BENGALURU: Earlier this month, Gauley Bhai, a city-based band, launched their first album, titled Joro. The quartet consists of members hailing from different parts of the country, so it comes as no surprise that the album is about how identities grow, evolve and take new forms. According to Veecheet Dhakal, the band’s vocalist and violinist, their music helps the band reflect on what constitutes their current identities now. “We try to explore facets about living in the city, juggling various jobs and what marks those connections and disruptions,” he says.
Unlike its medical counterpart, Joro (fever in Nepali) is far from unpleasant. The album’s 10 songs acquire their eastern influence from the three band members who hail from West Bengal’s Kalimpong: Veecheet, guitarist Siddhant Mani Chettri and bass guitarist Anudwatt Dhakal. The fourth member, drummer Joe Panicker, hails from Kozhikode.
Each of them has been living in Bengaluru for several years (Veecheet runs Firiri Films, a film production house with Anudwatt, Chettri is an IT professional and Panicker is a composer and arranger) and find that the city plays an important role in shaping their sound and identity. “Their music draws from visual memories of ‘home’ but also intersects with their lives and experiences over here,” says Angarika Guha, the band’s manager.
Though hailing from different parts of the country, a shared love for music and a brotherhood, in some sense, unites all of them. Their name, Gauley Bhai, attests to that. “The name loosely translates to brothers in the neighbourhood, so it could be all the people you meet at street corners, running errands, trying to make ends meet,” says Veecheet, adding, “It’s sort of like us and our journey, leaving home and coming here.”
The band started playing together in late 2017 and has since then, been going places, literally. Last year, they played at the Ziro Festival of Music in Arunachal Pradesh, which they call their most memorable gig until now. “It was the first time we were performing outside Bangalore and our comfort zones, and it was humbling to see how well our music was received and appreciated,” recalls Veecheet.