From walking around Thamel at night and listening to pub-bands belt out golden rock classics, I certainly wasnt expecting fantastic roots reggae. But that’s what I found at Sam’s Bar on its weekly Saturday reggae night. The bartender, an Austrian woman who has been living in Nepal for 13 years, mixed drinks, ran the till, kept a steady friendly flow of chit chat with the people at the bar and also acted on DJ using a multi-CD player.
I was at the bar through at all and while it wasnt packed to the brim, there werent any spare seats, and the bartender didnt miss a track, drop a drink or fail to be friendly and interesting. And she was also playing fantastic and varied reggae that ranged from uplifting calypso carribean style to deep roots to ska to soul/reggae tracks. Plus she only played two tracks by Bob Marley – for appearence’s sake.
And the crowd there was good too – a lot of regulars, a mix of locals and expats, and no dickheads getting pissed and wanting to dance on tables.
Anyway, I hadnt realised how much I’ve missed good reggae and drinking at bars until last night. Indian beer is so bad that I only had a couple of drinks while i was there and I hadnt heard any reggae since Thailand. So this was really the first time in 7 months for me. I was practically in heaven for four hours. I’ve still got one more Saturday in Kathmandu and will be at Sam’s bar again next week.