By Vanessa Wolf
Delhi 2 Dublin, the Canadian world music group, comes to Maui this weekend.
As for the bands’ origins, in a 2010 interview for SXSW, front man and vocalist Sanjay Seran claims, “We have a story that goes: Two drunk brown guys walk into an Irish bar and see a hot fiddler, wait for her set to finish, have a few drinks with her, share some laughs, share some profanity, decide to go to an electronic music warehouse party with her, and on their way to a 99 cent pizza, they run into a busker. He was an amazing player but wasn’t making a lot of money, so they bought him a piece of pizza. His name was Andrew Kim, and he decided to come to the party. And then we met this DJ, and from there Delhi 2 Dublin was formed.”
This is not exactly accurate, but the real story is almost as interesting: singer Seran and tabla (an Indian percussion instrument similar to a bongo) player Tarun Nayar were already in a band together. They joined together with fiddler (and former member) Tykami for a single performance at the Vancouver Celtic Festival on 16 March 2006…and have played together ever since.
Beginning that night, the group started getting offers to perform, and Delhi 2 Dublin was formed. Today, the band is made up of five members: vocalist Seran; tabla and electronics player Nayar; fiddler Sara Fitzpatrick; electric sitar and guitarist Andrew Kim; and dhol (a double-heeled drum played throughout the India) and tabla-player Ravi Binning.
With a predominance of Indian instruments on hand, the band’s sound is most notably influenced by Banghra; a genre of classic-rock influenced music associated with the Punjabi culture. Developed in Britain in the 1980s by first and second generation immigrants from the Punjab region of India, the resulting music was a reinvention of the folk sounds of their home country through the alteration of familiar instruments. Banghra is one of the few immigrant music genres of the world in that does not exist in the home country.
Delhi 2 Dublin, as the name implies, is not just about Indian-influenced sound. Fitzpatrick’s notably Celtic fiddle-playing style alters the overall experience until it becomes something not so easily classified. Call it a mash-up of Indian, Celtic, and other world music styles with a dash of dub-step, dance, and even reggae.
As for their unique sound, Seran explains, “It’s never a conscious effort to meet the Indian and Irish music needs. From day one, we just started to make this music and we don’t really care if it falls outside the name or not because we’re not held back by the name. We’re five musicians making the music that we like to make.”
Catch Delhi 2 Dublin’s unique, danceable, “mix of everything” music this Saturday night at the MACC. Tickets are $25 online, $35 at the door. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Yokouchi Pavilion at the MACC.
Are you a local artist – sculptor, poet, mime, slack key guitar player, tattoo artist, photographer, pastry chef, performance artist, sand castle builder or comedian – with an interesting story to tell? Know of a great band, artist, author, filmmaker, or event coming to town? Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you! Vanessa(@mauinow.com)