Those who ventured into the wilds just north of Lumby this summer may have heard an unusual sound emitting from the Mabel Lake Community Hall.
Inside, a boisterous, seamless fusion of electronic beats, stomping Bhangra (folk music of India’s Punjab state) and Celtic fiddle could only mean one thing. The boys and girl from Vancouver band Delhi 2 Dublin were doing what they do best –– churning out their music to manic, dancing revellers.
Regular participants in the music camp known as Jam Camp, which takes place in Lumby every summer, the members of Delhi 2 Dublin know where their allegiances lie. And they are willing to stuff themselves inside a sweaty rural hall in the middle of B.C. to show their appreciation to those who love their east-meets-west style.
The band is back at it this weekend, when play another community hall, this time Paddlewheel Hall in Okanagan Landing, for the Komasket Music Festival Fall Ball Saturday.
Having performed at some of biggest music festivals in the world as well as national and international events such as Ottawa’s Canada Day celebrations and the Vancouver Winter Olympics, D2D singer Sanjay Seran says the band always returns to play smaller shows purely for selfish reasons.
“We just love the people who come to our shows in these places. They are so great. And it also serves a purpose for us, as Tarun (Nayar, D2D’s tabla and beat producer) has been involved in Jam Camp for a long time,” said Seran, talking on the phone from San Francisco, where the band has a large following. “To build a market with new shows is tough, especially when they don’t know who you are. But then we play a place like the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, and it sells out, so why would we stop? We get wicked shows out of it.”
The band is also happy to help the Komasket Music Festival Society continue into the future. Although this year’s KMF was cancelled, due to personal reasons dealt by the festival’s co-founders, Devaki and Thomas Thomas, plans are to have it back in 2013. And the Komasket Fall Ball is a fundraiser to reach those goals.
Before D2D’s formation in 2005, its core members, including percussionist Ravi Binning, often worked with the Thomases on different projects, from playing the Bhangra drum known as the dhol at their Colours of India show here in Vernon, to playing on their band Samsara’s first album.
After forming D2D, Binning and the others brought their distinctive sound as headliners at the 2011 Komasket festival.
“We love working with Devaki,” said Seran. “She has believed in what we have been doing since the beginning. You don’t forget that. There’s been so much love at Komasket, so we’re always happy to support them.”
Although that love is shared locally, there have been people around the world tuning into D2D’s Bhangra-Celtic-electronic-fueled sound. The band, including guitarist/electric sitarist Andrew Kim and fiddler Sara Fitzpatrick, have been called “the United Nations of rock ‘n’ roll,” but to West Coast folk, they are best known as an awesome dance band.
“We are sort of ambassadors for the West Coast in bringing that vibe to the east,” said Seran. “You actually see the difference between the west and the east at our performances. The west come to our shows to dance; in the east we have to win them over. They don’t let loose as easily. The applause will be just as loud, but the way it’s accepted is different.”
The band has also seen some personnel changes the past two years with the exit of original fiddler Kytami, who has since gone on to pursue other projects. Fitzpatrick and another fiddler, Jaron Freeman-Fox, joined the band soon after Kytami left.
“We had the two fiddlers for a while. Jaron had his own projects and he recommended that Sara would be the best person for us to work with,” said Seran.“It was definitely weird for us to tour with this one person for years and then have that change. There was an adjustment period, but Sara has really fitted in, although she says “I need to hang out with a girl right now’ when we are on tour.”
The hectic tour schedule D2D keeps continues with the release of its new album, Turn up the Stereo, which came out domestically in August.
D2D finished writing Stereo in Indonesia, where they holed themselves in a nice little villa in Bali, said Seran, adding the band is awaiting to hear how the world responds when the album comes out internationally in February.
“We won’t know if it will be totally a success in the U.S. for a while, as it hasn’t been released here, but the songs have been doing well on the EDM (electronic dance music) charts,” said Seran, adding the band has been slowly getting away from its “world” music roots. “We’re not against world, but it seems to be more of a roots/acoustic genre. It’s a weird category and is hard to describe. It’s often for bands that don’t get much mainstream play.”
In the meantime, D2D will be spending a lot of time south of the border and also plans to cross the Atlantic this coming year.
“We’re expanding our market (in the U.S.) and now have an agent here,” said Seran, adding that it’s still home that he looks forward to the most. “I am a Vancouver ambassador. I tell everyone how much I love the city.”
Joining Delhi 2 Dublin at the Komasket Fall Ball is Kamloops’ Mexican/Caribbean group Leon Y Los Ganjanistas, local DJ Zazen (promoter and musician Mikkal Waters), as well as Vernon’s Ananda Dance, led by Melanie Piorecky, who practise the classical Indian dance known as Bharatanatyam.
Doors to Saturday’s all-ages show at Paddlewheel Hall, 7901 Okanagan Landing Rd., open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 (children 12 and under are free) at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469, www.ticketseller.ca, or at the Bean Scene, downtown Vernon.