Bhangra legends Alaap are making a sensational return to the O2 Glasgow Mela exactly 20 years after first performing at the event.
The multi-platinum selling artists, fronted by the iconic Channi Singh, have been confirmed as the headline act for this year’s festival in Kelvingrove Park, by event organisers Culture and Sport Glasgow. It will be the first time Alaap have performed at the O2 Glasgow Mela – Scotland’s biggest multi-cultural event – since it was first staged during the City of Culture celebrations back in 1990.
Alaap are recognised in the Guinness World Book of Records as 'the most successful and longest running bhangra band’ and for ‘most bhangra recordings produced’. Over the years they have shared the stage with renowned mainstream artists such as UB40, Robert Palmer, Peter Gabriel, The Pogues, Mel B, and Bollywood ‘A’ stars Shah Rukh Khan and Sunny Deol.
They were the first bhangra band to perform at high profile venues such as Wembley Arena, Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Conference Centre, the Natural History Museum, Madison Square Garden, Al Hambra, Bohmas of Kenya and many others around the world.
Lead singer Channi Singh is already looking forward to headlining the O2 Glasgow Mela, for what he promises will be a special performance in the city’s Kelvingrove Park on Sunday 20 June.
He said: “It was a long time ago since we played the Glasgow Mela but I have fantastic memories. We were the first bhangra band to perform at the Mela and we had a great response from the crowd although this year’s event will certainly be different to when we were first here.
“The people of Glasgow have always welcomed us and we have been very lucky in this regard. We like to get involved with the crowd and that is where Glasgow is such a special audience.
“Music is a universal language and it doesn’t matter whether you understand the words or not as long as you feel the music. I believe our music has helped promote multi-cultural diversity across the UK and we can’t wait to bring our music back to the Glasgow Mela this year.”
The O2 Glasgow Mela celebrates the city’s multi-cultural and racial diversity and is based on the traditions and customs of the Indian sub-continent. The annual event is now in its 20th year and regularly attracts crowds of more than 25,000 people of all ages and ethnicities.
Ali Malik of Glasgow’s Awaz FM, is in no doubt that Alaap are a fitting headline act for Scotland’s biggest multi-cultural festival.
He said: “Alaap are legendary pioneers of bhangra music in the UK and across the world and it will be a truly special occasion with them performing at this year’s Glasgow Mela.
“They are recognised in the Guinness Book of World Records for their achievements with bhangra music and people will know their classic songs as soon as they hear them. It will be exciting event for people of all ages and of course all backgrounds.”
Alaap will be joined by some singing sensation Jaz Dhami, who has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame over the past 12 months and was recently named Best Male at the 2010 Brit Asia Awards. Also appearing is JK who won the Best Newcomer category at the same awards. Other artists include the ICCR Rajasthani dance group and top Bollywood talent the Desi Bravehearts.
Since its launch during Glasgow’s 1990 European City of Culture celebrations, the O2 Glasgow Mela has grown over the years to become the leading festival of its kind in the country. In addition to three main stages (World, Commonwealth and Mehfil) the festival will also feature street theatre performances, a real sand urban beach Sports Zone, a Kidz Zone, authentic food stalls from the east and a traditional market.
Fill in the form below to send this news item to a friend: