Purple Haze (Kathmandu, Nepal)

Nepal, Kathmandu, inheriting hippie culture. Experiencing rock music played in an extraordinary space that cannot be felt in USA and Europe.

This is rock club in busy district, Kathmandu, Nepal. Kathmandu is unique place. Although there are many tourists, it seems that people visited here are accustomed to traveling, local people are kind and quiet, and therefore it is very comfortable place. This place is one of the three great sacred places where hippies gather from all around the world, and it is probably from the time when hippie culture was boomed, people has an understanding for Rock music.

Busy district where tourists gather was used to be in the south of “Durbar Square”, but now it has moved to north, called “Thamel”. There are many shops and restaurants in this “Thamel”, and there are many Lounge Bars. There must be more than ten.

As walking down the street at night, I can hear Live music everywhere. For example, if you go into a restaurant for dinner, I can see live music of Nepalese folk music, or enter the bar where I can hear music, local band are playing Rock music. 

That local rock band played the cover song addition to the original song. For example, the following songs were performed at a bar when I visited in 2019.

・Van Halen : Can’t stop Loving You
・Gun’s N Roses : Knocking on the Heaven’s door
・Def Leppard : Hysteria
・Gun’s N Roses : Never Let you die
・Prince : Purple Rain
・Survivor : Eye of the Tiger
・Michael Jackson : Beat it
・Gun’s N Roses : Rocket Queen

Perhaps, a little year of time ago, songs from the 60’s and 70’s must have been played, but the times may have changed and the song of generation may have shifted to 1980’s. By the way, when I was talking to the local youths, they didn’t know about “Beatles”, and they didn’t know that “Beatles” was so much devoted to the Indian culture, which Nepal was also influenced.

Now, in this rock club called “Purple Haze”, I was surprised at the uniqueness of the building. I cannot see the inside from the street, and it is different what I imagined from the outside. After going up the stairs, there is a security guard who opens the door leading to upstairs for me. Then, I have come out just in front of the stage. There are three long tables lined up at right angles to the stage and high chairs along the tables. There is a parlor-shaped space along the wall where you can take off your shoes. There are bar counters on the back and side, and there are two pool tables behind the spectator’s space. There is also another staircase, and visitor can see the stage from the balcony.

Stage is in a high position. It is approx. 1.6 meters height, 25 meters wide, and 5 meters deep. It is exactly the description of looking up the stage from the audience seats. The capacity is about 100 people only for chairs, and 200 people can easily enter including the standing. I have never seen this size of big stage in rock club. Player on the stage was local band, and they must have the sense of superiority while performing.

The on-season in “Kathmandu” is in October to mid-December, since people can go trekking with nice weather, but most of the people when I visited were local since it was the off-season. Even though it was a weekday, the seats were almost full after 10pm. It seems that schedule was not announced on the web in advance, so I imagine that people are more likely to come this “Purple Haze” to have a drink with friends than to listen to music. It was a scene I had never experienced at rock club. I recommend all to stop by when visited Kathmandu.

Visited in 2019.

Basic Info​rmation

■ Name of Place:Purple Haze Rock Bar
■ Address :  Paryatan Marg, Kathmandu, Nepal
​■ Performed Musician : Eric Martin (ex. Mr.Big)
​■ Homepage :  https://www.facebook.com/PurpleHazekathmandu/