Rocking the mountains
You might not have heard of him in this part of the world yet, but Robin Tamang is a big deal in his native country – Nepal.
The multitalented 51-year-old is a billboard name there courtesy of his music career and film work.
His growing international fame, however, comes from his role as a hard-core rocker and frontman of his band Robin and the New Revolution.
The four-piece arrive in Dubai on Friday for a show at The Music Room. It is their maiden UAE visit, capping debut tours of the United Kingdom, Japan and Australia.
“It has been fantastic and the shows have been a lot of fun,” says Tamang. “It is always great playing to a new audience. At the start they don’t know how to react to you but eventually they get warmed up and I am always interacting with the audience. That’s what I love doing.
“Our shows are not only about the music, but the whole entertainment package.”
Born in Singapore and educated in Canada, Tamang moved to Nepal in 1996 to get in touch with his roots. As a musician, however, he found the country bereft of live-performance venues, let alone a music industry.
“I realised the Kathmandu rock scene was really lacking,” he says. “So I just started the band in 2006 and we became an instant hit because people here were starving for Nepalese rock.
“Now, years later, the scene has progressed so much that we and a few other groups are credited as creators of the rock scene.”
The name of Tamang’s band and their scruffy yet energetic sound – think early Rolling Stones and The Kinks – is linked to the country’s politically turbulent times.
Their 2006 debut hit, Keta Keti, was released in the middle of Nepal’s revolution. The follow up, 1300, came out in 2008, during the peace negotiation between the government and rebels. Their latest, the more upbeat Hamro Desh, was released in 2010 during a time of relative calm.
Tamang says the band often channel the spirit of Nepal’s restless youth – he describes their large hometown gigs as loud and raucous.
“They take their shirts off and start head-banging,” he says with a laugh. “You know, I never knew we Nepalese did that until I started playing rock ‘n’ roll. But I am sure those who come to see us in Dubai will behave themselves.”
• Robin and the New Revolution perform on Friday (September 26) at The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Bur Dubai. Doors open at 9pm. Tickets cost Dh70. For more details, call 04 359 8888