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Free Guide CARNIVAL GROOVES 1


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CONTENTS CARNIVAL GROOVES 2014 05. FEATURE

We stand on the shoulders of giants

10. CARNIVAL PEOPLE

Sheldon Skeete Mighty Tiger De Admiral

12. FEATURE

Notting Hill Carnival In print

14. FEATURE

23. TRAVEL INFORMATION

27. SOUND SYSTEMS

16. FOOD

19. FEATURE

Soca’s Crossover - test case

20. MUSIC

Calypso; Soca; Mobile music

21. MUSIC

Songs to listen out for

22. FEATURE

Routes of freedom; routes of repression

Debra Houston Alex Pascall

31. EVENTS

Foods of Carnival

Listing including music policies

28. CARNIVAL PEOPLE

Notting Hill Carnival - is it time for a tourism strategy?

TfL’s guide to getting to and from Carnival

24. ROUTE MAP

Party for Notting Hill Carnival

34. J’OUVERT Paint, powder and pan

35. CHILDREN’S DAY 37. CARNIVAL MONDAY 38. MAS

Listing including themes

42. STEEL PAN Panorama

44. C ARNIVAL PEOPLE

Christine Oree

Published By Joseph Charles Publishing, 86 - 90 Paul Street, London EC2A 4NE. Telephone + 44 (0) 3452 577 622. Twitter | twitter.com/socanews. Facebook | facebook.com/socanews. Website socanews.com This issue of Carnival Grooves was brought to you by: Publisher & Editor Joseph Charles. Sub-Editor Katie Segal. Consulting-Editor Stephen Spark. Layout & Design Joseph Charles. Contributors Cheryl Barker, Violet Cuffy, Robbie Joseph, Michael La Rose, Nicole-Rachelle Moore, Lydia Neckles, Pax Nindi, Natasha Ofosu, Katie Segal, Stephen Spark, Shon-el St Louis. Photographers Bampson, Big Truck, Carl Gabriel, Peter Hogan, Victor Morris, Response Photography, Stephen Spark, trinisinlondon.com. Thanks to Lynette Ametewee, Debi Gardner. The views expressed in Carnival Grooves are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. All material contained within this publication is the copyright of Carnival Grooves. No material, written or photographic may be reproduced in any way without the written permission of the publisher. No liability will be accepted for any errors which may occur within the magazine. CARNIVAL GROOVES 3


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FEATURE

LAWRENCE NOEL

WE STAND ON THE SHOULDERS OF GIANTS NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL; A CELEBRATION OF 50 YEARS WORDS. MICHAEL LA ROSE PICS. CARL GABRIEL

“Many tributaries make a mighty river.” We need therefore to celebrate and acknowledge all the known and unknown contributors who have helped to establish Notting Hill Carnival. And, with more than 50 years of history, there are many to celebrate. Establishing the Caribbean carnival in Britain has been a great achievement against fearsome odds. What has been achieved at Notting Hill Carnival is the creation of Europe’s largest festival of popular culture. Errol Hill, late author of an iconic history of carnival, memorably described the Caribbean carnival as the “Theatre of the streets”. Notting Hill Carnival is an established part of a global Caribbean carnival diaspora with an annual cycle of carnivals that spans North America, the Caribbean and Europe This Caribbean carnival culture was brought to Britain during the migration of Caribbean peoples after the Second World War. It was carried in the heart, minds and blood of those from all over the Caribbean. As my father, John La Rose, stated, “We did not come alive in Britain.” Many Caribbean people, known then as West Indians, were workers in the health service, British Railways and London Transport, but they were also musicians, CARNIVAL GROOVES 5


CLAUDIA JONES masqueraders, folk dancers, carnival designers and calypsonians. They made a deep impact on Britain with their vibrant culture, music, dress style, language and food. The Caribbean carnival in Britain was born as a direct response to the August 1958 Notting Hill Race Riots. White ‘Teddy Boy’ gangs roamed the area in their thousands, attacking mixed-race couples and black people in the streets. The police did not intervene. The Caribbean peoples, whatever island they came from, organised, united and attacked the racists with force. One of the leaders of these fierce Caribbean fighters was Baron Baker. Racial tension was high, and in May 1959 Antiguan carpenter and law student Kelso Cochrane was murdered by white youths on Southam Street, off Golborne Road. His murder remains unsolved. Beyond the Mother Country: West Indiand and the Notting Hill White Riots, by Edward Pilkington, is a good account of these events. Claudia Jones, the editor of the newspaper West Indian Gazette and Afro Asian News, was a Trinidadian cultural and political activist who had been deported from the USA. In direct response to these events, she established a committee to put on the West Indian Gazette Caribbean Carnival at St Pancras Town Hall in 1959. She understood the unifying power of the Caribbean carnival, and wanted 6 CARNIVAL GROOVES

to establish carnival in Britain as a showcase for the art and talents of Caribbean people. Although there had been attempts to have parades in Powis Square in Notting Hill, Jones’s events were held indoors, because it was too cold in Britain during the traditional pre-Lenten carnival season (January - March). In the following six years, the West Indian Gazette Caribbean Carnivals proved a fabulous success. Claudia Jones famously wrote in the carnival brochure, “A people’s art is the genesis of their freedom.” Jones died of chronic heart disease in Christmas 1964, and there was no indoor carnival in 1965. On the 50th anniversary of Claudia Jones’s death, Savannah View in association with African Odysseys BFI screened the film, Looking for Claudia Jones, in celebration of a great woman. Another woman then entered the story of carnival in Britain. Rhaune Laslett (Miss Las) was a white social worker committed to the welfare of immigrants in the North Kensington slum of Notting Hill. The novels Lonely Londoners, by Samuel Selvon, and Absolute Beginners, by Colin MacInnes, capture the essence of the area in this period. Notting Hill had a tradition of being the home of radical, alternative groups and communes. With friends, Laslett founded the London Free School, an advice centre at 34 Tavistock Crescent.


With her numerous Caribbean friends and clients, it is hard to believe that Miss Las was unaware of the earlier indoor shows. Laslett’s event was not initially the Caribbean carnival of Claudia Jones, however, although the festival had similar aims. Her plan was to re-create the community fairs and parades that had taken place in the past in the Notting Hill area. The first outdoor event was a week-long multicultural affair that included shows, and opening and closing parades. The inaugural Notting Hill Fayre, as it was known, ran from 18th to 23rd September 1966. There was no clear vision for the Notting Hill Carnival. Local radical groups such as the London Free School and the Notting Hill People’s Association were involved with its organisation, the latter renaming it the People’s Free Carnival. It was not until the early 1970s that a recognisably Caribbean carnival emerged, under the new leadership of Granville Pryce, Selwyn Baptiste and Merle Major. In 1973, Leslie ‘Teacher’ Palmer stepped in to a crisis when there was no one to take over as organiser. With the help of Anthony Perry, of the North Kensington Amenity Trust, and Granville Pryce, Palmer galvanised everyone. He had a plan and introduced local music bands and sound systems to the carnival to attract British-born black youngsters. Although masquerade bands had been in carnival since Ashton Charles’s fancy sailor band in 1969, they had not lasted long. Palmer convinced Lawrence Noel, Mack Copeland and Peter Minshall to bring out mas bands. Notting Hill Carnival now became a true Caribbean carnival and national festival, with 15,000 attending.

By the mid-1970s, Notting Hill Carnival was attracting the attention of the police and a local white residents’ association, which wanted the festival banned. In 1975, carnival faced the threat of a court injunction, backed by a huge petition, which was displayed by Commander Patterson of the Metropolitan Police. The Notting Hill Carnival of 1976 saw police invade the carnival area with ten times more police than had been deployed previously. Almost inevitably, a riot broke out. The police were routed by the black youths. They have never forgiven the carnival. The Home Secretary, Willie Whitelaw, and the press called for Notting Hill Carnival to be banned. The carnival leadership coalesced in a new organisation called the Carnival Development Committee (CDC), with Selwyn Baptiste as director, Darcus Howe as chair and Larry Forde as secretary. CDC produced the publication The road make to walk on carnival day: the struggle for the West Indian carnival in Britain. They were successful in keeping Notting Hill Carnival on the streets. The Home Office then formed and funded the rival Carnival Arts Committee (CAC), thereby dividing the carnival community. Alex Pascall was the leader of the CAC in the 1980s. He had a new vision for the carnival, and received better funding from the GLC. But the Metropolitan Police, under Commissioner Paul Condon, continued to attack the carnival, instituting a smear campaign in the press on the allegedly noncompliant CAC in 1988, and raiding the Mangrove restaurant on All Saints Road to arrest the owner, Frank Crichlow. No charges were ever proved and Crichlow later received damages for wrongful arrest. CARNIVAL GROOVES 7


