Today was the launch of The Streets in Redbridge, a brand new cultural programme with the aim of raising the profile of the High Road in Ilford by creating an appetite for live performance in public spaces. And the launch certainly achieved this as workers in their lunch hour and shoppers joined forces with your Do More team to listen to the sounds of local musicians and Australian special guest performer, Ben Walsh.
As we approached the High Road from Clements Road, we could hear the beat of the drums getting ever closer before The Imperial Dhol Drummers, dressed in their fine purple robes, appeared amongst the throng of shoppers, playing as they walked along the pedestrianised street. The beat was infectious and we followed them to the performance area just outside of Waterstones Book Shop where their set ended to rapturous applause.
Here there was a raised stage and we could see the amazing drum wheel made of recycled blue barrels waiting to be played, the lady compère took to the stage to introduce the acts. First up was Ben Walsh who channelled his energy through the drums to create a heart thumping sound to which you just couldn’t help tapping out the rhythm to on the pavement! His arms swung round in all directions hitting every one of the drums that encircled him providing a spectacular performance and an electric atmosphere. The Imperial Dhol Drummers made a return to the stage for a joint performance with Ben which then brought his set to a close.
The next performance came from Indian classical violinist Joytsna Srikanth also an accomplished western classical musician. She was accompanied by Bangalore Dreams on keyboard and drums and together they managed to combine both traditional and modern sounds to delight the audience who got involved with the performance by clapping and chanting bringing a smile to many a face.
Local press where out in abundance and even a camera crew from BBC London Tonight were there to capture the first performance which we hope will inspire many other local musicians and artists to get involved with The Streets programme.
If you were there today, let us know what you thought. If you are a performer and would like to get involved, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you missed the performance but want to keep up to date on what’s happening next, check out the website which will be updated shortly.
Post Author: Cathy Pace