Founded in October 1976, Feedback’s odyssey began with: Foad Naser Babu, Ershad Moinuddin Popsy, Murad Rahman, Salim Haider, and Hafizur Rahman (Khoka)
Perhaps, it was essential. In the midst of bands breaking up, the untimely departure of many great artists, and an infelicitous music industry, a few brave and undefeated soldiers gathered to cherish one night together. Fans like me, plus thousands more, joined to celebrate Four Decades of Feedback, the legendary Bangladeshi band who performed with their old and current line-up at the ICCB "Rajdarshan" auditorium on April 30, 2019.
With the hype of hip-hop, fusion, electronic music, and disk jockeys, the world is leaning toward a different musical palette compared to that of the 70s and 80s. Only a few remained within the core of rock and can still sell out arenas. Luckily enough, in Bangladesh, Feedback is such a name; they held their promises of creating melodies that melt within our Bengali hearts and heritage — while depicting the true essence of craftsmanship and artistry.
Founded in October 1976, Feedback’s odyssey began with: Foad Naser Babu, Ershad Moinuddin Popsy, Murad Rahman, Salim Haider, and Hafizur Rahman (Khoka). Since then, there have been a few changes to the line-up. Piaru Khan joined the band as the drummer. Before Labu Rahman joined the band, Feedback used to perform English-language numbers only. Releasing their first album in 1985, and second in 1987—with Maqsoudul Hoque providing the vocals—these acclaimed gentlemen continued to enrich the Bengali rock music scene by delivering seven studio albums.
Enough about their sagas, let’s talk business now — the reason we all gathered under the same roof. As the lights went up, Elita Karim introduced the band and "Vintage Feedback" took to the stage. Zakir Hossain, Montu, Salim Haider, Murad Rahman, Omor Khaled Rumi, Romel Khan and Fuad Naser Babu, Sekandar Ahmed Khoka, Maqsoudul Hoque—the old guns—roared one more time covering some of their favourite English-language numbers and the classics like "Chithi."
Followed by the current Feedback lineup—with Rayhan and Lumin as vocals and Labu Rahman on guitars—the band sang "UruUruMonta,"Bondhur Khoje Jochonay" and couple more. Then, finally, when Maqsoudul Hoque came to perform with his erstwhile band, the acclamation from the crowd reminded me of the 90s. Although Mr. Hoque was only with the band for nine years, it seems like he was the epitome of Feedback; and to some extent this might be true. Many of Feedback's legendary songs came to fruition during his presence in the band.
In between the vintage and current Feedback performances, Warfaze, Artcell, Miles, and Dolchut also paid their tributes. Warfaze covered "Moushumi 2" and Miles did their rendition of "Telephone Fis Fis." The younger branch of Feedback fans welcomed Artcell by singing one of their own songs in unison. Artcell blasted through "Jonmechi Ei Juge" while Dalchut played "Chithi" once more.
It is fair to say the band’s body language did not reflect their age at all; rather, Babu’s curdling of the air with keyboards, spontaneous dances from Maqsoud, plus their familiar old sinew and swagger amplified the atmosphere.
The crowd seemed unenthusiastic at times, probably because they had expected a better sound system and audio-mixing. Still, Pran—the key sponsor—and other co-sponsors, along with the organizers, did a great job in setting up such a memorable experience for the fans.
Now, I wouldn't indulge myself by saying more about "Melay Jaire"—the iconic Feedback song—but for the grand finale, when all the bands got together on stage with Feedback to perform this perennial classic, besides being exhilarated, I just hoped and prayed that the legacy of Feedback continues.