Claire Holder took over from the ousted CAC leadership, disbanding the organisation and replacing it with the Carnival Enterprise Committee (CEC), which was more pro-business and prepared to work with the police. The 1989 carnival saw the police try to interfere with the parade of the carnival bands. The carnival community responded by forming the Association for a People’s Carnival (APC) to resist the plans of the CEC, the local councils and police. This model of pressure on Notting Hill Carnival from police swamping, critical media and uncooperative local councils, along with underdevelopment of the carnival bands, has shaped the Notting Hill Carnival we have today. Current complaints focus on repetitive bikini mas, crowd crushing and commercialism. Despite this, Mahogany’s mas was used at the UEFA Euro 96 football championship, mas bands were part of the Millennium celebrations, and they chipped down the Mall to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee in 2002. Event and safety management at the 2012 Olympics were based on experience gained at Notting Hill Carnival, which was cited as a shining example of diversity; the double standards of the British authorities can be breathtaking. Mas bands and steel bands still parade the streets, and between one and two million people turn up every year for Notting Hill Carnival. But the Caribbean carnival we have struggled for over the past 50 years may be unrecognisable in 10 years time. Those of us who love Notting Hill Carnival, and want it to survive, need to promote a strategy to secure a percentage of the millions of pounds made out of the event by shopkeepers, stall-holders, hotels, transport providers and others. Those funds are desperately needed to develop the festival, to pay for panyards and mas camps, and to hire vehicles on the road. Currently, the creative elements of Notting Hill Carnival are being starved of funds. We have to build and support Caribbean carnival institutions like Carnival Village. We should develop unified, democratic and effective associations for mas bands, steel bands, sound systems, calypsonians and soca DJs such as the British Association of Steelbands (BAS), the Association of British Calypsonians (ABC) and the Carnival Arts & Masquerade Foundation (CAMF).

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We must record our history. Carnival bands should be recording the story and history of their organisations. We need to encourage and support independent film-makers such as Optics Hamilton (Carnival Ah We Ting), Nia Reynolds (Looking for Claudia Jones), Stephen Rudder (Sequins, Soca and Sweat: the Hidden Heart of Notting Hill Carnival), Keith Morton (Panamundo) and Wyn Baptiste (The Story of Selwyn Baptiste). The Notting Hill Carnival is an example of cultural resistance. I want to call the names of some of those who have passed but contributed much to establishing the Caribbean carnival in Britain: Claudia Jones, Kelso Cochrane, Rhaunie Laslett, Andre Shervington, Edric and Pearl Connor, Chris Le Maitre, Granville Pryce, Selwyn Baptiste, Ethnia Smith, Johnno Roberts, Vivian Comma ‘Golden Cockerel’, Frank Crichlow, ‘Zigilee’ Constantine, Philmore ‘Boots’ Davidson, Randolph Baptiste, ‘Rocky’ Byron, Capitan, Wayne Berkeley, Tony Cumberbatch, Shadow the mas man, Hugo Learmond, Vernon ‘Fellows’ Williams, Peace & Love, Larry Forde, Lawrence Noel and Geraldine Connor-Crawford. We stand on the shoulders of giants. We must now stand up for we culture. Michael La Rose, author and researcher, director of Savannah View, designer and band leader of People’s War Carnival Band (1982 1998), vicechair of the CDC (1978 1980). Publications mentioned in the text: Carnival Development Committee (1977). The road make to walk on carnival day: the struggle for the West Indian carnival in Britain. Race Today Collective Hill, Errol (1997). The Trinidad Carnival: mandate for a national theatre. New Beacon Books, ISBN 978 187320114 5 MacInnes, Colin (1959). Absolute beginners. Allison & Busby, ISBN 978-0749009984 Pilkington, Edward (1988). Beyond the Mother Country: the Notting Hill White Riots. I B Tauris, ISBN 978-185043113 8 Selvon, Samuel (1956). The Lonely Londoners. Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-118841-6


IMAGES THROUGH THE YEARS PICS BY. CARL GABRIEL

CARNIVAL GROOVES 9


CARNIVAL PEOPLE

Sheldon Skeete CALYPSONIAN

Sheldon Skeete is a young man whose contribution to the ongoing story of calypso in the UK was firmly established after he won the Calypso Monarch title in both 2012 and 2013. Coming as he did from Trinidad, where he was steeped in the tradition, this calypsonian does not shy away from expressing himself clearly and unequivocally. Sheldon believes that calypso needs more exposure in the UK, saying, “We need more coverage in the UK, whether television or radio, even if it is just the calypso final that is being broadcast.” He clearly sees youth involvement as the way forward, and wants to, “Take calypso back to the schools as they did before, with workshops, and reintroduce the junior competition.”

Mighty Tiger CALYPSONIAN

Veteran calypsonian The Mighty Tiger (Ashton Moore) is the founder and president of the Association of British Calypsonians, and was a Carnival organisation board member 10 CARNIVAL GROOVES

for 17 years. He also served for five years on the board of the Carnival Village Trust. The Mighty Tiger candidly states that he doesn’t believe Notting Hill Carnival is in a healthy state culturally, as a lack of funding continues to retard progress. His view on the greatest progress - if any - made by NHC was unequivocal: “No progress, just a big struggle.” And as to whether the arena with which he’s associated receives the adequate appreciation/recognition it deserves, the ABC’s President said emphatically, “A big no! Just imagine that no radio or television stations cover the London Calypso Tent or the work of other arenas in any real depth. Look at the respect given to the various carnival art forms in Brasil and in Trinidad and Tobago...”

De Admiral CALYPSONIAN

The calypsonian De Admiral (Jeffrey Hinds) is one of the original founding members of the Association of British Calypsonians (ABC), and the person responsible for Reading’s AJ’s Calypso Tent. He is highly regarded as a serious exponent

of the art form of calypso, and his experience of Notting Hill Carnival stretches back to his boyhood when he first went to the carnival in 1976. De Admiral believes that the greatest progress that Notting Hill Carnival has made was when it became known as the ‘Greatest Street Festival in Europe’, but said, “This is so poorly reported that the spirit of Carnival: Caribbean style then suffers.” But the true story of the carnival may be lost, he says, “Because a lot of the history has not been documented and in many cases has gone to the grave with contributors. However, with the right research, a good synopsis of the origins, developments, progress, woes, politics, history and general artistry can be accumulated.” But he’s most concerned, of course, about his arena of calypso, saying, “It must begin with the calypsonians who are true to the art form...There are very few of us left who will go the extra yard knowing efforts are for the movement and not for an individual ego trip.”

FOR MORE VISIT SOCANEWS.COM


CARNIVAL GROOVES 11


FEATURE Notting Hill Carnival in print WORDS. STEPHEN SPARK & NICOLE-RACHELLE MOORE

For all those keen to learn more about London’s carnival, below are listed a selection of books, academic studies and reports. As many are out of date and hard to find, there is a real need for new works on Notting Hill Carnival. Don’t forget that Soca News always wants to hear from new writers about Caribbean carnival, music and culture!

‘50 Years of Carnival 1959 2009’. by Tom Vague. Vague no 54, Kensington & Chelsea Community History Group, 2009 (available from Housmans)

Midnight Robbers: the artists of Notting Hill Carnival by Lesley Ferris & Adela Ruth Tompsett. Carnival Exhibition Group, 2007, ISBN 978 0 9797682 0 0

Behind the masquerade: story of Notting Hill Carnival by Kwesi Owusu & Jacob Ross. Arts Media Group, 1988, ISBN 978 0 95127700 3

Notting Hill Carnival: a strategic review by Rosemary Emodi & Colin Prescod (eds). Greater London Authority, 2004, ISBN 1 85261 633 4

Carnival: a photographic and testimonial history of the Notting Hill Carnival by Ishmahil Blagrove (ed) & Margaret Busby. Rice n Peas, 2014, ISBN 978 0 9545293 2 1

On route: the art of carnival by Pax Nindi (ed). X Press and Arts Council of England, 2003, ISBN 1 874509 82 4

Claudia Jones: a life in exile by Marika Sherwood. Lawrence & Wishart, 2000, ISBN 978 0 85315882 0 ‘Culture, identity and the music of Notting Hill Carnival’ by Geraldine Connor. MMus (Master of Music) thesis in Ethnomusicology, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies, 1995 Images of the Carnival by Marcel Knobil & Leslée Wills. Creative & Commercial Communications, 1996, 0 9528153 0 3

FOR THE FULL STORY ON NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL IN PRINT VISIT SOCANEWS.COM

Mas in Notting Hill: documents in the struggle for a representative and a democratic carnival 1989/90 by Michael La Rose (comp). New Beacon Books, 1989, ISBN 0 90124199 7 Masquerade politics. Explorations in the structure of urban cultural movements by Abner Cohen. Berg, 1993, ISBN 0 85496 798 2 Masquerading: the art of the Notting Hill Carnival by Arts Council of England. Arts Council of England, 1986, ISBN 0 7287 0514 1

