indran Chandran) or Sivarathiri.

        He used Shreya mainly in her early years from around 2003 to 2006 and unfortunately tended to make her sing very much at the high end of her range, which made her sound kinda babyish.

        The Raja song where I like her singing best is Foolishq. Tho the composition is OK, nothing great. But you can tell how much more confident and relaxed she sounds here. By then, she was just a much better singer than in her early years, more experienced and more capable of getting the most out of her voice in different songs.

      • anonymousviolin20 Says:

        Thanks for the insight. I do remember seeing this song a while back (like you said, nothing to write home about in terms of composition).

        The real surprise for me was that I saw the day Armaan Malik sang for Ilayiaraja.

      • Madan Says:

        Yup, I would have never expected Armaan Malik to get the chance to sing for Raja. He did a pretty good job, actually.

  2. Shreya Ghoshal live in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai – 2016 – clips – pt2 to 5 | Pictured life Says:

    […] Life at first sting « Shreya Ghoshal live in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai – 2016 – clips – pt1 […]

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