I was first introduced to the band a year or so ago by a friend of mine who is a big-big fan of theirs. Since then I keep an eye on Mashrou’ Leila. More I read about them, more I listen to their music, more I like them. But it was not until last night that I saw them live. The gig was in London’s Scala club, popular with students and indie crowd. What a great time I had.
They sing about love, life, important social and human rights issues, including LGBT related. I didn’t feel that I don’t know the language of their songs, because I could feel the music, the rhythms, emotions, sincerity, bravery. It’s as if they played in Armenian or English. Everything was so familiar, so close to my heart, so understandable. I was totally taken away by their music and performance, and left the gig recharged.
Btw, there is Armenian violinist in the band - Haig Papazian. He is currently studying in London at Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. Haig was on stage in transparent black top. What a talented cute guy he is. In fact, all of his bandmates are. Brave, intelligent, talented and cute.
They appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine’s Middle East edition.
Below are just few media headlines about the band:
The Guardian: Mashrou' Leila: the Lebanese band changing the tune of Arab politics
BBC: The band out to occupy Arab pop
Reuters: Gay Lebanese singer with 'Freddie Mercury' edge fronts band
Hamed Sinno, openly gay vocalist of the band, was on a cover of Tetu, prominent gay magazine in France.
Hamed made into The Independent’s PINK LIST 2013 as one of the most influential international LGBT names:
The lead singer in the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila appeared on the cover of the French gay lifestyle magazine Têtu, and encourages his LGBT fans “to forge for themselves a sense of belonging to the region, in spite of the incredible repressing they have to live through.”
*FYI: band's FB page; Twitter