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Policing Notting Hill: fifty years of turbulence by Tony Moore. Waterside Press, 2013, ISBN 978 1 90816242 7 The economic impact of the Notting Hill Carnival by London Development Agency. London Development Agency, 2003 ‘The press reporting of Notting Hill Carnival’ by Stephen Spark. MA Journalism Studies thesis, University of Westminster, 2000. Available at Kensington Central Library The Road Make to Walk on Carnival Day by Darcus Howe. Race Today Publications, 1977 ‘“We Ting” in the UK: Notting Hill’s Calypso Tent and its Role in the Representation of Black Experience in Britain’ by Magda Konopka. 2010, www.interdisciplinary.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/konopkapaper.pdf “We Ting”. Notting Hill Carnival: a poetic narrative by Alex Pascall. Good Vibes Records & Music, 1991, ISBN 978 0 95170361 8


CARNIVAL GROOVES 13


FEATURE

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL IS IT TIME FOR A TOURISM STRATEGY ? WORDS. VIOLET CUFFY

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Notting Hill Carnival stands tall among the world’s street festivals. Anyone with even a slight involvement in the event will be aware of the significance of this year’s celebrations. As Notting Hill starts its three-year-long golden jubilee, this is an opportune moment to reflect upon its contribution to tourism in London. The carnival attracts visitors from elsewhere in the UK and from across the world. In 2003, the London Development Agency reported that carnival attendees spent an average of £45 million on food, drink, travel, clothing and memorabilia. Despite the challenges of accurately determining the number of visitors who descend on Notting Hill over the August Bank Holiday weekend, the LDA report estimated the 2003 total at 1.16 million people. Notting Hill Carnival is a signature tourism event on the calendar of tourism promotion organisations VisitLondon and VisitEngland. But the question remains: how much of Notting Hill Carnival is about tourism for the carnivalists, Notting Hill’s two local authorities and the capital as a whole? Do tourists see Notting Hill Carnival simply as the biggest street party in Europe? Is it essentially an occasion for the diaspora to express and celebrate its heritage and culture? Or is the festival about


displaying the best of the best in comparison with world carnivals? Notting Hill Carnival has a rich and contested history, which this anniversary year brings to the fore. It has grown from a small parade driven by the Caribbean immigrants’ passion for street revelry to today’s world-famous annual festivities. No one can deny the magnitude of today’s Notting Hill Carnival. So as we raise the curtain for yet another year, it is with pride that we celebrate the impact of the carnival on cultural and festive tourism in the UK. Our founder and pioneer Claudia Jones would have had much to be proud of as we look back over the decades. May her spirit long live on! Many traditionalists involved in the organisation and staging of this event ponder whether these decades of growth have created a festival that no longer respects the core values and symbolism of street mas. In the words of one carnivalist, “We have lost our way... Notting Hill Carnival is no longer about costume, mas and storytelling; today it’s more about money, bikini and beads.” These sentiments are largely expressed by those who believe the parade should be an expression of art, street drama, music, dance and food and drink. The question is how much responsibility lies with this subgroup of carnivalists to

ensure that these core aspects of the carnival tradition are sustained. This is particularly pertinent as we seek to satiate the appetite of tourists and locals who may have little knowledge, appreciation or interest in the historic significance of carnival to West Indian descendants. The authenticity of street carnival, Caribbean-style, is a debate the golden jubilee spotlights. Notting Hill Carnival has grown from its teething years, survived a period of political and social tension, and evolved into a unique festival that embraces diverse multicultural sub-groups that help host and stage this awesome roadshow. But although we are right to celebrate the past, perhaps we should also be looking to the future potential of Notting Hill Carnival, which is already London’s largest and most economically powerful annual tourism street event. Organisers and others cite many challenges in the management and sustainability of Notting Hill Carnival. Has the time perhaps come for carnivalists to embrace the idea of ‘carnival as a business’ and a ‘major tourism product’? I beg to argue that tourism development may prove to be the core strategy for 2015 and beyond. That debate is now open… One thing is certain, however: despite all the ongoing challenges, the spirit of carnival will live on! CARNIVAL GROOVES 15


FOOD

Foods of Carnival WORDS. TRINI GOURMET

The Notting Hill Carnival experience would not be complete without one of the main ingredients: food! London is such a multi-cultural collection of people, you can always find a wide variety of tantalising delicacies to really get your taste buds watering, wherever you are. Carnival, however, being predominantly a Caribbean and South American affair, sets the stage for the line-up of dishes that can be sampled here to be predominantly ranging from those parts of the world. The barbecue grill is an important instrument for most street vendors, as this is how they prepare the simpler and traditional street foods like, burgers, hot dogs and roasted corn on the cob, and more tantalising imports such as jerk chicken and fish. Some of the dishes you’ll find at Carnival are: 16 CARNIVAL GROOVES

ROAST CORN

ROTI (GOAT OR CHICKEN)

dough fried in hot oil

a hybrid Caribbean Indian dish, with a pancake-type ‘skin’ wrapped around the curry of your choice and some channa (chickpeas)

RICE & PEAS

FISH CAKES

corn on the cob roasted over charcoal

FRIED DUMPLING (aka bake)

typically a Jamaican dish; a favourite at Carnival, usually consist of kidney beans and rice

JERK CHICKEN

it’s all in the seasoning! You can expect to see someone with a half-barrel filled with charcoal, cooking frantically to keep up with demand

CURRY GOAT OR CHICKEN

usually served with rice & peas or roti, the name says it all.

consists of flour and cod fish, which is then fried in hot oil

PATTIES

seasoned filling – meat, fish or vegetable - in a pastry case

FRIED PLANTAIN

a family of the banana, this is sliced and fried in hot oil and is sweet to taste

FESTIVAL

sweet dough-like mixture fried in hot oil to make dumplings

TRINI GOURMET WITH A TWIST FACEBOOK.COM/TRINIGOURMETUK


CARNIVAL GROOVES 17


18 CARNIVAL GROOVES


FEATURE

Soca’s Crossover

BUNJI GARLIN PERFORMING AT THE O2 IN LONDON

TEST CASE

PIC BY. TRINISINLONDON.COM

WORDS. NATASHA OFOSU

Differentology’s soca essence is reflected in songs such as Stages, All O’Dem, with its smooth lavway, and Savage, which samples the 1976 original of the same name by the late Maestro (Cecil Hume). The brass instruments on this track are simply refreshing amidst the heavy bass lines and computerised chords that permeate the album. Touchless, which uses the Stag Riddim, is one of the standout tracks, with a pulsating J’Ouvert vibe underpinned by rumbling African drums. The J’Ouvert theme is continued on Red Light District, a percussive track that sparked controversy when it was first released as a single. Garlin is known for his lyrical genius, and does not disappoint on this collection. He spits some of his best ‘robber talk’ on the soulful hip-hop track West Indian Jungle, and he spells out his credentials on Over the Hills. “I preserve the spoken word in soca”, he chants, while sounding a warning shot that one person alone can’t advance the music: “This thing cannot happen with no two and few / This needs the skills of many”. Differentology offers a range of beats and moods which will appeal to a variety of sensibilities. It provides an intriguing test case for whether soca has to be fused with, or even reincarnated as, Western dance music in order to be accepted internationally. Watch this space.

When Bunji Garlin’s Differentology album drops worldwide this month it will be another huge leap forward for the artist in a year that has been littered with career-defining advancements. The album’s title track Differentology (Ready for the Road) earned him a 2013 Soul Train Award for Best International Performance, was featured in ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, and gained Garlin a coveted spot on the main stage at New York radio station Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam alongside 50 Cent, The Roots, and Nas. In May this year he also made a commanding debut on BET’s 106 and Park show. Differentology features 13 songs, and is infused with a strong electronic dance music (EDM) and hip-hop vibe. Significantly, it is being re-released through a joint venture between American label RCA and VP Records, with RCA using the same promotional avenues as they would for their mainstream pop artists. The album includes much-heralded remixes of the title track by EDM collaborative Major Lazer, and Truck On The Road, which features rapper A$AP Ferg; sadly, the original of the latter track was omitted. On Carnival Tabanca (Viking Remix), the broodiness of the original is stripped away whilst the upbeat, clapping element of the song is emphasised. A lesser-known, but more pleasing dance track is Gi Dem Dey, which has unmistakeable touches of West African hip-life.

