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Shoaib Safi is a vocalist & harmonium player who performs songs in Afgani, Persian and Urdu languages, joined by tabla player Robi.
Hi God People are a sporadic assemblage of Melbourne musicians who make improvised music drawing from sources including space rock, musique concrete, experimental electronics and world music.



24 March 2007 photos Karen Trist

Tabla, harmonium and the cadence of Shoaib’s voice set off. Samosas and chai circulate the densely crowded cabin on this last improvised performance lap. Three High God People join in with chimes from the set of twelve brass hand bells – Melbourne’s special set of Federation Bells normally housed in the State Library. As the journey gathers pace, more and more High God People have hopped aboard at different tram stops, chiming bells, appearing in wonderfully strange head gear and body wear. The temperature is high, and a monsoon-like downpour is dumping on Melbourne. Passengers aboard are trickling with sweat; new passengers squeezing a way aboard enter in drenched clothes. As the mood reaches a visceral fever at journey’s three-quarter point our Yarra Tram company staff announce: “all passengers must exit and catch the tram behind us. This tram is temporarily going out of service.” Confusion abounds. “We want this tram, not that one!” The tram’s rear doors won’t close, so passengers oblige by exiting, perplexed with the state of their excitement being interrupted. The tram continues on. A maintenance man hops aboard, fixes the doors, and by three stops later the W11 is densely crammed with a new crowd of passengers aboard, dancing their way of the tram isle. W11 Tram zindabad!




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