Thursday 24 December 2009


"My friend how will you ever thrive in this strange and loveless land where hatred mocks you at every turn, where souls are as cold as ice, where the very soil is contaminated? O my friend you came to England leaving your Punjab ..." I love a good introduction. The Mekons' Where Were You springs to mind. And Bob & Earl's Harlem Shuffle, naturally. I would suggest the start of Southall by Amar Arshi & Miss Pooja is something special too. I'm not able to say how much, if at all, the song is a tribute to the west London suburb where there is a significant Indian Punjabi population, but it provides a great excuse to share the song. The last time I looked Miss Pooja seemed to have undergone a contemporary r&b makeover. Fair enough. After all Timbaland and others have borrowed heavily from the Punjabi bhangra sound to great effect. Before that there was a period of using bhangra in jungle/drum 'n' bass records, and vice versa. I still have a couple of jungle-bhangra fusion CDs somewhere where there was a certain crossover of tracks with earlier UK bhangra acts like Premi and Shava Shava. From that same '80s UK bhangra scene came Kala Preet who would be filmed, with a cheeky nod in the direction of The Beatles, playing on the rooftop of a shop on Southall Broadway performing Us Pardes Ki, their biting commentary on moving to the city from the Punjab ...

1 comment:

  1. great track, awesome lyrics, music sounds deadly.