CARNIVAL GROOVES 19


MUSIC

SOCA During the 1970s the popularity of calypso waned, and what took its place was a more lively, uptempo kind of music. Soca was influenced by gospel, Indian instruments, funk, African spirituals and reggae. Soca, unlike calypso, is more concerned with people having a good time. The musical lyrics of great artists, such as Ras Shorty I’s Endless Vibrations and Soul of Calypso, helped to make soca music international. He experimented with Indian instruments such as the dhantal, tabla and dholak to belt out the first stream of soca music. In the beginning, like calypso, soca was used to provide social commentary and humour, but soon the more risqué business of wining and jamming took over the new sound. Many argue that the lyrics of soca are less appealing than its contemporary, calypso, but needless to say it took over the streets and is more widely played now than calypso - except in the calypso tents. In many ways, soca is to calypso what dancehall is to reggae, with the former being more about partying and the latter relating to society and its issues. Like all other music, people have experimented with soca over the years to produce hybrids such as ragga soca, chutney soca, rapso and even soca parang. Bunji Garlin has recently started to break through some boundaries with his song Differentology, which is a blend of soca with several other kinds of music, and which has now been remixed with electronic dance music (EDM); his style frequently 20 CARNIVAL GROOVES

crosses over towards rapso, and some say his freestyling could stand up to the best in the world. Machel Montano has a long history of experimenting with different genres of music, for instance in 2013 he and Kerwin Dubois made a song, Possessed, in South Africa with the group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and he has even injected a little operatic sound into his 1999 song with Natasha, Jab Molassie. Some other current and upcoming soca artists you could look out for are Fay-Ann Lyons, Kes the Band, Alison Hinds, Fya Empress, Jamesy P, Tian Winter, Destra, Skinny Fabulous; a few of the vintage greats are Kitchener, Sparrow, Shadow and Arrow. I could go on and on.

MOBILE MUSIC This is the music you will hear the trucks playing on the route at Notting Hill Carnival. Whilst the majority of them will have DJs playing their music, some will have bands and live PAs from artists, and of course there will also be the steel bands playing pan on the road – 18 of them at last count. There will be over 70 DJs and bands on the road this year, catering for the needs of the multicultural attendance and participants. Most of the trucks will be playing soca most of the time, but there are two schools of samba on the road, and may be a few other variations to listen out for as well. For more information about these DJs and for other services relating to mobile sound systems, you can contact the Caribbean Music Association at www. caribbeanmusicassociation.co.uk

CALYPSO There is a calypso tent that takes place in the weeks preceding Notting Hill Carnival. This stems from a tradition in the Caribbean where calypsonians would perform to their audience in a large tent, but here the term is used euphemistically, as there is a very solid roof overhead. Several nights of performances on weekend evenings culminate in the Calypso Monarch competition; these days, there’s also a Groovy Soca Monarch competition, where artists sing slower, more melodic songs of the genre you mostly hear the trucks play on the road – not quite calypso, not quite frenzied dancing. There are visiting artists from the Caribbean and elsewhere throughout the run, and the final night of the tent, on the Friday before carnival, is a showcase of artists. The Association of British Calypsonians, who produce the London Calypso Tent, was established in 1991. It is the only representative body for British-based calypso singers and composers in both the UK and Europe. They produce a programme of activities based on the traditions and culture of calypso, but with a British focus. For information on the London Calypso Tent and any other activities of the ABC, go to their website at http://www.britishcalypsonians.com/

FOR MORE MUSIC SOCANEWS.COM/ MUSIC


MACHEL MONTANO PERFORMING AT ZOMER CARNAVAL PIC BY. TRINISINLONDON.COM

Songs to listen out for The following track list is made up from a poll of four of London’s soca DJs. We at Soca News believe its a true reflection of what you can expect to hear on the road, come Notting Hill Carnival Sunday & Monday. DJs were: Martin Jay, Triple M, Trevor Davis & DJ CJay

Haunted Sound Bang Too Real Spoil Mehself Ah Feeling Doh Tell Me Dat Feter to Meh Heart Galavanting Pankatang Bacchanal Road Big People Party Epic Truck On De Road M.O.R Conquer Me Soak It Good Call My Name Happiest Man Alive Great Day

Machel Montano

Trinidad & Tobago

Machel Montano

Trinidad & Tobago

Kerwin Du Bois

Trinidad & Tobago

Kerwin Du Bois

Trinidad & Tobago

Lead Pipe and Saddis

Barbados

Flipo

Trinidad & Tobago

5 Star Akil

Trinidad & Tobago

Kerwin Du Bois

Trinidad & Tobago

Biggie irie

Barbados

Imani

Barbados

Farmer Nappy

Trinidad

Machel Montano

Trinidad & Tobago

Bunji Garlin & Jus Now

Trinidad & Tobago

Machel Montano

Trinidad & Tobago

Lyrikal

Trinidad & Tobago

Skinny Banton

Grenada

Destra

Grenada

Machel Montano

Trinidad & Tobago

Lil Rick

Trinidad & Tobago

Submitting music to Soca News To submit your music, send your tracks to music@socanews. com accompanied by a bio, high resolution images, and all of your contact details including social networking links.

SOCANEWS.COM/ MUSIC

CARNIVAL GROOVES 21


FEATURE

Routes Of Freedom ROUTES OF REPRESSION WORDS + PIC. STEPHEN SPARK

Mas bands squeeze through slaloms of narrow streets, following speakerstacked juggernauts past the shuttered windows of Victorian mansions. Crushed on the other side of a Berlin Wall of metal barriers, guarded by the Met’s finest, are the huddled masses. So dangerously seductive are mas and pan, so corrupting of public morals are the winergals’ waisttwisting turns that the innocence of uncomprehending Japanese tourists must be protected by a ring of steel. Carnival has grown stiff and arthritic in middle age, shuffling along at carpet-slipper pace in a queue of fume-pumping trucks, a nose-to-tail jam of sound. In this decibel-soaked confusion, subtleties of composition, arrangement and production are lost in an indigestible soup of bass. It wasn’t always like this. Clashing sounds, yes; crowds and chaos, certainly; but the roads were innocent of barriers, without any division into ‘spectator’ and ‘performer’. If you wanted to follow the band, then you just joined in behind the masqueraders. Where that band might end up was anyone’s guess. In the 1980s, the carnival route was more of a suggestion than an edict. At a crossroads you might find three bands all heading in different directions. The unpredictability and sense of barely controlled anarchy gave the authorities sleepless nights – and quite right too. An abiding memory is following a double-decker steelband down a leafy suburban street well off the route. Residents peered suspiciously at our merry progress until we were halted by an immovable overhanging branch. Retreat was unthinkable. A saw was produced, the foliage was removed and we continued on our way, ending up in a foreign land called Latimer Road. 22 CARNIVAL GROOVES

At night, all pretence of a route vanished. Sound trucks scattered off like errant comets through the west London firmament trailing tails of revellers. At midnight, buoyed by rum, Red Stripe and soca, we danced through the traffic on the Harrow Road. Carnival was a continuum, untroubled by clock-watching bureaucrats. Over the past 20 years, the dead-eyed health-and-safety watchers, compilers of risk matrices and the surveillance men have tightened their grip. It is hard to recapture that old, primal sense of irresponsible, irrepressible, exuberant freedom. It’s only at J’Ouvert, early on Sunday morning, that you can still experience the redemptive magic of Carnival. The road is ours, and we’re free to chip to steelpan and fill the air with laughter whilst dodging the powder. Every step of the way is a little victory, a taste of the freedom that is the lifeblood of true Carnival.


TRAVEL

TRAVEL INFORMATION The easiest way get to the event is to travel by bus, Tube, Overground, bike or foot. This page provides helpful information to ensure your experience is not overshadowed by hold-ups or hazards. Buses Extra buses will be serving the carnival but they will not enter the event area - from the first bus on Sunday morning until services start on Tuesday morning. To the south of the carnival area, buses will start from Notting Hill Gate, and to the north buses will start from the Prince of Wales pub on Harrow Road. Some local buses will be on diversion. Bus routes serving the Carnival: 2X, 6, 7, 16, 18, 23, 27, 28, 31, 36, 36X, 46, 52, 70, 94, 98, 148, 159, 187, 205, 205X, 220, 228, 295, 316, 328, 332, 390, 414, 436, 436X, 452, N7, N16, N18, N28, N31, N98 and N207. Underground Some stations around the carnival area will close early or be exitonly at certain times to help ease congestion: Ladbroke Grove will be closed on 24 and 25 August Latimer Road will be closed at 23:30 on 24 and 25 August Notting Hill Gate will be exit-only between 11:00 and 19:00 and there will be no interchange between Central and Circle or District lines on 24 and 25 August. Circle and District line trains will not stop at this station between 11:00 and 19:00 on 25 August

Royal Oak will be exit-only between 11:00 and 18:00 on 24 and 25 August. The station will close on both days at 18:00 Westbourne Park will be exit-only between 11:00 and 18:00 on 24 and 25 August, and will close both days at 23:30 Alternative stations Bayswater: Circle/District line users are advised to use this station between midday and 19:00 on 24 and 25 August. Paddington: Use this station instead of Notting Hill Gate or Royal Oak as both have restrictions. Other nearby stations: High Street Kensington, Holland Park, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush. All are within easy walking distance of Notting Hill. London Overground Nearest stations: Willesden Junction, Kensal Rise, Kensal Green, Queen’s Park and Shepherd’s Bush. The following sections of London Overground will not run during the Carnival weekend: Sunday: No service between Highbury & Islington and Shadwell. No service between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. Monday: A Saturday service will be in operation on all routes.

