Birmingham: From the beats of Bhangra to the power-packed performance of ‘Apache Indian,’ it was a carnival-like atmosphere at the refurbished Alexander Stadium here, as a dazzling closing ceremony brought the curtains down on the high-octane edition of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. More than 4,500 athletes competed from 72 countries over the past 11 days. India finished with 61 medals, five less than their tally four years ago at Gold Coast.
‘Apache Indian’, Bhangra set up the tempo Indian-origin Steven Kapur, a singer-songwriter and a reggae DJ, popularly known as ‘Apache Indian’ delivered a power-packed performance, belting out chartbusters ‘Boom Shack-A-Lak’, ‘Pass the Dutchie’ and ‘Red Red Wine’ to celebrate sound system culture of the city.
It was followed by model-cum-activist Neelam Gill, who was driven in a yellow MG, while Punjabi MC played out ‘Mundiyan To Bach Ke’ to a packed stadium, celebrating Birmingham ‘daytimers’ culture — the 80s and 90s cultural phenomenon.
There were 20 musical performances, which included musical legends Goldie and Beverley Knight collaborating on the iconic ‘Inner City Life’ in a tribute to Wolverhampton’s pioneering role in rave culture and 80s street art.
Low-key presence of Indian athletes Star female boxer Nikhat Zareen and veteran table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal led the sparsely populated Indian contingent, who walked into the stadium for the closing ceremony in tandem with the Pakistani athletes and officials.
As soon as they entered, Panjabi MC blasted their hit number ‘Mundian To Bach Ke’ with a performance by Lions of Punjab, a Midlands-based Punjab Bhangra dance group, with over 85 years of history.