BBC’s ‘Pump Up The Bhangra’ show slammed for missing legendary names out


A few days after the BBC broadcast a documentary on the history of UK Bhangra music, a number of artists have pulled up the show for missing out some iconic names from the final cut.

‘Pump Up The Bhangra – The Sound Of Asian Music’ fronted by Bobby Friction, proved a success when it was aired on BBC Four on Friday night. The show also trended on social media for a number of hours as it looked back at how simple folk tradition from India transformed in the 1980s to become a unique part of the British club music scene.

While most had praised the show for some nostalgic moments during the story-telling in the 60-minute documentary, some have highlighted that the show had missed out on veteran names like AS Kang, Safri Boys, Azaad, The Sahotas and Pardesi.

A social media post made by Mukhtar Sahota, formerly of The Sahotas band, said, “The SAHOTAS never existed according to the BBC documentary, ‘Pump Up The Bhangra – The Sound Of Asian Music’ by Bobby Friction, Ashok Prasad & Jyoti Mehta.

“This is the first time to my knowledge that this story is getting told on a mainstream platform in a documentary format! It’s a pivotal part of British Musical history…so why shouldn’t it?” – Bobby Friction

The Sahotas were the first UK born Asian ‘boy band’, who performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1986 and we went on to release our first album in 1987. Renowned for our sound of Reggae fusion, we had a huge impact on the sound of Asian music in Britain in the 80s & 90s. We performed from day-timers to the gig circuit and world tours, we were also the support act for the ‘Aswad Tour’ in the UK which was a great achievement being an Asian band. To date the Sahotas still continue to influence Asian artists/bands.

The ‘Asian Underground’ scene never supported Bhangra/Punjabi music and it was always frowned upon, I was very surprised to see input from them talking about Bhangra!

There were a few major artists who were also missed out of this documentary which is a huge error on behalf of the research team, artists such as A S Kang, Safri Boys, Azaad and Pardesi who actually released an album by the same title as the documentary!”

Another post commented on Sahota’s message, “Your absolutely right, there are so many bands and artists which have been missed out, including Malkit Singh, Taz, DCS and many others. Growing up in the heart of Soho Road influences the punjabi scene in a big way, and I felt the Midlands paved a way to the amazing Bhangra scene we have today. There were more women to the likes of Sangeetha.”

Another reacted by saying, “He missed out a number of bands. I did mention it on his fb page, I dont think he was pleased as he liked all the other comments but mine. Naming a few, he missed out azaad, sahotas, geet, shaktee, malkit singh, safari boys and pardesi.”

The documentary was aired as a part of the BBC’s Big British Asian Summer output.

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