Lord of the Dance

Event photographers get around.  As a photographer and a teacher of Religious Studies my happiest trip in a year used to be to Handsworth in Birmingham to visit the Sikh festival of Vaisakhi. This great festival and gathering was a noisy joyous and colourful occasion involving thousands of the faithful

But for me one man stood out as a great performer, extrovert and musician. His name is Gurcharan Mall – better known as Dhol King G Mall. He is one of the most prolific musical personalities of the Bhangra music industry.

In 2016 he was awarded the British Empire Medal by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Visit his website at Dhol Blasters and you will see that even the webpages exude enthusiasm and delight

It was back in 2009 that I photographed him and some of his band at the Vaisakhi celebrations in Birmingham. Even a glance at these photographs show the amazing agility and energy of the man. At all times as the Hockley procession was weaving  through the streets towards Handswoth Park, he was leaping and dancing to the delight of the crowd as well as leading the hypnotic drumming of his group.

Vaisakhi is no small festival – the crowds are overwhelming and as they gather they transform the green of the park into a sea of orange.

Clearly for many Vaisakhi is an important and moving festival in the Sikh calendar

For me the moving was of a different kind as I watched with my finger poised over the camera shutter to photograph  Dhol King G Mall leaping into action. A really inspiring Lord of the Dance.