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ISSN 1464-7087 June 2010





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socanews issue 102/june 2010

contents Regulars 7


The latest news from the UK and the Caribbean

14 Art


soca people




St Kitts music festival mas

Caribbean artists Viv Logan

Poison Kids Togetherness / Genesis Cyber Tribe



london calypso tent 2010


For all the latest soca and calypso events



Representing the British Virgin Islands to the max


dil e nadan


sizwe c

Chutney comes to London Soca is his passion

Get to know the artists

uk soca monarch Entry details

35 saint lucia Carnival Your guide to Saint Lucia’s Carnival



Caribbean and UK Listings 06/10


socanews issue 102/june 2010 Editor’s letter I would first like to thanks all the Soca News staff and contributors who work so hard in putting together each issue, helping to keep our readers abreast of all the news and information we feel that they need to know. For the most up-to-date stories and developments about soca and beyond, remember that you can check at any time of the day or night. In this issue we bring you a thorough run-down of what – and who – to expect at this year’s Calypso Tent. The Association of British Calypsonians is excited to yet again be bringing their Calypso Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch Competitions to the public. This year, for the first time, there will also be a UK Soca Monarch Competition– brought to you by us at Soca News, no less – so don’t forget to add the extra fixture to your carnival calendar. If you’re an artist yourself, please get involved by sending in your details; if you think a friend should enter, please begin immediately to nag them until they do. Another sign that Notting Hill Carnival is slowly but (almost) silently creeping upon us are the mas band launches, which are coming fast and furious. We’ve now seen many of the 2010 presentations, and some of the bands are even selling out their sections already. We also have for you a guide to UK and Caribbean carnivals, so you could start working out how to stepping-stone from one, to another, to another for the foreseeable future. I’m still working on my music festival and Carnival non-stop 52 week tour itinerary: look out for the finished article (copyrighted!) coming to you soon. I hope you enjoy this issue (where we don’t mention the World Cup once…. oh, oops!)

soca rite back Send us your thoughts and comments, or anything you would like to get off your chest. There’s a surprise prize for the letter of the month (if we told you what it was it wouldn’t be a surprise). Email Mail Soca News PO Box 13032, London, NW1 3WF The small print Letters will be edited for content, and the editor reserves the right to decide whether to publish.

Contact US

Yours in soca The editor

T + 44 (0) 8450 175 076

This issue of Soca News was brought to you by


Publisher & Editor Joseph Charles • Sub-Editor Katie Segal


Layout & Design Joseph Charles (Soca News) Contributors Words Katie Segal, Remi Derrick, David Kalloo, Dunstan Creavalle, Beth Morrow, Rhianna Peters, Pax Nindi - Global Carnival Centre Pictures Peter Hogan, Dunstan Creavalle, Big Truck, Cleon Henry, SVG Tourist Board, Rhianna Peters, Saint Lucia Tourist Board, Simon Moses advertising sales + 44 (0) 8450 175 076 Published By Joseph Charles, PO Box 13032, London, NW1 3WF



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The views expressed in Soca News are not necessarily the views of the editor or the publisher. All material contained within this publication is the copyright of Soca News. 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.

picture of ky-mani marley

St Kitts Music Festival 24th - 26th June 2010

Written by Rhianna Peters

Photograph courtesy of St Kitts Tourist Board

The most famous Caribbean festival is Carnival, but in fact there are others which have much to offer. The region plays host to an abundance of successful music festivals over the year. St Kitts, for example, will be celebrating its 14th annual music festival this year with a multitude of artists set to perform from on the island from June 24th to 26th at the Warner Park Stadium, Basseterre. Attracting visitors and locals alike, the festival features an eclectic mix of musical genres, including soca, hip-hop, gospel, r&b, calypso, jazz, reggae and contemporary music. This year we look forward to performances from acts including Grammy-nominated Jamaican reggae group Third World, some of the Caribbean’s most popular soca artists, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez (the only female artist to win Trinidad and Tobago’s Road March three times), ten-time Grammy winner, singer, producer, and songwriter Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, and Grammy nominee and son of reggae icon Bob Marley, Ky-mani Marley. Infamus was the first artist signed to participate in the festival, and has now become the first local artist in history to be sponsored by the island’s

