It seems like forever since we posted any news about our goings on, and even longer since we posted about a gig that’s coming up.
We’ve been asked by a school friend who was recently in Nepal when the Mega-Quake hit to headline a charity fund-raiser she is holding for those affected by the natural disaster.
Here’s what happened:
At first, Dawn Bishop thought it was simply a flat tyre. The 4×4 slewed and lurched on the ribbon of asphalt that weaved through the mountains.
Then screams cut the still, cold air as a mass of terror-stricken humanity poured down the hills and onto the narrow road, now scarred by a deep furrow, cut with almost chisel precision through the hard surface.
Slowly, Dawn, a liver transplant co-ordinator at Edgbaston’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, began to piece together the jigsaw of what had occurred.
She and partner George Brough were in the grip of Nepal’s mega quake: an act of natural fury that claimed close to 9,000 lives and left 23,000 injured.
For the couple, the two-week adventure, a dream break that included trekking, canoeing and mountain-biking, had turned into a scramble for survival during its very final hours.
Dawn and George, from Coventry, were on their way home, drinking-in the spectacular views during the long drive from Pokhara to Kathmandu Airport, when the very earth beneath their feet churned angrily, then opened.
“The only way I can explain it,” said the 27-year-old, “is that it was like getting a flat tyre and then jamming on the handbrake.
“People were frantically waving and pointing to the inside of the road, they were shouting.
“Then part of you realised, this is serious. There were so many people sitting in the middle of the road, one was on crutches.”
The landscape trembled and roared as the first major aftershock split and splintered hard rock.
Dawn and 30-year-old George, an IT consultant, were helpless victims of Mother Nature’s murderous tantrum.
“It was a sea of panic,” recalled Dawn. “I’ll always remember the petrified screams. We could only watch people’s lives going down the pan – and, as a nurse, that’s very hard.
“There was a group of Nepalese men running down from the terraces carrying this little girl who was completely lifeless. Everyone was screaming, but the child was totally silent. People were trying to get children to the back of their version of ambulances.
“The tarmac was scarred, the road was covered in rubble.”
Dawn and George arrived in Nepal – their first trip to the remote country – on April 11, a holiday organised by York specialists Lost Earth Adventures. They have nothing but praise for the firm and their driver, who remained ice-cool as the very earth churned during the April 25 journey home.
It was a journey that was meant to take five hours. It took 12, the 4×4 crawling through countryside littered with the flotsam and jetsam of the natural disaster. Steep canyons strewn with the shattered remains of tiny communities.
As the driver found a route through the fissures and rocks, ever watching for boulders careering down the steep mountain sides, a terrible realisation struck Dawn.
“I realised my passport was not there,” said Dawn. “I kept it in a small black bag. The driver was amazing. In the middle of all this, he rang where we’d stopped. They had found the bag.”
The driver would’ve been forgiven for snubbing the missing passport and continuing the hazardous journey to Kathmandu. Instead, he turned the vehicle around and collected the document.
Dawn and George were met by a mass of uprooted humanity in the capital, one tall building propped precariously against another. It later fell amid a cloud of dust.
They left the country on a wing and a prayer. “We had literally just taken off when a second quake struck, we had just left the runway,” said Dawn. “They immediately closed the airport.
“The hardest thing was leaving, because we had been treated to the very best this country had to offer and when something went wrong, we cut and run. That’s not me, that’s not what I do.
“Would I go back? One hundred per cent.”
Dawn intends to make amends. On June 10, she stages a fundraising live music night at Birmingham’s Nautical Club. The night will include a raffle, silent auction and music by Black Country band “My Great Affliction”.
Food for the event will be prepared by wives of Gurkhas, famed Nepalese soldiers based at the QE’s military wing.
Dawn added: “I can’t praise Lost Earth Adventures enough, I have never been so impressed with a company. They were amazingly professional throughout and called our family’s to let them know we were safe. They have also donated £200 gift voucher for our silent auction.”
Tickets for the gig are £5 on the door or £3 in advance by emailing email@example.com
* To donate to Dawn’s appeal go to www.justgiving.com/Dawn-Bishop or for more about the night visit www.facebook.com/events/808833485869127
Quite the ordeal, I’m sure you’d agree!
Anyways, the event is as mentioned at Birmingham’s Nautical Club, and theres a silent auction and raffle along with music from Blank Parody.
It’s set to be a great night and hopefully our coming out of hibernation (Formerly known as writing new music) for this Charity event will help to raise some extra buttons to help!