Delhi 2 Dublin fuses Ireland and India into danceable world beat

Brendan Kergin, Arts & Entertainment Editor Ω

Delhi 2 Dublin will be bringing its Irish-Indian dance fusion to TRU's International Days. - Photo by Josli Rockafella

Delhi 2 Dublin will be bringing its Irish-Indian dance fusion to TRU’s International Days. – Photo by Josli Rockafella

One of the biggest events of the 20th annual International Days is the Delhi 2 Dublin show Wednesday, Feb. 6.

The Vancouver-based group has travelled the world, playing shows from Dublin to Bali (ironically the group has never played together in Delhi, though a couple have had other shows there). This will only be their second time ever playing Kamloops and the night promises to be a huge cultural mishmash, which fits the week’s tone.

“I would say it’s a mash-up of mainly some Indian sounds, some Irish sounds, lots of electronics and then anything else we feel like throwing in there,” said Tarun Nayar, DJ and percussionist for the group. “It’s basically global party music.”

The mixture of fiddle, tabla (traditional Indian drums) and a heavy dose of Vancouver’s bass scene, Delhi 2 Dublin’s sound is a unique blend of old and new, with two distinct influences working together to bring a brand new sound.

“It’s a vibe that people on the West Coast relate to a lot more strongly than people on the East Coast,” Nayar said. “We’ve also seen that in Asia that people can really respond to it.

“So many Chinese people grow up with Bollywood movies and so many people in Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, all through that region, they all watch Indian movies. So when they see us on stage they can really relate to a lot of the rhythms and melodies even though it’s not their culture. They find it appealing and colourful.”

While the band is now a fulltime job – Nayar said they’re on the road about 200 days of the year – they almost never came together, simply because they never planned to. The first show they played was a one-off 15-minute set on a St. Patrick’s Day seven years ago. In the crowd were a couple people looking to book shows and the group responded, but had to write a lot more music first.

“We did things in reverse; we never sat down and wanted to make a band. The band sort of made itself and we’ve just hung on since then,” Nayar said.

Now the band is touring the world, playing at a wide variety of shows, from folk events to jazz festivals to raves.

“When we’re on stage it’s a frickin’ party and there’s something really magical about watching all this different music come together live and work,” Nayar said. “And I think that’s really exciting on stage.”

Bhang a Gong: A Midweek Dance Party featuring Delhi 2 Dublin is Wednesday, Feb. 6 at the Culinary Arts Training Centre. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show is at 9 p.m.

Updated Feb. 4, 2013 at 2:18 p.m. by copy/web editor.