Although the five members of Delhi 2 Dublin originally got together for a one-off performance in 2006, the group has since become a full-time concern for the quintet. Since the May 2010 release of their newest record Planet Electric, the group has been consistently selling out shows throughout Canada based on their eclectic musical sound and energetic live shows.
With their sound dubbed as a meld of banghra, celtic, dub, reggae and electronica, the band bills Planet Electric as “the buzz of the world plugged into a large socket, electrifying the people and charging up their energy.” Quite a heady description but in this case, there would probably be little in the way of exaggeration on the band’s part.
From Tofino, British Columbia, Delhi 2 Dublin member Tarun Nayar recalls the fateful evening that they originally played together and how the energy and chemistry between the members on stage was too obvious to deny.
“I think it was the response of the crowd as well as the response of booking agents and industry folks that were in attendance that night that buoyed us. The magic that happened hit all of us but the crowd played a pretty crucial role too, affirming for us that what we did on stage that night would be viable. I think we are one of the more clear-cut cases that it is better we got our start on stage instead of the studio. Ironically, I went back and listened to the jam we did on stage that night and man, it was terrible,” Nayar laughs.
With band mates Andrew Kim, Ravi Binning, Kytami and Sanjay Seran in tow, Nayar says it was pretty obvious from that first performance that performing and writing together again would be in the cards.
“I think it was a given that we would undertake making more music together. It had worked so well and as the result of that initial show, we started getting booked all over Vancouver for all types of events. Eventually, our schedules got so busy that each of us arrived at the point that we had to forego our other bands and projects to focus solely on Delhi 2 Dublin.”
Of course, any band is only as interesting as the influences brought to the table by their individual members.
In the case of Delhi 2 Dublin, there is no lack of diversity in the cards: Nayar started his musical career playing Indian classical music, getting into electronica when he hit his early 20s. The band’s violinist Kytami grew up playing violin and prior to joining Delhi 2 Dublin, did a stint as the fiddler in an Irish pub in Whistler, often playing for up to four hours in the run of a night. Sanjay Seran grew up listening to “’80s hair metal and Run DMC”, Nayar says, while Andrew brings the classic rock quota to the group, having listened to bands like Boston and Led Zeppelin.
Nayar admits the influences brought to the table are diverse ones but influences that he feels ultimately reinforce the group’s raison d’etre. The group loves the challenge of bringing such a diverse palette of colours together and making them into a final product that can be embraced and appreciated by people from all walks of life.
“We feel like we are safe enough to pursue almost whatever whim we feel like going after in a musical sense,” he says. “But one major factor that dictated the material included on Planet Electric has been the crowds’ response to the material in concert.
“I think that people want and expect a certain delivery from us when they come see us play. I love recording and writing the more atmospheric, down-tempo songs but they are just too mellow to play live. We can’t have 400 people gathered in a room with us ready to party and then come out on stage and play a bunch of mellow songs.”
Delhi 2 Dublin were last on the Atlantic Coast for this past summer’s Evolve Music Festival which was held in Antigonish, Nova Scotia in July.
“That was our first trip to the Maritimes and we really enjoyed ourselves. There is such an obviously strong Celtic connection on the east coast; it was nice to play for a crowd that we felt comfortable with. As a band, we tend to play a lot of folk festivals throughout the country but it is also really nice and a lot of fun to play for younger crowds at festivals that aren’t folk or world music oriented.
“Evolve was so raw though, and I mean that in the nicest possible way,” he says. “There were no green rooms for the bands and at times things seem like they could have gotten out of control but nothing ever did get to that point. It was pretty cool.”
Despite a seemingly never-ending tour schedule, Nayar and the rest of Delhi 2 Dublin’s members still find the road to be a great place to pass their days. Nayar says that while the group has spent the bulk of their time in Canada, they also try to play throughout the United States as much as they can.
“We have played through California and Oregon quite a bit but have also played shows in Chiacgo, New York City and Boston.”
Nayar says the group is taking a month and a half off for the Christmas holidays before undertaking more American and Canadian dates starting in February.
“We are constantly rotating through these cities we are slated to play. It is definitely nice to see us making some headway.”
Article published in November 12, 2010 edition of the Times & Transcript