The culturally active embassy of Brazil, under the aegis of its ambassador Alfredo Leoni, provided Islamabad with another musical treat by bringing the innovative band ‘Patubate’ to the city, not only presenting music lovers with a different kind of harmony but providing food for thought because of the ‘instruments’ they use to create it.
The band held two shows, one at the Serena Hotel, for which tickets were sold and one at the PNCA, admission free. Besides this they also conducted a workshop for the underprivileged children of two schools, giving them a memorable time and getting satisfaction out of it. The energetic and crowd friendly Patubate members are Fred Magalhaes, Fernando Mazoni, Gustavo Lavoura, Pablo Maia and the DJ Leandronik.
The event at the Shamadan Hall was packed to the rafters (using the title of a popular Australian soap!) with aficionados of South American music, both from the diplomatic and Pakistani communities of Islamabad. The venue had been beautifully decorated by our very own Brazilian, Cristina Afridi, to create the right ambience, with unusual centre pieces; light covers and vases, all made with recyclable material in keeping with the theme of the evening - even the small gift boxes filled with Brazilian coconut sweets were empty cans painted in green and yellow (the colours of Brazils flag) to match the large ‘drums’ on the stage! Recorded Brazilian music played in the background as guests arrived and looked for their tables.
Believe it or not, Patubate blends percussion, junk iron and electronic music and the stage featured scrap material like old exhaust pipes or ‘silencers’ as we call them; vegetable graters; pots and pans; bin covers; bottles; shock absorbers; motorcycle bumpers; cans and even a grinder, which sent sparks flying across the stage! These items are recycled to produce the bands unique sound, proving that creativity is their forte and music can be made with anything if you are so inclined! After a dinner of Brazilian specialties was enjoyed the show began with the group of five coming on stage to a warm welcome by the excited crowd. Besides the lively music, which included a variety of Brazilian rhythms, such as samba, salsa and others inherited from Africa, the energy with which they performed was amazing. They danced; jumped; rolled and generally created enough movement on the stage to make the audience marvel at their agility and fitness. One number also included football dribbling, with three of the group juggling the balls in time to the music. The performers moved from one number to the next in non-stop action, with ‘instruments’ changed almost unnoticeably by a fast acting assistant and very short breaks to interact with the audience and introduce those on stage. Yes! The showmanship was there and those who watched, loved it, cheering; whistling and applauding in turn — the ‘asalam alikum’ and ‘shukria’ voiced by leader of the group also drawing a big round of applause.