#FridayFlashback – Bomb The Tumbi Safri Boys (UK Bhangra)


Bomb The Tumbi The Safri Boys: The one thing you need to fully grasp about the release of this particular album is, not so much the year it was released, but the state of the Bhangra music scene at the time. Albums were selling no matter what the content. Balwinder Safri had released “Paar Linghade Deh” to critical and popular acclaim and he was on a high, as for the rest of the market, they were grasped by “Reggae Fever”

Every album that was being released featured a reggae-flavoured track. We had albums coming left right and centre from the likes of the “Ragga Kaka Winston” feeding us these Bhangra-Caribbean flavours, and it was becoming tiresome.

Safri had released “Legends ” and that was huge. We mean it was everywhere, from Soho Rd in Birmingham to Bombay Stores In Bradford and back down south to Southall. “Paar Linghade De” was unavoidable.

Each and every time you heard ‘Legends’, you just wanted “Bomb The Tumbi” to get released. If you were old enough to go to a gig where The Safri Boys were playing you got to hear some of the tracks from the new album, We had no promo’s, just peoples word of mouth. The public just wanted to have a copy of the tape ready to play ‘in the old stacking system’

Cover versions were a hot topic of debate at this time, The UK Bhangra scene was growing faster than my paper round back in Bradford. Artists from India, though appreciating the UK scene were also throwing comments like, where is the original stuff, why are they coping this and that, can they not write in Punjabi?

So The Safri Boys being The Safri Boys decided not to stop the trend of cover versions, but to grab them by the neck and say a big F**k you to those that were hating and decided to do “Bomb The Tumbi” and stuff it full of classic cover versions.

It was time for the Safri Boys to shine and show the world that, we as a UK band can and will add our own flavour to traditional Punjabi songs.

Bomb The Tumbi Was Born – And more importantly The Safri Boys had arrived, the Safri Boys were possibly the most Important band in UK Bhangra history, from this band came Death Jamm, who inspired a whole host of producers across the world and carry on to do so, even to this day, Also, Boota Jagpal was in the band, the man who went onto create B21 (alongside J Sidhu and Bally) and produce a whole hosts of other albums, inspiring the scene and taking the UK bhangra sound out to the younger generation for decades to come. The Safri Boys altered the UK scene.

So let us check out the album Bomb The Tumbi By The Safri Boys!
Track 1 – The Boys Boliyan

Tumbi be, or not Tumbi? Straight from the off you given an insight into the band that was the Safri Boys, it just seemed so much fun, and full of energy. These Boliyan are still played at weddings today, and why not. These are amazing, the whole live band sound was something we expected but alongside that, we had a real youthful energy and drive. The boliyan had a great sense of humour attached to them.When these got sang at weddings or gigs, those left seated were the minority as these boliyan got everybody up!

Track 2 – Mr Mirza

Put the needle on the record when the drumbeats go like…….

So many cover versions of this track were out around this time, and some very good ones to. After track 1, the speed and quality of the music was not letting up, it was coming at us non stop, keys, chords drums and hoy’s all on a cover version, what else could you ask for.

Track 3. Jindua

The live band feel continues with “Jindua” not as pacey as the previous two tracks, but it is still full of quality, Safri highlights his ability to deliver something a bit more mellow. We have said it was mellow, but the live instruments being played also created a big band kind of a feel to the song, which worked across the whole album, not just this track.

Track 4, Miss Kamli

Same as Mr Mirza, Miss Kamli had been covered by so many bands and acts. So, if you were going to do this again, you had to make it special. Safri being Safri, delivered a vocal masterclass very much akin to the “Legends EP”, how could you make a cover version different to others? Easy, be Safri! Great track.

Track 5 Sajna Aja

The first 4 tracks of the album had us up and dancing and how we had our foot in the middle of a circle and everything. So it comes as a pleasant surprise when the Safri Boys give us a chilled out love tune. I do not think any of the Safri Boys were big romantics, so it must have been Pritpal who suggested a love track.

Track 6. Dhol Nagara

The album has had us on a high from the moment we pressed play. We rested for a bit to track 5, but the Safri Boys being the Safri Boys finish the album off as only they can, dhol, drums, keyboards and Safri on fire. What an album, what a legacy.


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