Barclays Cycle Hire Seven Barclays Cycle Hire docking stations will be suspended from 21:00 on Saturday 23 August until 07:00 on Tuesday 26 August: Turquoise Island, Pembridge Villas, Chepstow Villas, Notting Hill Gate station, Hereford Road, Ladbroke Grove Central and Lansdowne Walk. Although all other docking stations will remain available, road congestion may make it difficult for cycle hire redistribution vehicles to collect and/or replace bicycles at some locations. Roads There will be a large number of road closures from Sunday 24 August to Tuesday 26 August within the area bordered by Harrow Road in the north, Notting Hill Gate in the south, Clarendon Road in the west and Queensway in the east. Closures will be in place at all times apart from between 03:00 and 07:00. Traffic is likely to be slow moving along the A5 (Edgware Road), Harrow Road, Holland Park Avenue, Notting Hill Gate and Bayswater Road. For more information about all of these, please check the Transport for London website at www. tfl.gov.uk/tfl/livetravelnews/ realtime/buses/default.html or telephone 0343 222 1234.

CARNIVAL GROOVES 23


24 CARNIVAL GROOVES


Carnival Route Map

CARNIVAL GROOVES 25


26 CARNIVAL GROOVES


SOUND SYSTEMS 1. MASTERMIND ROADSHOW Upfront R&B, hip-hop, soul, old skool, reggae 2. G I ROADSHOW Reggae, bashment, salsa, R&B

21. CMC/MATRIX Drum & bass

3. SSP SOUND SYSTEM

22. KILLER WATT Across the board

4. 4 PLAY Across the board

23. SIR LLOYD R&B, reggae

5. I SPY – THE PEOPLE’S SOUND

24. RAPATTACK Soul, funk, R&B, Hip-Hop, Garage, Old Skool 70,s 80’s Classics, Rare Groove

6. MARK ROSS SOUND SYSTEM Funky/soulful house, RnB, rare groove, slow jam, reggae 7. ABA SHANTI Roots rock reggae, dub 8. ROUGH BUT SWEET Reggae, R&B, revival, lovers, garage The footprint of Notting Hill Carnival is peppered with sound systems, which have a wide variety of music policies. Luckily, they publish both those and their locations, and we have that information for you, and our annotated map. With music from reggae to RnB, hip hop to electronica, even if you’re not a soca lover or masquerader you’ll still be able to find somewhere you’ll love to be. Notting Hill Carnival has long been the biggest weekend of the year in all sound men’s diaries. Sound systems have been an integral part of the atmosphere at carnival since the early days. If you would like further information about sound systems at Notting Hill Carnival, you can contact the British Association of Sound Systems at www. bassline.org.uk

20. LORD GELLYS Reggae, R&B, soca

9. BLACKSTAR SHOWTIME Reggae, soca, soul

25. DIFFERENT STROKES Reggae, R&B, revival, hip-hop, soca 26. PEOPLE’S SOUND SYSTEM Ragga, R&B, hip-hop, soca 27. MANGROVE SOUND Soca 28. CHANNEL ONE Strictly roots & culture

10. LOVE TKO Reggae, R&B, soca, hip-hop

29. METRO GLORY Ragga, R&B, hip hop, house, garage, jungle, roots

11. SIR VALDEZ R&B, hip-hop, ragga

30. KING TUBBY’S Reggae, dancehall, bashment, R&B

12. KCC & THE ROCKING CREW US house (old & new), house anthems

31. DISYA JENERATION Across the board

13. MELLOTONE Soul, ragga, R&B and revival

32. GAZ’S ROCKIN’ BLUES Classic ska, revival, New Orleans R&B

14. ARTS A LIGHT Hip-hop, classic garage

33. SOLUTION SOUND Reggae

15. LATIN RAVE STREET JAM Latin, salsa

34. THE FUNBUNCH R&B, hip-hop, garage, boogie

16. SAXON SOUND Ragga, reggae

35. DISCO HUSTLERS Electro tech

17. GLADDYS WAX ROAD SHOW Roots & culture, reggae, ska

36. RAMPAGE Across the board

18. HIGH GRADE Reggae 19. VIRGO INTERNATIONAL Reggae, bashment, soca, hip-hop, R&B, garage

37. NASTY LOVE MIXING LAB Ragga, dancehall, R&B, hip-hop 38. PINEAPPLE TRIBE Techno break beats

CARNIVAL GROOVES 27


CARNIVAL PEOPLE

Debra Houston

Alex Pascall

Debra Houston has been a carnivalist for more than 30 years, and has been involved in mas making and design, carnival events and tutoring carnival workshops. She has played J’Ouvert for many years at Notting Hill Carnival. Houston feels that Notting Hill Carnival is now a multicultural event – although she still sees it as Caribbean – but says, “I feel the Caribbean community are trying to maintain the roots of the carnival from the Caribbean.” “I think Notting Hill still has progress to make; yes, we are celebrating 50 years this year, but I believe it has definitely been a roller coaster of a ride. It would be nice to see the different factions of Carnival coming together more, e.g steel bands and mas bands should be having more events together to promote the carnival. It feels to me that each of them work for the progress of themself instead of Carnival as an whole event. “I don’t feel any of the arenas in Carnival get the recognition they should get! Panorama is a prime example for me; why is this event still on the street? Many years ago we used to have most of the pre-carnival events in White City. All factions would hold events in the big tent: Panorama, King and Queen costumes, music shows. Those that really wanted to support the event were able to. The free-for-all event on the street does not work for me, and I’m sure we could attract and educate more people with a better event.” A seasoned J’Ouvert player, Houston said, “I would like to see J’Ouvert improved, more mud bands, organised pan bands out and most importantly the educating of people that we are not out there to throw and pelt anything you can get your hands on - eggs, flour, etc, etc. More old mas; let’s try to keep the traditions where we can.” Houston believes that, while it may not be possible for the story of this carnival to ever fully be told, it must be continued, saying, “I, for one, will continue to talk and share my stories to all who want to see the continued success of Notting Hill Carnival.”

Alex Pascall is a broadcaster, journalist, musician and writer. In short, he is a communicator par excellence, and has had many years of experience and involvement in Notting Hill Carnival since his arrival in this country in 1959. Pascall clearly feels that possessing an accurate account of the history of the carnival is of fundamental importance: “The event is massive, and the history can only be conclusive if sources with the full knowledge tell their individual story, not ‘hearsay’ but facts. The fact that there was little media and press information available in its formative period leaves us with numerous gaps to put right, as those who were involved from its beginnings and the different stages in its development. I have read several accounts, and have been lucky to have spoken to and interviewed many involved, and will write my own account. I am unhappy with some of the accounts I have read; certain claims distort the truth and seem to seek self praise. I will stick to the facts and with proof, place as much of the storylines I documented adding my own involvement from the late 1950s to the period that I spent as Chairman and its media coverage, interviewing most of the organisers: mas’ makers, musicians and others on all levels of its development. What is for sure is that the police, the press and the authorities have helped to criminalise the name of the event and its history, and it is left to us to correct this and remain active in its management. I know no other festival that is more representative of Caribbean advancement in the United Kingdom than the Notting Hill Carnival and the various offshoots it has created across the UK and Europe. The economy it generates needs also to be analysed in comparison to other events.”

J’OUVERT PLAYER

28 CARNIVAL GROOVES

BROADCASTER


CARNIVAL GROOVES 29


30 CARNIVAL GROOVES


EVENTS

SOCANEWS.COM/EVENTS

THURS 21ST AUGUST SYNC PARTIES

SUNSET - THE CARNIVAL EXPERIENCE

RELEASE D RIDDIM

SOCA LOCKDOWN

@ Rise Superclub, 1 Leicester Square, WC2H 7BL. Price £10 & £15 after 10.30pm. Time 8pm3am. Tel 07950 715 598.

@ The Penthouse London, Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA. Price £15 & £20, tix only. Time 6pm-2am.

FRI 22ND

NEXT_LEVEL+POISONUK

LONDON CALYPSO TENT - LAST NIGHT

AFTER WORK LIME

@ The Worlds End, 231-23 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EF. Time 6pmmidnight. ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH CALYPSONIANS

LONDON CALYPSO TENT - CALYPSO MONARCH FINAL @ Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY. Price £10 & £12. Time 6.30pm. MANGROVE STEELBAND

LIVE STEEL PAN

@ All Saints Road, W11 1HA. Mangrove Steelband will be playing in the street in the run-up to Panorama. Price free. Time 7-11pm.

ASSOCIATION OF BRITISH CALYPSONIANS

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY. Price £10 & £12. Time 6.30pm ONE ISLAND

PON DE ROOFTOP

@ The Prince of Wales, 467 - 469 Brixton Road, SW9 8HH. Music By DJ Markee & Private Ryan. Price £15. Time 4-10pm. BIG PAPPY ENTS

D’SOCA BOAT

@ MV Royalty, Festival Pier, South Bank, SE1 8XZ. Price £25. Time 6.30pm. MANGROVE STEELBAND

LIVE STEEL PAN

@ All Saints Road, W11 1HA.

