ABSTRACT

A warm Sunday afternoon in early August 2000 provided the setting to ‘Indian Summer’: ‘a free celebration of the best in traditional and contemporary South Asian culture’, stated the festival programme. Under the aegis of the ‘Coin Street Festival’ in central London, Oxo Tower Wharf and Bernie Spain Gardens shuddered to ‘the wild percussion sounds’ that the festival programme promised would be the sonic constituent of the bhangra drummers from the Dhol Foundation, a group of ‘second-generation’ South Asian musicians. Small children stood at the back of the wharf, only the Thames River behind them, with hands clasped tight to their ears in protective posture.