By Mannu Shahi
With the pandemic hitting hard the economy of the country, music too has had its share. Ban on big concerts have affected well-established artists. Cancellation of more intimate gatherings deprived local acts from their decent source of bread and butter more.
The different lockdown phases brought a hiatus of earning for many sectors, however, the entertainment fraternity continues to suffer immensely even when things seem to slowly pick up a normal pace.
Thamel, the highlight of tourists and nightlife, remains bleak in mid-September, directly impairing the business and thus disturbing all interlinked jobs. Music in the urban lands for long has depended on junctures like Thamel which provide a sort of financial stability for artists and a good exposure for development.
So, no business in one of the prime locations of Kathmandu indicates only bad news for countless musicians and more. As employment opportunities continue to minimise, fresh productions in the entertainment industry seem to have no worth for the general public amidst this on-going social crisis.
The silver lining for many appears to be remote sources like YouTube, where publishing content might create a buzz and even come in handy from a financial standpoint. This is the reason why most live performing cover artists are also switching towards releasing self-funded original material and constructing a digital space to gather some online following.
Meanwhile, as all things are going haywire, some optimistic aspects are also transpiring and the re-opening of Purple Haze Rock Bar is indeed one. Co-founded on 2011 by two musician friends; Swapnil Sharma (vocalist of The Shadows Nepal) and Ashok Sen (vocalist of All Stars) as a place with specialization on rock music playing only, the prominence of this bar has helped it sustain and remain relevant even in tough times like these.
The venue which has hosted massive Nepali acts like Underside, Jindabaad, Cobweb, The Shadows and many others has also held performances by international figures like Chris Adler (Lamb of God), Michael Angelo Batio, Ron Bumblefoot Thal, Mohini Dey and more has reopened since Friday, September 3, 2021. It also hosted a live performance by Thamel’s very popular band Pariwartan.
A rock quartet consisting of Deepak Gurung on bass, Gopi Shrestha on vocals/ guitars, Pravesh Thapa Magar on guitar/ backing vocals and Yugal Shahi on drums have released three singles under their banner and continue to put forth catchy love songs through their official social handles.
And after nearly 4 months of not organizing any live performances the latest show initiated from 7pm onwards with a free entry at the door. Still being one of the first few to re-open the starting of live shows has definitely rekindled a ray of hope for many artists who’ve been work-deprived for what feels like ages now.
Source : TRN,