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Jascribble’s Cultural Catchup Pt 2 September 11, 2007

Posted by jasmingle in Uncategorized.
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Then there was the Regent Street Amazing India Festival.

I was largely underwhelmed. They basically filled Regent Street, central London with a few stalls selling handicrafts, a few troups of dancers, some rather crude fabric backdrops of the Taj Mahal against which people could take photographs, some shiny overpriced (again) ‘Street Food’ and a main stage with DJs etc etc. An entire street! If I or any of my creative compadres were given a street to ourselves to make the most of, I have no doubt at all that it would be much better than this. I imagine though the festival may have been intended as a cultural celebration of sorts, what transposed was instead the equivalent of a snapshot of someone’s Madventure gap year, laminated for the British public, and tied in all across the street with the shops along the way, discounts coming out of your ears and ‘themed’ windows. Themed windows are a such a fucking useless idea anyway because they are a) limited in their potential, and b) are too close to the viewer to suspend any kind of illusion. When you have real moving Indian dancers shaking past you jangling away, are you really going to be that enamoured with a brown mannequin in a sari-jewel bikini/sarong/matching flip flops/whatever? Ah, the delicious delicious appropriation.

DJ Kayper, on the other hand, was stunning. I caught her on the main stage on the afternoon, after fighting my way through loads of people who seem to have jammed in the middle of the street, like a chunk of dinner swallowed too quickly and stuck in your oesophagus. I looked up, and saw this black curtain of hair rocking over a massive table, laptop mixers and decks all like a mini fort against all these people NOT dancing.  I don’t really get why people weren’t dancing. I reckon it’s because they didn’t really know what they were celebrating, if that makes any sense. I stood and watched her and thought about how long it has been since I saw a female DJ or felt like a 13 year old boy with the urge to go up and say something stupid and ineffectual like ‘er, here’s my myspace, you’re like, wicked innit. yeh’. She was the highlight in a street of too little, and dredged up the designs I have, currently silting at the bottom of my brain, about learning to DJ. After drinking up as much fusion-mix (should be a cocktail, or perhaps baby formula for mixed race children) as I could stomach before my belly rumbled, I ambled off to buy an icecream and chill in the park.

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