Meet The Cloud Walkers : Rocking the Rox

Happening Issue 40 Jul, 2010
Text by Dinesh Rai / Photo: ECS Media

Once all the bars and restaurants in town have closed for the night, there is one place which most people flock to—the Rox at the Hyatt Regency. Known for its booming music and the fact that it stays open until it’s time for you to nod off makes  it one of the popular late night hangouts. Life begins after 11pm at the Rox, when revelers begin to arrive from all corners of the valley. Those who arrive early (around 9 pm when the band begins to play) are the ones who want to relax and listen to the band. The late arrivals are the ones who head straight for the dance floor.

The Cloud Walkers have practically made the Rox their home base as they’ve been around a long time. Jigmee Wangchuk Lepcha, the lead vocalist has been here even longer; since the time the bar kicked off as the ‘in place’ in town. He sings anything from Bon Jovi to Gary Moore, Foreigner, The Eagles or even reaches back to Deep Purple. His strong vocal and high range are an asset to the band. His sister Yankey Ongmu Lepcha and Preeti Kaur, the two crooners sing alternate weeks and during our visit it was Yankey who entertained us with songs by Shakira and Jennifer Lopez. Preeti on the other hand is known for her renditions of Mariah Carey along with popular dance tracks. With three accomplished singers in the band, there is constant change in the sound. The talented Dawa Dhukpa lets off crisp solos on his Fender while a steady bass pattern emanates from the able fingers of Sonam Bhutia. On keyboards sits the versatile Anup Das, who can rise to the occasion if asked to play lead guitar or bass for that matter. Banging hard on the drums is former ‘Cadenza’ and ‘Pralaya’ drummer Harish Tamang, who completes the line up.

The Rox (no one calls it a bar anymore) thunders to the sound of DJ Raju’s choice of dance tracks once the band has called it a day, which is usually at midnight. You can then literally dance the night away. For entertainment, Rox is still one of the coolest places in town.