Last night, Saturday 12th November, saw Sunidhi Chauhan and KK perform for the first time live at London’s Wembley Arena, one the city’s largest indoor arenas, where nearly all of Bollywood’s greatest, stars and singers, have performed to audiences in excess of twelve thousand.
This was KK’s first time performing in London and Sunidhi’s second. First on stage was KK, whose career catapulted with “Tadap Tadap” in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, to now having sung over 500 songs in Hindi, and what’s interesting is that KK has never had any formal training! An absolute natural on stage, he entertained the crowds with a mix of his slower melodious tunes (Ajab si – Om Shaanti Om), with the more upbeat popular tracks (Zara si – Jannat). My thoughts on KK were that he’s a voice that is probably better suited to more intimate audiences and I would much prefer to see him in an ‘unplugged’ gig, perhaps at a venue like London’s Royal Festival Hall, where the likes of Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Kailash Kher have recently performed. I think this would really put KK in his zone and allow him to properly present his versatile singing style, a mix of romance and rock!
Second up was Sunidhi, who was presented as the diva of Bollywood and she certainly was! I remember seeing Sunidhi many years ago when she first came to London, back then she was only a few songs old from Mast and was a warm up act for Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik and look where she is now! She kept on belting out hit after hit, but more uniquely altering and enhancing her songs for the stage. What worked better for Sunidhi was that unlike KK, she didn’t sing her entire songs, which kept her set faster moving. She was also brilliant at interacting with her audience, which is always the fun part of these shows, by getting them to join in the chorus of her popular tracks.
The real highlight of the night and what was on the lips and chants of audiences after each and every song was: “Sheila! Sheila!” And Sunidhi certainly didn’t disappoint! After an energetic build up and with much suspense, she sang a modified and energetic version of “Sheila Ki Jawani”, which has become like a national anthem for all age groups from kids to the elderly and certainly had everyone up on their feet dancing!
One final request which I’m sure the audience will share: please come back again soon Sunidhi! And as for KK, would love to see you ‘unplugged’ next time you’re here…