Dogan Mehmet and the Boombox Karavan
Dogan Mehmet and his Boombox Karavan are cultural misfits, straddling musical worlds as diverse as British and Turkish Folk, Gypsy, Reggae, Punk Rock and Drum & Bass, their rich soundscape reflecting the band’s multi-ethnic roots and tastes. Dogan’s current release Outlandish is now out on Hobgoblin Records and the band will be touring across the UK in 2013.
About Dogan Mehmet, www.doganmehmet.com
In their review of Outlandish, the Evening Standard describe Dogan Mehmet as “an original and infectious talent”. The Brighton born-and-bred multi-instrumentalist burst onto the scene with his 2008 EP Unlimited, going on to become the runner-up in the 2008 BBC Young Folk Awards. The following year, Dogan released his critically acclaimed debut album Gypsyhead. Mojo called it “a roaring fanfare for multicultural Britain, merging Anglo-Turk traditions with relish and conviction...a remarkable record”.
With his backing band The Deerhunters, Dogan embarked on two successful UK tours in 2010 and 2011, livening up folk clubs, sticky rock bars and art centres across the land. It prompted bookings at prestigious festivals including Sidmouth, Beautiful Days, Larmer Tree, and Glastonbury, where audiences quickly warmed to his charismatic stage presence and cheeky renditions of classic English folk songs laced with exotica. The tours firmly established Dogan’s place in the British folk scene.
He has gone on to perform with the likes of James Fagan, Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy. More recently, he has guested with all star global folk band The Imagined Village, whose band members include sitar player Sheema Mukherjee, Johnny Kalsi of The Dohl Foundation, legendary drummer Ged Lynch, Simon Richmond of The Bays, and Simon Emmerson of Afro Celt Sound System.
A second generation Turkish Cypriot, Dogan grew up with contrasting musical influences. Home life focussed on the musical delights of his ethnic roots, where the violin often takes centre stage and so it was that his parents gifted their young son with a fiddle. As Brighton lacked the presence of a strong Turkish community to nurture his ethnic musical talents, Dogan gravitated towards local classical orchestras, rock bands, and later played folk with older boys in pubs in Sussex.
The all-round entertainer also loves to dance, from hip hop to traditional Morris, rapper and long sword dancing. He’s appeared in several musical theatre productions, as well as landing a regular role on BBC 1’s The Omid Djalali Show.