Dhol Addiction is the collaborative project we’re working on with East London’s Dhol Academy and started as a commission by the organisers of the London Mela – the largest festival in Europe celebrating Asian culture, music and food.  We were asked to close the 2019 edition with a grand finale, timed up with a huge fireworks display at the end of the show.

Artistically cross-pollinated, with live guitar, percussion, electronics, rappers, Indian dance, sampled musicians on screen and plenty of dhols, the show brought a diverse and high energy ‘traditional meets 21st century mixed-media’ vibe to the finale.

London’s Dhol Academy was founded in the 1980s as an outlet for young adults and children and has nurtured thousands of talented drummers over the years.  They’re perhaps best known for staging the show In the Dhol Drums by artist, film-maker and actor Ajay Chhabra (Holby City, Stan Lee’s Lucky Man) which featured the largest dhol in the world, where a number of performers inside the giant drum structure climbed out playing dhol, in a surreal ‘trojan horse’ kind of fashion! For those not familiar, the dhol is the double-headed drum that’s widely used throughout the Indian subcontinent and both ends are played at the same time with a small wooden stick in each hand.

With many thanks to Nutkhut, Remarkable Productions and the London Mela 2019 team and to Punjab2000 for the extra footage.