In a captivating journey back to 1985, we are transported to where it all began as Prashant Nayak, our visionary founder, shares his vivid memory of Milap’s inaugural concert.
Zakir bhai and Shiv ji were very young and new musicians who were beginning to get popular and had never visited Liverpool. Marketing was done through simple leaflets and posters (as pictured above) placed in a few strategic places distributed through an arts marketing agency. I also went around Liverpool and placed leaflets in popular places where Indians went frequently. The intention was to kick start a regular Indian music programme of high quality in Liverpool.
The artists were housed at a Milap team members house for two nights and taken around Liverpool sights. Another team member took care of the meals for the artists.
Tickets were sold through the Bluecoat coffee shop, however, according to my memory, we had only sold three tickets in all by 7pm on the night which was heart breaking! When the artists arrived before concert to get ready and sound check, I remember telling Zakir bhai about it; he smiled and said “don’t worry Prashant ji, we will have a nice private concert!”
I remember standing near the concert hall window with a heavy heart when at 7:15pm the bell rang and the doors opened. To my utter amazement, a large number of people walked in and by 7:25pm the hall was full and we had to reluctantly seat some people on the floor in front of the stage! We were all thrilled and astonished. Shiv ji and Zakir bhai walked on the stage and gave me a big knowing smile!
It was a beautiful evening concert from two budding super stars of Indian music and the audience was truly transfixed by the end. The recording survives on our archives; but my most lasting memory was of a group young British girls who sat in the front row from the start but when they left I overheard them saying, “Wow, what a concert! We didn’t know that Indian music was so beautiful! “
With that, Milap’s musical journey began….!