Saturday, June 25, 2016

SIFA 2016 :: Perhat Khaliq & Qetiq

I know nothing about Chinese reality show 'The Voice of China' or now known as 'Sing! China'《中国好声音》, and am not bothered about it. But since Uyghur rock guitarist Perhat Khaliq and his band Qetiq were on the bill of the O.P.E.N at Singapore International Festival of Arts (SIFA), and I was intrigued by the festival's introductory trailer, I attended his concert at the Victoria Concert Theatre.

I know so little of the Asian rock scene. I don't really follow Chinese rock because the lyrics don't speak to me. But once in a while, going to a Chinese rock gig is fun. Hmm, well, see, this is where I don't know if tonight's gig is categorized as Chinese or erm Uyghur, or...... It's a thorny issue on the matter of autonomous regions in China, especially Xinjiang. It's a fine line to tread and Perhat Khaliq is definitely reaching out to audiences within and outside of China. Whatever. Just get on with the music. (Link to Perhat Khaliq's 14:21min performance on 'The Voice of China 3' in August 2014.) 

Perhat Khaliq sings in both Uyghur and Mandarin. In Singapore, he sang mainly in Uyghur and did two Chinese (unfamiliar to me) songs. His wife Pazilet Tursun sings in the band too and joined him for a few songs. His music is a blend of classic and folk rock, and traditional tunes. He also does covers, ballads, writes and sings of love, nature, the plains, blue skies, gratitude for his life, and family. To the best of my understanding, his lyrics aren't even subtly controversial. Tonight, as mainstream as this sort of Uyghur rock sounded, oh yes, happy to hear the band. No flamboyant costumes. Just the musicians and their brand of music. It was a pretty enjoyable gig.

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