Mangrove Steelband will be playing in the street in the run-up to Panorama. Price free. Time 7-11pm. BUSSPEPPER PROMOTIONS

BACCHANAL FRIDAY

@ Revolution, 1 America Square, Tower Hill, EC3N 2LS. Music By DJ Markee & Private Ryan. Price £10 & £15. Time 10pm-4am. NEXT_LEVEL+POISONUK

FIRE FRIDAY CONCERT

@ The Coronet (Elephant & Castle), 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ. Live Acts 5Star Akil, Tian Winter, Triniboi Joocie, Fya Empress, Lil Rick & Orlando Perez. Price £10+bfee. Time 9.30pm-1am. NEXT_LEVEL+POISONUK

NEON THE OFFICIAL CONCERT AFTER PARTY @ Area Club, 67 Albert Embankment, SE1 7TP. Music By Credable, DJ Spice & Wassi, DJ Tate, DJ Private Ryan, Triple M, Trevlyn, Cinde Rella, All Mighty Sound & QT 2Hype. Price £10+bfee. Time 2-7am.

CARNIVAL GROOVES 31


SAT 23RD RUK-A-TUK PROMOTIONS

THE NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL PREMIUM BREAKFAST CRUISE

@ The Dixie Queen, Tower Pier, EC3N 4DT. Price £40+bFee. Time 9.30am. ICE BOX ENTERTAINMENT

SUITS - NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL CRUISE

@ Thames Princess, Lambeth Pier Albert Embankment, SE1 7SG. Time noon. Tel 07957 623 369. B&C WITH BURROKEETS

TUNJI AND FRIENDS CARNIVAL BOAT PARTY

@ Royal Princess,Westminster Millennium Pier, Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2JH. Time 10am-3pm. Tel 07454 898 892. THE LUCIAN ENTERTAINMENT SPECIALIST

CARNIVAL FEVER

@ The Haringey Irish Centre, Pretoria Road, Tottenham, N17 8DX. Music by DJ Cass, Ninjaman Lloyd & DJ Nite Rider. Price £10, £15 & £21. Time 1pm-1am. Tel 07939 512 018.

@ Emslie Horni;man Pleasance, Kensal Road, W10 5EH. Price free. Time 6-10pm. See page42

Acts Kerwin DuBois, Lyrikal, Skinny Banton, Triniboi Joocie & Ms Desire. Music By Soca Mafia (Vinny Ranks, Mr Mention & DTee), QT 2Hype, Dr Jay (Toronto), DJ Stephen (Atlanta) & DJ Tate. Price £20, motd. Time 10.30pm J’Ouvert. Tel 07939 238 735.

SISTER MONICA

SUN BAILANTE

@ St Mary of The Angel, Moorhouse Road, W2 5DJ. Time 6.3010.30pm. Tel 020 7229 0487.

@ Gilt, 14 New London Street, EC3R 7NA. Music By Walshy Fire (Major Lazer), & Seani B (BBC 1Xtra). Price £15 & £17, motd. Time 10pm-4am. Tel 07921 891 611.

BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF STEELBANDS (BAS)

NATIONAL PANORAMA - CHAMPIONS OF STEEL COMPETITION

CARNIVAL SATURDAY CHURCH SERVICE

SHIPWRECKED CARNIVAL LONDON

ALL INCLUSIVE PARTY MEXICAN STYLE

@ Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, SE1 9BU. Music by Private Ryan, DJ Markee & DJ Dale. Price £60. Time 6pmmidnight. Tel 07990 587 333. GETMAD ENTERTAINMENT

THE MADDEST CARNIVAL WARM UP ‘NOTTING HILL 2014’

@ Fridge Bar, Town Hall Parade 1 Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ. Music by Mr General, Djahman, Shakit, Silver Fox & Silverstar Sound. Price £10. Time 9pm-4am. Tel 07903 393 944. CANDY MAS & GORGEOUS

TATE MODERN

UP HILL DOWN HALL – AN INDOOR CARNIVAL @ Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. To coincide with the Notting Hill Carnival, Tate Modern presents Up Hill Down Hall: An Indoor Carnival, a new performance commission that offers critical and artistic perspectives on Carnival. Price free. Time 3-6pm. Tel 020 7887 8888. 32 CARNIVAL GROOVES

A NIGHT ON BROADWAY

@ Revolution, 140-144 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4QT. Live Acts Benjai, Lil Rick, Olatunji and friends. Price £15, £20 & £25. Time 10pm-4am. Tel 07538 950 859. SOCA MAFIA

OH GOSH

@ Crystal Club, 1 Poppin Business Centre, Wembley, HA9 0HB. Live

CARNIVAL ENERGY PARTY

SUN 24TH BAS

J’OUVERT AND BOMB COMPETITION @ Ladbroke Grove W10, W11. Price free. Time 11am-7pm. See page 34

CHILDREN’S DAY

@ area bounded by Harrow Rd (N), Chepstow Rd (E), Westbourne Grove (S) and Ladbroke Grove (W). Price free. Time 11am-7pm. See page 35 SUN BAILANTE

THE HOT CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL

@ O2 Academy Islington, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, N1 0PS. Music By Private Ryan (Miami), D Tee, QT 2Hype, Djahman & C Jay. Price £12 & £15, motd. Time 11pm-6am. Tel 07921 891 611. STYLISH NIGHTS

CARNIVAL PARTY

@ SWAY, 61-65 Great Queen Street, WC2B 5BZ. Price £10. Time 10pm-4am. Tel 07956 407 181.


SOUL’D OUT & QT 2HYPE

I LOVE SOCA CARNIVAL AFTER PARTY

@ Loop Bar (Room 3), 19 Dering Street (off Oxford St), W1S 1AH. Price £10 before 11.30pm, £15, motd. Time 10pm-4am. Tel 07885 864 247.

MON 25TH ADULTS’ DAY

@ area bounded by Harrow Rd (N), Chepstow Rd (E), Westbourne Grove (S) and Ladbroke Grove (W). Price free. Time 11am-8pm (sound systems shut down at 7pm) See page 37

FRI 29TH FUNATIK MAS AND SOCAHOLIC

LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE

@ Ruby Blue, 1 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BP. Music By Martin Jay, D Raskal, DJ Tate & DJ Chris Vee. Price £5 b4 midnight, £8 thereafter. Time 10pm-3am.

SAT 30TH TRINIDAD & TOBAGO ASSOCIATION

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO INDEPENDENCE DAY BARBEQUE & FAMILY LIME

@ Trinidad & Tobago Association, 380 Green Lanes, N4 1DW. Price £5 child, £8 adult & £20 family. Time 1pm-late. Tel 07598 749 002. FLAGZ RADIO

REP YOUR MAS BAND

@ The Coronet (Elephant & Castle),

28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ. Music By Martin Jay, DJ Rolo, C Jay, QT 2Hype, DJ Bones, Triple M, Mr Wotless, Bostman, DJ Scooby, Credable, DJ Bliss, Djorn, D Tee Shaker HD (Soca Frenzy) & DJ Matchiz. Price £7, motd. Time 11pm-6am. Tel 07951 026 291.

SAT 6TH SEPTEMBER SONNY BLACKS

CARIBBEAN CARNIVAL EXTRAVAGANZA @Fairfield Hall, Park Lane, Croydon, CR9 1DG. Price £17, £20 & £70 Family ticket. Time 7.30pm. Tel 020 8688 9291.

CARNIVAL VILLAGE TRUST IN ASSOCIATION WITH TALK YUH TALK

KAISO LIME!

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY. Live calypso acts The Divettes and Alexander D Great, MC Tobago Crusoe. Price free. Time 7 - 10.30pm. Tel 020 7221 9700.

FRI 19TH COMMONWEALTH ARTS & CULTURAL FOUNDATION

THE RUDY SMITH JAZZ QUARTET

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY. Featuring Neville Malcolm (bass), Geoff Castle (piano), Kenrick Rowe (drums). Special guest artist: Annise Hadeed.Price £15 early bird, £20 thereafter. Time 7pm, showtime 8.30pm. Tel 07956 523 296.

FRI 26TH COMMONWEALTH ARTS & CULTURAL FOUNDATION

KINGS OF CALYPSO

@ The Camden Cente, Euston Road (opp. St Pancras Stn) Kings Cross, London, WC1H 9JE. Featuring The Mighty Sparrow & Black Stalin. Music By Martin Jay & Smokey Joe. Price £15 early bird, £20 thereafter. Time 9.30pm 2am. Tel 07956 523 296.

CLUB CARIBBEAN

ONE MORE LIME!

@ Flyover, Portobello, 3-5 Thorpe Close, W10 5XL. Music By Cappa Chino, Credable, Mr Hardwine, DJ Bones, QT 2Hype, Big Man Johnny & Twin T. Price £10 adv. Time 10-3am. Tel 07903 211 522.

THUR 11TH AGMP

DAVID RUDDER LIVE IN CONCERT

You are strongly advised to check with the event promoter, as details sometimes change and cancellations may occur; all information was correct at the time of going to print.

