Hameed Brothers Qawwal & Party + Rev. Simpkins

Hameed Brothers Qawwal & Party + Rev. Simpkins

12th April 2019

Stunning Sufi Devotional songs!

Led by singer and harmonium player Abdul Hameed, Hameed Brothers Qawwal and Party have been mainstays on Bradford’s South Asian music scene for over three decades. The group features a chorus consisting of Niaz Mohammed (dholak/vocals), Haji Zubair (harmonium/vocals), Abdul Waheed (tabla), Umar Hameed (vocals/clapping), Sujad Ahmed (vocals/clapping) and Ali (vocals/clapping).

Abdul Hameed’s father Ustad Mursalin (dhol) began visiting the UK in the late 1960s, having worked as a backing musician alongside his brother Ustad Maskeen (shenhai) in the Indian film industry, and with legendary Hindustani tabla master Alla Rakha. Performing with touring groups, as well as appearing on the BBC’s pioneering Urdu-language current affairs and culture TV programme ‘Nai Zindagi Naya Jeevan’, Ustad Mursalin eventually settled his family in Bradford, finding work in the city’s textile mills.
Enriched by his family’s musical background, Abdul Hameed’s passion for music developed according to the popular zeitgeist of the times.

During the early 1980s, energized by the qawwali revival sweeping across the UK, members of the group spent time living in Southall in West London - which at that time served as a hub for visiting musicians including Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Sabri Brothers, and Sher Ali and Mehr Ali. Performing alongside and receiving tutelage from such luminaries of the genre, the group naturally coalesced around the energetic and charismatic leadership of Abdul Hameed – who had also toured extensively with the prolific Najma Akhtar at this time - winning a Pennine Radio Award in 1981, and establishing themselves as the ‘go to’ band for Pakistani weddings and other celebrations in the north of England.

During these years the group continued to expand their repertoire, developing an increased connection to their Sufi heritage. For many years they served as musicians in residence at the Astana Aliya Naqeebiya in Bradford, a Sufi lodge that plays host to a mehfil-e-sama (‘gathering of listeners’) each Thursday night, and the have performed at countless similar events across the UK, in Europe, the USA, and back in Pakistan. Abdul Hameed and Abdul Waheed, through the devotion of the group’s second vocalist and harmonium player Haji Zubair (and his own group Shah e Mardan), have performed at the urs (‘commemoration’) of Sheikh Nazim Al-Haqqani, spiritual leader of the Naqshbandi al-Haqqani order, at his shrine in Northern Cyprus; helping to further popularize qawwali music through a diverse, international Sufi network.

With long-established ties to the ‘world music’ scene, and an undiminished appetite for collaboration, the group is constantly engaging with new audiences, having recently opened for Terry Riley at The Sage, Gatehead, to a rapturous audience. Over the years the Hameed Brothers have worked in collaboration with a plethora of established qawwali and Hindustani classical musicians including Mahmood Sabri, Sagir Ali Khan, and Tazeem Khan, as well as through experimental projects involving Dean McPhee, Victor Herrero, and The Family Elan. In 2018 the Hameed Brothers collaborated with artist and filmmaker Stanley Schtinter on a new work set in Nidderdale, North Yorkshire, titled “Pre-Apocalyptic Masterpeace”.

Lo! It came to pass...Behold! Rev Simpkins: notorious songster, freak finger picker and ordained Vicar of Lexden. A man - fuelled by milky tea, scratched records and the King James Bible - whose goal is to drag you into his miraculous musical medecine show. The Reverend's father, grandfather, grandmother and uncle are all preachers and his fiery and eccentric music owes as much to their sermons as it does to his musical heroes John Renbourn, Captain Beefheart, The Fall, The Kinks and Nick Drake.

Tickets £10 / £8 concessions.
Doors open 7.30pm.

Share on Facebook