Popular fusion band Chirkutt recently captured the hearts of Sri Lankan audience during their performance at the opening of the 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival (FGLF). Held every year since 2007, the festival draws large crowds and influential writers to their grounds in and around the historic Dutch Galle Fort. Chirkutt touched down on the tropical island on January 23 on a nine-day tour, five of which were spent in Galle. On January 28 the band traveled to Colombo, where they performed at a folk concert titled “Melodies of Folk” organised by The Sri Lanka Norway Music Corporation in cooperation with Sevalanka and the Norwegian Embassy.
The band’s opening performance at FGLF took place on January 24, after which they took to the stage again on January 27 in a concert titled “Mayhem Past Midnight”. Lead singer Shumi told The Daily Star that the Sri Lankan premier Ranil Wickremasinghe made a surprise appearance at the concert, where he joined the band on stage to sing a few words in Bangla. “It was a moment I’ll never forget. Right in the middle of the concert we suddenly saw a rush of protocol in the vicinity, and while we were wondering what was happening, we were greeted by him,” reminisced Shumi.
The band was invited to take part in the Festival’s Children’s Programme that took place from January 27-28. The Bangladesh High Commission played a role in this component of the festival, organising an art competition in remembrance of International Mother Language Day, where three hundred children from different schools around the country took part in the programme, drawing canvases in their own languages.
“This was easily the most beautiful and significant part of our tour. The children performed music for us, and sang along with us. We also spoke to the children on the importance of staying true to your own identity and colours. As a band, our ultimate aim is to represent our country and culture wherever we go, and Sri Lanka gave us room, and so much respect to help carry out our aims. We were the first Bangladeshi band to open the festival,” she added. “Their hospitality is something we will always remember; during the five days of the literary festival, the event organisers took us for meals around different parts of the island and beaches. It was simply magical.”
The band returned to Bangladesh on February 1, and will travel to Khulna on February 13 to perform at KUET.