Monday, 14 September 2015

Being Inspired in Hounslow.

There has been a hole in my universe this weekend - for the last two years I've been lucky enough to go to a jazz festival in Chelsea. I still have hopes it might be going ahead but for the last three weeks I've been checking out the web site every day without success.

So this weekend I headed back to my Borough which was having a festival to welcome in the rugby world cup.

I don't have any interest in rugby - we were there for the music.
We'd checked through the line up and timed it all just right - we got the three best acts;

That was Tyler Rix, playing Funk and Soul. He did it very well as did his band but for me it was a bit too slick and a few too many mash ups.

I don't like backing tracks either and as he had a full band I don't see why he needed one.

No need for a backing track for this;

It's 'The Dhol Foundation' - a Hounslow legend.

They play traditional Punjabi drums and if you've been around the borough any time you've heard them.

Thundering rhythmic drums; today with a deck for scratching and a rapper. It's Hounslow for goodness sake - they even played a traditional Irish dance number.

I've seen The Dhol Foundation about three times - the best was in the Treaty Centre where they marched into the centre, up the escalator and along the balcony by Debenhams - their drums filling the whole building and pulling everybody out to watch.


These days they are more electric and they travel all around the world - next week in Florence, playing at a millionaires wedding!

We had Bhangra and dancers from Birmingham;

But there was no doubt who we all came to see;

Billy Ocean, 1980's Soul star, singing in front of his full band including three backing singers and a saxophonist;

We got the full range of hits - from 'When the tough get going' to 'Carribean Queen'

When he played 'Love train' I joined in with a giant Conga that danced it's way around the park until the music stopped....then everybody remembered they were British, got embarrassed and immediately melted back into the crowd!

As I looked around all the people who were watching I was struck by the number of people of a 'certain age', who may well have bought a Billy Ocean record from me when I worked in 'Our Price Records' on Hounslow High street.

It was a really great afternoon and probably only Hounslow could have put it on.

How do you top that?
We went to Hounslow West for a vegetarian curry;

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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