tourism ministry. Chairman of the St Kitts Music Festival, Faron Lawrence, commented, “The addition of these outstanding performers for the 2010 music festival helps us to ensure that the crowd will be delighted by a programme of diverse highenergy, vibrant acts. We aim to keep raising the bar for this event so that we can attract growing numbers of fans to visit each year.” St Kitts aims to establish a world renowned annual festival of mixed music genres that will attract participation internationally, expose artistic excellence and promote St Kitts and Nevis as a major tourist destination. The island offers an eye-catching variety of tourism attractions, which include hiking through the tropical rainforest, riding the scenic railway that connects the island’s sugar plantations, and the more traditional vacation pastimes such as watersports, golf, shopping, tennis, or simply relaxing on one of the island’s sandy beaches. Tickets to the 14th Annual St Kitts Music Festival are US$40 per person, per night, and guests to the island can select from accommodation ranging from intimate plantation inns to larger hotels or resorts.






New PM In Fashion

United Kingdom

WorldFoods launch The Penthouse Club in London’s Leicester Square was the venue for the Launch of WorldFoods’ Caribbean Cuisine 2010 Tour on 26th May. The 30-date tour begins on Friday 28th May at Sainsbury, Southend Lane, Sydenham, Lon-

don, continuing around London and Birmingham and culminating with the Caribbean Food & Drink Festival on Saturday 21st August at the Business Design Centre, London. Visitors to the roadshows will have the opportunity to experience new taste sensations, whilst being shown how to prepare the dishes at home. Rustie Lee will join fellow UK Caribbean celebrity chefs Hassan Defour (Rhodes Across the Caribbean) and Gary Tomlin (Hell’s Kitchen) on the tour. The A-Team of celebrity chefs will travel across the UK engaging audiences with

exciting demonstrations of classic and modern Caribbean homestyle cooking. The final event will feature a day-long Caribbean food and drink festival, celebrating Caribbean cuisine and culture, offering free food and drink sampling, more demonstrations, a ‘cook-off’ competition and also a carnival showcase where costumes may be previewed. The guest speaker at the launch was Floella Benjamin OBE. Floella, who has her own range of Caribbean foods in Asda, encouraged the audience to, ”Come


continues over

Fashion Week Trinidad and Tobago came to a close on Sunday June 6th, at the end of its third annual event, this year with the theme of ‘Biodiversity’. The week began in Pigeon Point, Tobago, moving on to the Hyatt Regency in Trinidad. This year, Fashion Week built on its previous success and increased the number of featured designers, as well as opening a fashion and beauty exhibition and establishing an extensive seminar education programme. Newly elected Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, appeared on the runway at the Hyatt on Friday 4th June before continuing her role as guest speaker for the night. Wearing a black silk satin suit with a red belt, she was escorted to the event by the Minister of the Arts and Culture, Winston ’Gypsy’ Peters to loud applause. In her speech, Persad-Bissessar said that the new government was committed to developing the potential of the fashion industry, and suggested that a national chamber of fashion should be created along the lines of that in Italy, which is dedicated to co-coordinating and promoting the development of Italian fashion. The Prime Minister ended with a quote from Ralph Lauren, who said, “I don’t design clothes, I design dreams,” and, “So with that in mind my friends, I say, go on designing your dreams, the world is waiting to wear them.”


News continued from page 7

together as Caribbean people and show the world how good our food is!” Alison Gardner, who is responsible for opening the first Caribbean restaurant in Dubai, was given a very special mention. The list of sponsors and imported brands included Grace, Tiger Malt, Wibisco, and Walkerswood, as well as UK’s Tex Spices, Sunrise Bakeries, Island Delight Patties, Encona, Dunns River and Dalgety Teas. WorldFoods CEO Derek Morrison commented, ” This is the second year that WorldFoods have staged this event, and its popularity has increased significantly as more companies embrace it as a vehicle to increase their brand awareness. The launch ended with Rustie Lee’s demonstration of her Guinness Punch recipe incorporating an entire bottle of rum, samples of which were greatly appreciated by the tasters in the audience.

