Nepathya Concert : Perspectives & Emotions from London

September 1, 2013 , by Jerusha Rai, Leave your thoughts
Nepathya Concert : Perspectives & Emotions from London » My Dreams Mag
Nepathya brought their unparalleled music to the UK allowing a whole diaspora to revel in Nepalipan. Nepathya's concert, be it for a night, closed the wide cultural gap between first generation elder Nepali immigrants and the second generation youth who were born and/or raised in the UK.


A buzz of conversations in Nepali interrupted my usual preoccupation with the concrete I walk on. I had arrived at Wembley Arena where Nepathya, the one band adored by young and old Nepalis alike, were going to perform a historic concert. So I was expecting Nepalese by the thousands. What surprised me was that despite being hours early to help the organizers as a volunteer, I saw that a massive crowd of excited Nepathya fans had already gathered outside the venue. Making my way through the animated chatter, the air almost opaque with solid anticipation of a once-in-a life-time experience, I registered myself at the gate and received my backstage pass (which was, hands down, the coolest accessory I had on that day). I entered the arena and I was confronted by a near surreal silence as I took in the view. I had been to the Arena before for other shows but the sheer scale of the place still came as a shock and I felt nervous for the band and for the organizers; the all too familiar pre-gig nausea. 


Nawal and Sameer of Parcha Productions, two of the organizers and close friends of mine, had a thousand things swimming in their heads, while they simultaneously briefed the volunteers and took calls every other second for last minute ticket sales. I felt proud of them for staying calm, collected and focused and quickly took up the post I was assigned: helping the main entrance security team with translations and stewarding. When the gates opened and people started trickling in, my fellow volunteers and I felt an immense eagerness to engage with these complete strangers. There was a knot in my throat as I watched an elderly couple walk in with tickets in their hands and young people with the Nepali flag draped over their shoulders. I had the sudden realization that this was no ordinary concert. It was a manifestation of how dear our roots are to us.

 Nepali Flag, Wembley Arena


By the time it was okay for us to leave our posts (this took a while because people were still buying tickets at the box office), the concert was already under-way. I don’t know if I had expected anything less, but when I went into the arena, I was completely overwhelmed. This mammoth venue, with a 12500 capacity, was packed from floor to rafter with cheering, dancing Nepathya fans. The band was all swing and groove. Amrit Gurung was phenomenal in his singing and when he sang his fierce love for Nepal seemed magnified and contagious. My friend and I, our usual cool reserve melting away, shrieked and sang along.


The friend I am talking about here is Shreya Rai, who is a Nepali musician living in London, and she later tells me what the concert meant to her. “Seeing Nepathya live in concert felt like being a kid back in Nepal again and witnessing a great big magic show! This music-magic made me fall in love with the oneness of people in the stadium that night. Nepathya’s humble abode along with the thousands of people present at the concert made me realise that whatever musical path I’m following or may follow in the future, my primitive musical roots are already profoundly tied to Nepali music and I don’t want to ever let that go”. I take her word for that because I witnessed how moved she was, as was the rest of the audience, when the band played tear-jerking, nostalgia-inducing, homesickness-inciting numbers like Yo Jindagani and Resham.


Pujan Rai, another musician friend, also shares similar feelings. “The concert has raised the bar very high for Nepali musicians, which is good for motivation. We now know what the best can achieve through hard work. Yes, Nepathya is a very unique band. Only Amrit Gurung is the original member. The band has been able to write very good albums consistently because there have been a lot of changes with new members contributing fresh ideas and songs. Nepathya has evolved and it is still evolving. I know because I’ve bought most of their albums. I still cant figure out how they write such wonderful tunes. I would love to see their songwriting process. Yes I was inspired but its not just that. The nostalgic feeling of hearing these old songs was something else. I cried (in a manly way). I was also filled with national pride. I guarantee that there will be Nepali artists playing big venues like Wembley and the 02 in the future but nothing can beat Nepathya’s concert. It was special”.

 Amrit Gurung Nepathya 2


At the risk of being sorely envied, I am telling you now that I was the rare few to meet the band and take pictures with Mr. Gurung after the concert. He could barely speak after that gruelling gig that lasted almost 3 hours, so all he did was sip water between generous smiles. Nevertheless, I approached him with that confusing mix of admiration and agitation that his presence inspires. What he had just done was a matter of great pride but his steady humility and authenticity was a challenge to my own. “Its an honour to meet you,sir”, I manage to murmur. He has probably heard that numerous times but smiles at me to make sure I know it meant something to him. 


Nepathya brought their unparalleled music to the UK allowing a whole diaspora to revel in Nepalipan. Nepathya’s concert, be it for a night, closed the wide cultural gap between first generation elder Nepali immigrants and the second generation youth who were born and/or raised in the UK. It was surprisingly cool to see elders rocking out to the music while young men and women were tearing up at the sight of the Nepali flag swaying on the big screen. We can’t know whether such effects will last beyond the concert night, but it was certainly a historic event in Nepali music that entertained and inspired thousands. 


Wembley Audience Nepathya



Text by: Jerusha Rai
Images: Karuna Gurung

  • Nepathya Banner
  • Amrit Gurung Nepathya 1
  • Amrit Gurung Nepathya 2
  • Nepali Flag, Wembley Arena
  • Wembley Audience Nepathya
  • Nepathya Wembley
  • Nepathya Banner

Categorised in: Features

Leave a Reply

Connect with:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>