SOCANEWS.COM /EVENTS

@229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. Price £25. Time 7.30pm-11.30pm. Tel 0844 249 1000.

CARNIVAL GROOVES 33


J’Ouvert

PAINT, POWDER AND PAN WORDS. STEPHEN SPARK Notting Hill? Nah, it’s all police and tourists these days; just jams and barriers. If that’s how you feel, you didn’t get up early enough. Get up early on Sunday morning – or simply don’t bother going to bed the night before – and head for Sainsbury’s roundabout, close to where Ladbroke Grove meets Kensal Road. Here, in the half-light just before 6am, figures shuffle about encased in some kind of biological warfare outfit. Has ebola hit North Kensington? Others gather in conspiratorial huddles, furtively passing round buckets of toxiclooking liquids and bags of deadly powder. Insurrection is at hand… Their presence and purpose become clearer as the first in a convoy of steelband trucks appears and that thrilling ‘ting-ting-ting’ presages a headlong rush into an intoxicating steelpan melody. This is the call to arms: the Revolution starts at dawn! For this is J’Ouvert – ‘jour ouvert’, the opening of day, the herald of Carnival. No barriers, scarcely a policeman in sight, no tourists, just some bleary-eyed locals peering out of windows or watching from the safety of a corner shop. The ring of steel reverberating under Ladbroke Grove railway bridge galvanises the revellers into a frenzy of water-squirting, paint-splattering and powder-throwing. The biohazard suits make sense!

34 CARNIVAL GROOVES

You can get the plastic coveralls as part of a J’Ouvert package, but unlike mas on the road, J’Ouvert is free for all to join, so long as you “ain’t fraid ah powder”. It’s messy, fun, liberating and pure niceness, as you chip down the Grove, make a little round and head back to the starting-point sometime before 9am. So share in the true spirit of Carnival (best kept in a hip flask!). J’Ouvert is the place for me!

FOR MORE ON CARNIVAL SOCANEWS.COM/CARNIVAL


Notting Hill CHILDREN’S DAY WORDS. STEPHEN SPARK Children have been at the heart of Notting Hill Carnival since it started. Community worker Rhaune Laslett, credited with founding the event in 1966, was deeply involved in the movement to provide safe play areas in run-down post-war Notting Hill, a place where she said, “Children see very little colour and gaiety”. The 1966 parade started at the Acklam Road Adventure Playground and, the local paper reported, “Children in the area wore fancy dress of International songs and dances”. Notting Hill has changed a lot since then, but children are still central to the celebrations. The freedom to dance in costume down streets normally jammed with traffic is as exciting as it ever was. Many of the mas bands and steel bands have their roots in youth and community associations or church groups. Participating in mas or a steelband builds confidence, teaches responsibility and stimulates artistic expression, and by their early teens some young participants are already carnival veterans. In contrast to the adults’ event, increasingly dominated by production-line skimpy costumes, Children’s Day still focuses on traditional mas. As the carnival and crowds grew it became sensible to separate the children from the adult processions, and Sunday became settled as Children’s Carnival, using a shortened version of the route. Sunday became

established as the quieter of the two days, a prelude to the main event on the Bank Holiday. In recent years, Sunday has become as busy as Monday, particularly as stringent time restrictions have compressed activities into fewer hours, exacerbating crowding problems. There are quieter spots away from the route, but if the kids grow restless the solution may be to sign them up for a costume or steelpan lessons next year. After all, taking part is so much more fun than standing behind a barrier!

FOR MORE ON CARNIVAL SOCANEWS.COM/CARNIVAL

CARNIVAL GROOVES 35


36 CARNIVAL GROOVES


Notting Hill CARNIVAL MONDAY WORDS. STEPHEN SPARK For most visitors, Monday starts with a walk from the Tube station in the company of a stream of strangers, heading down the arteries that feed the already-pulsing heart of Carnival. Participants will have arrived hours before, meeting up at a mas camp or panyard in the early morning then making their way to a temporary base where they’ll change into costumes or set up the pans ready for the road. Stray notes from a steelband warming up mingle with harsher metal clangs and scrapes as council workmen drag those ubiquitous barriers into place. The sound system guys are arranging their towering stacks, fine-tuning equipment to get that perfect sound that will leave their rivals in the cold. On their jealously guarded pitches, food-sellers coax barbecues into life, sending tentative wisps of smoke curling up into the sky. Chat and banter, contemplation, concentration and expectation: it’s the calm before the storm. The pitch increases almost imperceptibly, but there comes a moment when the beast has woken and is at full roar, a totally immersive, heart-thumping, mindscrambling sensory overload of sound, colour, smells and feelings. The bass seems to shake the Earth itself, reverberating off buildings whose bricks and stones and mortar have been subjected to five decades of black

musical history – calypso, soca, steelpan, ska, reggae, dub-step, garage, bouyon, zouk, soukous, samba, lambada, ragga, drum’n’bass, jungle, chutney, old-school, new-wave and music so freshly minted it doesn’t even have a name. Round the route circulate, in shimmering shades of fantasy, thousands of ordinary men, women and children transformed for a few glorious hours into warriors and princesses, butterflies and monsters, chiefs, devils, and characters from history, allegory and mystery, leaving in their wake an ephemeral trail of feathers and sequins and glitter. And when the last weary reveller staggers off in search of a night bus home, if you listen carefully you can hear Notting Hill exhale. To sleep, perchance to dream… of Carnival 2015!

FOR MORE ON CARNIVAL SOCANEWS.COM/CARNIVAL CARNIVAL GROOVES 37


MAS

Masquerade Mas – coming from ‘masquerade’ – is the name for the costumes you see on the road at Carnival. Ranging from the more Brasil-inspired ‘bikini and beads’ costumes to some more traditional Caribbean carnival characters, you may not realise that they all have a story behind them. Each band has a theme, and many sections that pertain to that theme in some way; a section may have two versions of female costume, one even more elaborate than the other, and a male costume. Then there are the ‘individuals’ and the kings and queens, sometimes those incredible constructions with wheels and a person just in view who manipulates the structure, sometimes sculptures, sometimes moko jumbies on stilts. If you see people dressed like sailors, that’s ‘sailor mas’; if you see native American costume, you’re looking at ‘fancy Indians’; if you spot a macabre, threatening character with a wide brimmed hat and death-like imagery, you’ve encountered a Midnight Robber – a character derived from the African griot. These are just some of the traditional figures of Caribbean carnival – and they, along with the simpler and skimpier costumes, are designed and made by mas-makers throughout the year, not just whipped up on the eve of carnival, and are made using traditional methods. For more information about mas, contact Carnival Arts & Masquerade Foundation at www.camf.co.uk

FOR MORE ON CARNIVAL SOCANEWS.COM/CARNIVAL 38 CARNIVAL GROOVES

ABIR - THE COLOURS OF LIFE FREEDOM SPLASH 020 3006 2311 www.abir-mas.com

ADDICTED MAS 05-50

07949 269 948 specialist-events.com/carnival.php

ARAWAK CARNIVAL CLUB TRUE GEMS

07984 894 795 www.arawakcarnivals.com

BACCHANALIA MASBAND PRESENCE OF THE PAST 07909 616 251 www.baccmas.com

BAJAN REVELLERS

FROM THE DARKNESS 07809 679 507 www.bajanrevellers.co.uk

BEERAAHAAR SWEET COMBINATION SOCA MAS CULTURAL GROUP SKILLS THAT EXCITE YOUR ADMIRATION / SOCA BAG PIPES & ROSES 020 8809 4325 wix.com/beeraahar/beeraahaar


