A Nepali folk-rock band is heading to Dubai to drum up support for earthquake relief in their disaster-hit nation.
Nepathya – formed in 1990 and famed for its ‘peace tours’ during the civil war in Nepal – promise a poignant performance that will highlight the problems the country is grappling with along with the strength of spirit of its people to overcome the tragedy.
The band’s director of public relations Arpan Sharma, 38, told : “The only purpose of this concert is to create awareness of the situation in Nepal and raise funding. We want to share what people are really going through. The situation is far worse and far more serious than anyone can imagine.”
The gig will also provide a platform for images and footage, captured by some of the band’s members as well as photographers in Nepal, to illustrate the scale of the devastation. But, through the pictures, the musicians will also bring to light heroism and kindness.
“The evening will start on a sombre note, paying tribute to the victims,” Sharma said. “The songs will depict the pain of the people. But above all, they will show the heroism and how everyone has come together to help.”
More importantly, the night will end on a lighter, positive note to inspire hope.
“The tunes are very different,” Sharma said. “They come from the mountains of Nepal. So it’s like traditional folk music fused with rock.”
He added: “The song list includes ‘Jeewan Ho Gham Chaya’ [‘Life is Sun and Shade’]. It’s how life is about pain and happiness… and the sun will come out to shine again and everything will be OK. Another is ‘Naramro Sapana Dekhethe’ – [‘I Saw a Bad Dream’] – it’s about seeing a bad dream, but that it was just a dream, and it will pass.”
Nepathya, who have played sold-out gigs around the world including at London’s Wembley Arena, promise an authentic sound, though Sharma admits the evening will be a difficult one for the group as they have had to leave their homes amidst the on-going aftershocks.
He said: “To be honest, the band wants to come back home as soon as possible. They’re in no mood to perform. Here, we’re looking at entire villages destroyed. They don’t exist anymore. The death toll is 9,000 but we know it’s a lot higher because people are still buried under the rubble. We want to be here to help. But it’s also important that we do this, now more than ever.”
The band has already pledged more than $30,000 (Dhs110,196) from their performance in Melbourne, where they were playing when the quake hit, as well as from their gig in Tokyo, which they dedicated to victims of the disaster.
“The show must go on – so life can move on for the people of Nepal,” Sharma said.
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