Music and the Moon on Attic’s Last Night in Tangal

by Lauren Paquette

On a chilly winter night, Attic Bar warmed up its guests with wide fire pits, free soup, and a healthy dose of dancing to some of the best live music in Kathmandu. Coinciding with the super blue moon and lunar eclipse phenomenon on January 31, the bar threw a proper send-off before its multi-month relocation.

Upon our arrival, we passed the uniquely mosaicked bull at the front entrance and passed into the open courtyard, where we were quite literally brought to a halt by the view before us. Though the action is usually confined to the indoor portion of the bar in winter, that night, the tables and couches had been arranged between roaring cooking fires and heating lamps. The smell of meat and sweet liquor danced around the merry bar-goers. Benches and sofas were overflowing and the sense of companionship, and the warm familiarity was enchanting.

And, above it all hung the crescent moon. The lunar eclipse was underway, and throughout the course of the night, the shadowed orb—which hung as a particularly large super moon—slowly moved out of the Earth’s shadow and back into the light. I found myself equally drawn to the merriment around me and to the festivities occurring in the night sky.

A friendly group moved aside to share their table and couches with us, and we were promptly offered drinks and free hot soup to honor the occasion. First time visitors and regulars alike mingled in camaraderie.

The bar’s reason for leaving was due to the property owner’s right to the land and new plans for the space. Although the new location will not be far (in Gyaneshwor, by the German embassy) guests must wait until mid-March for the construction to be finalized. This gave the night an overall feeling of a “last hurrah” for those who, as I do myself, hold the place close to their hearts.

Loud thumping base drums and screaming guitar solos lured us indoors to watch the various bands play their lineups. Newaz played a beautiful selection, and The Midnight Riders roused the crowd into a frenzy of AC/DC lyrics and thumping beats. Though the bar is not a club, guests poured into the small open area to form a kind of dance floor, levels of excitement ranging from rhythmic head nods to extravagant flailing of limbs to the bands’ intricate guitar solos. I must admit that my group fell closer to the latter. Between acts, band members mingled among the crowd and shared in drinks and laughter, making it clear that they, too, were sorry to see the establishment go.

Under the moon and amidst glowing fires, familiars bid farewell to the bar on its last night at Tangal, and through the winter months will be eagerly awaiting the day when we can once more head down to the Attic.