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Amrit at O2 Academy Brixton

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

While visiting London in 2007, Nepathya’s frontman Amrit Gurung had pointed out the Wembley Arena and told his daughter he wished he could play there one day. His daughter laughed at him. “Dreaming is free,” he remembers thinking.

But Gurung and Nepathya ended up performing at Wembley Arena in front of 10,000 fans in 2013. Two years later, the Nepali folk rock band is getting ready for another gig on 8 August at O2 Academy Brixton which has a capacity of 4,500.

Amrit Gurung during Nepathya's performance at Wembley Arena on 3 August 2013

Amrit Gurung during Nepathya’s performance at Al Nasr Leisure Land, Dubai on 21 May 2015

As last time, a large part of the audience will be Nepalis resident in Britain many of them descendants of Gurkha soldiers in the British Army. This time, Gurung hope there will be some Nepali veterans in the crowd because he will be performing the old Gurkha song Naina Taala, which is in Nepathya’s tenth album being released soon.

All the songs in the new album were recorded at one go, with all the instruments at the same time on one track so it will have the feel of a live performance. “The sound quality of this tenth record may not be as good as the previous ones, but playing together at the same time enabled us to convey intimacy in our sound,” Gurung told us.

Nepathya at the Wembley Arena on 3 August 2013

Nepathya during a concert in Nepal

Nepathya band members are eager to meet the British public again, this time also to mark the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Gurung says what he loves the most during his concerts is the interaction with the audience.  “I’m not as enthusiastic about studio recordings,” he admits.

Musicians of Nepathya before going on stage © Sudhira Shah

Musicians of Nepathya before going on stage © Sudhira Shah

The second concert in London and this new approach of recording prove that 25 years after its creation by a group of college mates, and as band members come and go, Gurung and Nepathya continue to innovate. Gurung says that is the way young Nepali musicians should engage in music: “To succeed, you have to create and recreate yourself and be original.”

In 2013, Gurung remembers being nervous before the Wembley Arena concert, but now he feels there was no reason to be. “It’s your performance that counts,” he says, “if the audience doesn’t feel your music, it doesn’t mean anything it’s in the Wembley Arena or anywhere else.”

Nepathya at the HBF Stadium of Sydney, Australia on 4 April 2015 © Sudhira Shah

Nepathya at the HBF Stadium of Sydney, Australia on 4 April 2015 © Sudhira Shah

Nepathya has performed to packed audiences all over Nepal, in Israel, in the Gulf, Hong Kong, South Korean, Finland and Australia in the past few years. Gurung admits that 25 years ago, he never felt the band would last as long as it did. Since then, he has worked with 19 different musicians and is the only founding member who remains.

Gurung says: “Dreaming is free, but hard work also pays off.”


Stéphane Huët

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