Sikh, and you shall find Zepp (Must Read)
Sikh, and you shall find Zepp
Elicia Murray and Louise Schwartzkoff
May 21, 2008
WHAT does a teetotaller Sikh priest have in common with Led Zeppelin's frontman Robert Plant? Apart from long hair, not much, but this weekend Gurjit Singh, a priest at Turramurra's Sikh temple, will belt out Stairway To Heaven, Dazed And Confused and Kashmir.
With the Tinku Band, a group of Punjabi musicians in Sydney, the priest-turned-rocker combines Western music with Indian rhythms and instruments.
Before he arrived in Australia a few years ago, Singh had never heard of Led Zeppelin. These days, he has groupies, who approach him after concerts with tears in their eyes.
"Women come up to me and tell me they went to Zeppelin concerts years ago, and they get the same feeling from our performance," he said.
Classically trained to sing and play the tabla for Sikh hymns, Singh can reach the highest notes in Led Zeppelin's hits with ease. "He's got a range that's bigger than Robert Plant's in his heyday," says the band's lead singer, Tinku Grewal. But Singh is yet to embrace the rock'n'roll lifestyle. "He doesn't drink and he's pretty much a vegan," says Grewal. "When we're on tour, we wake up to him reciting hymns and meditating."
The Tinku Band play the Spectrum club in Darlinghurst on Saturday night.