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The Riptide Movement's Diary From Delhi
Drummer Gar Byrne's firsthand account of his band's unforgettable trip to India...
The Hot Press Newsdesk, 31 Oct 2012
Connaught Place is a spot for backpackers and where we see women and white people for pretty much the first time Our tour guide asked what I think of Indian women, I replied, "what fucking women? Where are they?!"
When we leave for Kahn market, the tuk-tuk driver dares me to take over, pulls over, and I grab the handle bars. I'm absolutely shitting myself, it's like playing Space Invaders. Traffic moves in and out, no one obeys lights and your horn is more important than your break – they all beep instead of indicating.
Later we move to Hotel Amara in GK1 and – JACKPOT! – a room with fans. To quote Gerry: “Jaysus lads, you could fit a rugby team into that shower.” Whatever you do in your own time mate is up to you!
Our second gig takes place in The Turquoise Cottage, Gurgoan, about an hour from Delhi. We’re playing with an eight piece traditional Indian band so I wonder how this is gonna go down. We decided over a smoke to play a more rootsy, laid back set, with the likes of 'Thieves In The Gallery,' 'Without You', ditching the likes of 'Cocaine Cowboys'. We have some hassle with gear which was to be expected, we’re in India after all and out of our comfort zone, knowing your gear like the back of your hand and having a tech to change a string or tune a guitar if needed.
For some reason the crowd go mental for 'The Rattling Bog'! They lap it up and love the novelty of four Paddys all the way from the land of green hills, pots of gold and P.S I fucking Love You. From one of corner some bird shouts “Up the Dubs!” Small world, but no matter where you go you’ll always meet a Paddy! Afterwards we meet some amazing people, from the Himalayas, Finland, Canada, America and... KIllikeny. Chatted to Indians about Beatles music, Johnny Cash, John Denver and stay till the very death.
In bits after the previous night, we get a 9.30 taxi into Dili Haat market to buy the girlfriends some presents. Get hassled to bits by the locals and head to a second market Japath Our taxi driver honestly has three thumbs – two on one finger. Safe to say he’s never had that thumb sucked. So we get out and we’re chatting amongst ourselves, and all you hear is the crack of a whip at our feet, some little bollox standing they’re like Indiana Jones. “You buy? Very good price!” Here mate, fuck off will ya?!