When I discovered Tam Tams, to my great delight, at the age of 13 or so, I remember dozens and dozens of drummers vying for spots the steps of the monument to Sir George Étienne Cartier. They sat facing the mountain, surrounded by wild-haired, flailing-armed, barefoot dancers, and you could hear the beat from blocks away.
Last Sunday, while there were thousands of people gathered on the slopes of the mountain for Tams, there were only a few drummers clustered in the upper left (technically south-west) corner of the square. The old sax playing wizard and a few others sway to their own rhythm in the northern corner. Hmh, I wondered, when did this migration happen?
Meanwhile, for several years there’s been an abundance of jugglers and acrobats on the surrounding slopes: as much as Tam Tams is an enduring institution, it seems to be carried by internal ebbs and flows of it’s own.
Of course evolution is a good thing, it’s a sign of resilience. This is no hollow tradition: it’s a living, breathing, let-loose-and-enjoy-the-sunshine celebration. Bongos and hippies may go out of fashion but this thing we call Tams isn’t going anywhere.
Any other tam tams trends spotted by our readers over the years, or before my time (I was 13 circa 1995)?