Indie-(an) Music

An Ethnography of a Rock Music Venue in Delhi


  • David Cashman Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music/School of Education and the Arts



India, Delhi, popular music, rock music, venue, social class


Local English-language adaptations of western rock are performed in India primarily for consumption by young, western-influenced, and English-speaking middle-class Indians. As Indian rock is predominantly a live rather than a recorded practice, venues are of particular import within the Indian rock scene. However, little formal research upon live Indian popular music has been undertaken. Between September and December 2013, the author undertook research in Delhi investigating live popular music. This article uses an ethnographic approach to investigate and contextualise the music-culture of a music venue, Café 27, within the Indian rock scene in Delhi. The article finds that the venue in question has a two-fold purpose: it provides a space for performance of local adaptations of popular music genres permitting Delhi-ite musicians to earn a living, and it provides a space for the western-influenced middle- and upper-classes to define their identity.

Author Biography

David Cashman, Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music/School of Education and the Arts

David Cashman is a senior lecturer in the School of Education and the Arts at Central Queensland University with a specialization in popular music. His research interest involves the interrelationship between music and place. He has published on music and tourism, and popular music in Delhi.


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How to Cite

Cashman, D. (2015). Indie-(an) Music: An Ethnography of a Rock Music Venue in Delhi. Journal of World Popular Music, 1(2), 256–276.



Asian Popular Music