BRAND NEW MACHINE CARNIVAL

THE UNITED COLOURS OF CARNIVAL www.cocoyea.com

BURROKEETS UK

NIGHTS ON BROADWAY 07925 565 040 www.burrokeets.co.uk

CALABASH CARNIVAL CLUB

50 YEARS HAVING A BALL AT NOTTING HILL 07961 427 392 facebook.com/pages/ The-Calabash-CarnivalClub/122851964428695

CANDY MAS

NIGHTS ON BROADWAY 07956 407 181 www.candy-mas.com

CLEMENT JAMES CARNIVAL BAND

SKY, SPACE & SAMBA 020 7221 8801 www.clementjames.org

COCOYEA MIRAGE 07956 223 247 www.cocoyea.com

D RIDDIM TRIBE MAS BAND WILD AFRIQUE

www.releasedriddim.com/driddim-tribe.php

DIMENSIONS

NEW WORLD ORDER

07944 624652 facebook.com/gemma.dimensions

DUKA MAS DOMNIK UK COCKTAILS

020 8533 1261 duka.org.uk

DYNASTY ENTERTAINMENT PARADISE

07958 156 066 www.dynasty-entertainment.com

ECLIPSE MAS

INVADERS MAS BAND

07580 922 681 www.eclipsemas.com

07403 474 947 www.invadersmassband.co.uk

INFINITE

ISTANBUL

ELIMU

ISIS MAS

www.paddingtonarts.org.uk

07535 476 099 www.isismas.com/index/ref/www. socanews.com

NO BLACK IN THE UNION JACK

RENAISSANCE

ENIGMA VIBES

ISLAND ARTS STUDIO WITH SOCA MASSIVE & ZOOMER D

FROM THE DARKNESS

07972 141 257 www.enigmavibesmas.com

EUPHORIA CARNIVAL

FANCY SAILORS THEN & NOW

mas@euphoriacarnival.com www.euphoriacarnival.com

JAMBOULAY & FEELIN FAH FETE

BAHIA - A TERRA DA FELICIDADE

07960 611 387 facebook.com/socamassive

FLAGZ MAS BAND

CARNIVAL ROYALTY

BIRDS OF PARADISE

07956 815 370 www.flagzmasband.com

FLAMBOYAN INTERNATIONAL CARNIVAL ARTS MAS PANDEMIC: THE SPREAD OF CARNIVAL

07986 761 854 www.flamboyancarnivalarts.co.uk

FOX

LOVIN’ DE ROAD

020 8740 4070 facebook.com/fionahawthorne.art

07950 507 809 www.feelinfahfete.com

KARMA INFINITY MAS BAND DEILEPHILA ELPENOR

facebook.com/karmauk.massband

LAGNIAPPE MAS

JEWEL OF THE NILE

carnival@lagniappe.co.uk www.lagniappe.co.uk

LONDON SCHOOL OF SAMBA ENREDO

FUNATIK MAS

020 7394 7359 www.londonschoolofsamba.co.uk

info@funatikmas.com www.funatikmas.com

MAHOGANY CARNIVAL CLUB

GENESIS CARNIVAL COMPANY

www.mahoganycarnival.com

SPREADING WINGS

THE JOURNEY

carnival@genesiscostumes.com www.genesiscostumes.com

GLORIOUS BACKSTAGE ARTS PASSAGE FROM AFRICA 07746 693 344 www.gba-carnival.com

AWAKE

MAS WITH A DIFFERENCE TIMELESS

07984 175 483 www.mwdcarnival.com

MASQUERADE 2000 (M2K) PASSION

07956 880 635 www.M2Kmas.com

CARNIVAL GROOVES 39


NEXT LEVEL POISONUK

50 SHADES OF CARNIVAL 07423 290 709 www.poisonuk.com

PARAISO SCHOOL OF SAMBA TEA - THE DRINK THAT UNITES THE WORLD 020 3291 2391 www.paraisosamba.co.uk

PEOPLE’S WORLD CARNIVAL BAND THE 5 RS

07710 642 029 www.pwcb.org.uk

PURE LIME

50 YEARS OF NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL… CHOCOLATE STYLE 07973 784 202 www.purelime.co.uk

RUFF DIAMOND EXPLOSION SHOWTIME

07968 765 226 www.ruff-diamond-explosion.com

SMOKEY JOE ROADSHOW

SOCA SAGA BOYS THE GOLDEN AGE

07956 122 831 www.socasagaboys.com

SOUTH CONNECTIONS RHYTHMS

07446 698 876 www.southconnections.co.uk

SUNSHINE INTERNATIONAL ARTS

40 CARNIVAL GROOVES

INSTINCTS

07507 864 808 www.unitedcoloursofmas.com

UK CHOCOLATE NATION CHOCOLATE MAS

07580 922 681 www.ukchocolatenation.com

VISIONS MAS

SEA OF HUMANITY

PROPHECY

TEARS MAS BAND

VYBZ MAS BAND

info@tearsevents.com www.tearsevents.com

07949 145 248 facebook.com/vybz.mas

07881 571 743 www.sunshineiarts.co.uk

07425 282 518 facebook.com/visions.mas

NOBILITY

BACK TO AFRICA

TRINIPOSSEUK

XTREME ST LUCIA UK

INFINITY

MOTHER EARTH

07800 573 662 www.triniposseuk.com

xtremestluciauk@hotmail.co.uk www.xtremecarnival.com

TRINITY DESIGN COLLECTIVE

YAA ASANTEWAA ARTS

INFINITE DREAMS

07940 039 108 www.trinitydesigncollective.com

THE BIG BANG

07984 894 795 facebook.com/SmokeyJoeRoadshow

U.C.O.M. UNITED COLOURS OF MAS

FOR MORE ON CARNIVAL SOCANEWS.COM/CARNIVAL

HISTORY

07515 850 711 www.yaaasantewaa.com


CARNIVAL GROOVES 41


PAN

2014 PANORAMA FINALISTS

Steel Pan PANORAMA WORDS. KATIE SEGAL If you’ve been to Panorama once, you probably won’t need persuading to go again. If you haven’t - one of the best of all carnival experiences is still waiting for you. The sound of several of Britain’s premier steel orchestras at full strength is not easily forgotten; a simple ‘ting - tingting’ at the start heralding a thrilling aural explosion that takes over the senses. The distinctive atmosphere is composed of the smell of roasting chicken, carnival camaraderie and barbecue smoke from the stalls that flank Horniman’s Pleasance. A big screen in the park means that you don’t have to miss any of the action if you can’t get a place in front of the judging stand on Kensal Road. The competing bands have been practicing hard for at least six weeks, trying to hone their skills enough to beat the opposition and win the much-coveted ‘Champions of Steel’ title. These and more bands will be on the road on carnival days as well. Panorama starts at 6pm and finishes at 10pm (although it often over-runs) and takes place at Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance, Kensal Road, W10 5EH. It’s free, and the nearest tube is Westbourne Park. For more information about steel bands at Notting Hill Carnival, you can contact the British Association of Steelbands via www.panpodium.com.

42 CARNIVAL GROOVES

Six bands will compete in the final of this years 2014 National Panorama competition. The bands, in their position, the song they will play, arranger and band manager are:

1ST. METRONOMES STEEL ORCHESTRA Carnival Tabanca – by Bunji Garlin Arranger Anise ‘Halfers ‘ Hadeed Manager Eversley ‘Breeze’Mills 2ND. MANGROVE STEELBAND Big People Party (Farmer Nappy) Arranger Andre White Manager Matthew Phillip 3RD. EBONY STEELBAND Jump High (Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe) Arranger Samuel Du Bois Manager Pepe Francis 4TH. CROYDON STEEL ORCHESTRA Spankin (Austin ‘Super Blue’ Lyons) Arranger Arddin Herbert Manager Paul Dowie 5TH. REAL STEEL ORCHESTRA Pan in the Atmosphere (The Original DeFosto) Arranger Leroy Clarke Manager Leroy Clarke 6TH. CSI STEELBAND Jump High (Len ‘Boogsie’ Sharpe) Arranger Justin ‘Redz’ Richardson Manager Brent Holder


CARNIVAL GROOVES 43


CARNIVAL PEOPLE

Christine Oree BEERAAHAAR’S TIMELESS QUEEN WORDS. NICOLE-RACHELLE MOORE Christine Oree has been immersed in the world of making and playing mas for 45 years. Her youthful countenance belies this fact, and her joyful spirit counteracts the struggle that she and so many other mas designers and carnivalists face in bringing their creative talents to public consciousness each year for Notting Hill Carnival. Describing herself as, “Trini to de bone”, this lady of Notting Hill Carnival spoke of her involvement in masquerade over her many years in the UK. She has played in the ‘Individual’ category for Ebony Mas Band, and has been a Queen for bands like Quintessence and Elimu, as well as for the band Beeraahaar Sweet Combination which she has led with her husband Dave for the past 21 years. Christine is a mother to all who find themselves lucky enough to be a part of the Beeraahaar family and, indeed, it is the family atmosphere that one is very much aware of in this band. Ms. Oree emphatically says, “Notting Hill Carnival brings all nationalities together to celebrate!” and believes it to be in a healthy state. Looking back over the years, Christina spoke of what she saw as the greatest progress made;

44 CARNIVAL GROOVES

that of, “The band leaders who give their time and money, seemingly effectively and effortlessly, so that carnival can be celebrated in harmony and splendour.” Despite the lack of funding for the masquerade arena, this veteran of carnival remains sanguine about Notting Hill Carnival saying that its, “Essence and flavour of the Caribbean” continue to contribute to its progress, which includes, “Getting young ones to learn and enjoy”; she believes that, “Art is for learning and for life”. While admitting that arenas in carnival do not get the adequate appreciation/recognition they deserve, Christina’s optimistic spirit expressed itself when she eloquently countered this by saying that, “Notting Hill Carnival lives in the minds of all who see and experience and participate in it.”

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CARNIVAL GROOVES 45


46 CARNIVAL GROOVES


CARNIVAL GROOVES 47


48 CARNIVAL GROOVES

Profile for Soca News

Carnival Grooves Magazine 2014 | Notting Hill Carnival Edition  

Carnival Grooves Magazine 2014

Carnival Grooves Magazine 2014 | Notting Hill Carnival Edition  

Carnival Grooves Magazine 2014

Profile for socanews
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