Review: Daniel Bath and Shahbaz Hussain in concert, Square Chapel

Daniel Bath and Shahbaz Hussain
Daniel Bath and Shahbaz Hussain

By Sandra Rout

Good vibrations filled the Square Chapel in a unique and inspiring performance from Daniel Bath and Shahbaz Hussain.

These were songs of love, religion and spirituality played to a spellbound audience in a harmonious and uplifting evening.

Daniel’s own songs, many from his album In My Garden, were woven among Punjabi folk songs, Indian classical music and even a song from Bosnia, all united by his clear, haunting voice.

Daniel accompanied himself on the guitar or harmonium, while complex and funky rhythms were beaten out by virtuoso tabla player Shahbaz, who has an international reputation for applying his traditional skills on this Indian percussion instrument to more contemporary styles of music.

The songs ranged from the experimental Universi, which combined a Gregorian chant in Latin with Indian music, to the clarity and pure emotion of Daniel singing his love song Potion, accompanied only by the guitar, which moved my friend to tears.

The soaring vocals in Emmaus made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end and told an ancient story from the scriptures.

Maryam, supported by the warm rhythmic sound of the guitar and tabla, told of a woman giving birth in the desert and learning to trust in God and nature: “Eat from the date palm, drink from the river; wherever she goes – God is with her”; harmony with nature and harmony between musical genres and cultural traditions.

This was, as promised, a fascinating evening.