and spinning the tunes for the night was Rebel D, Andy Alleyne. Anushka Ramjag, who entered as Miss El Dorado, made it through the evening gown, swimsuit and final question rounds against stiff competition, to eventually be declared Miss TnT UK 2010. The first runner up was Miss Port-of-Spain, Melanie Peterkin-Phillip, with Miss San Juan, Yasmin Newport, winning second runner up. Anushka Ramjag is a humble young woman, and has taken winning this year’s competition in her stride. Currently 24 years old, she is in her final year of an MSc in biology at Imperial College London. Anushka didn’t think she would fit the criteria to even be considered for a place in the competition, but with a little persuasion from the contest director, and wishing to challenge herself, she decided to enter. Stunned by her success, she said, “I was very surprised about winning, in fact I’m still in shock”. During her time as Miss TNT UK, she hopes to accumulate positive achievements for which she will long be remembered.

anushka ramjag - miss trinidad & tobago uk 2010

Carnival Village, The Tabernacle in Notting Hill was, on May 1st, the venue for this year’s Miss TnT UK competition. The theme of ‘Tropical Caribbean’ was visible in the blue of the opening costumes, which the seven delegates wore for their spectacular routine commemorating the beautiful beaches of Trinidad and Tobago, and on the stage set, magnificently decorated by Clary Salandy of Mahogany Mas Band. Janine La Rosa, former delegate of Trinidad & Tobago UK, presented the show,



Two become one

The two umbrella organisations for London mas bands are about to be dissolved, and have been replaced by one new all-encompassing body. All members of both GLIMA, the Greater London International Mas Association, and NHMBA, the Notting Hill Mas Bands Association, voted for this change, which should make matters related to the bands

much simpler and more straightforward to deal with. Extraordinary General Meetings for each of the older organisations will take place at Carnival Village on 8th June in order to action their dissolution. The new organisation is CAMF, Carnival Arts and Masquerade Foundation, and they are currently inviting all interested mas bands to show their interest in appearing in this year’s Grand Carnival Costume Splash.

saint lucia carnival on camera

Saint Lucia’s carnival will have additional help with their overseas promotion from Martinique’s famous broadcasting service RFO, who have offered to lend a hand in publicising this major event. Martinique’s national radio and television station, RFO (RadioTélévision Française d’ Outre-Mer) has already begun documenting Saint Lucia’s 2010 carnival events, which kicked off last Sunday. The RFO intend to produce an hour-long documentary about the street parade, together with two half hour shows that will cover Saint Lucia’s carnival events including the Carnival Queen show and the two day Parade of the Bands. “The French market of Martinique and Guadeloupe has always been a priority for Saint Lucia, and continues to hold tremendous potential for further boosting tourist arrivals and increasing revenues,” said Saint Lucia’s Director of Tourism, Louis Lewis.





MAS Notting Hill Carnival is now just around the corner, but we are witnessing it earlier and earlier each year: many of the mas bands have already launched. If you are holding a band launch, please let us know so that we can attend and review it, or at least publish the details.

Mas Bands and Themes Arawak Carnival Club 10 Ways

Bachanal Mas Traditions

Bajan Revellers Something’s Happenin

Burrokeetsuk Renaissance

Cocoyea & UK Chocolate City Confu-sion

Dragons Mas Band Underworld Uprising

Genesis Cyber Tribe

Invaders Mas Band De Road to 2012

Togetherness Next Generation PoisonUK children’s committee have announced that their 2010 theme, ‘Togetherness’. The costumes are by London-based Michelle Lucas, who has been designing for the PoisonUK children for the last six years. She draws her inspiration from traditional themes to deliver vibrant, symbolic costumes for children as young as two, up to 17 years of age, encouraging them to display their energy and passion. Michelle says, "This year’s presentation was designed to portray the dimensions of love, with each section displaying Peace, Unity and Friendship.” PoisonUK’s children’s band will be parading through the streets of Notting Hill on Sunday 29th August from 11am with, following last year’s success, an anticipated minimum of 70 children. There will be an opportunity to view the children’s costumes on 13th June at the Carnival Village, The Tabernacle, Powis Square or at one of the PoisonUK events. For more information or to register, go to, email or call 07956 271839 / 07751 134665 / 07796 164632.

Jewels De Carnaval Oceania

Masquerade 2000 The Gift

nextLevel PoisonUk That’s Amoré

South Connections

25 Years - here’s to the future

TT Mudders Mud People

Yaa Asantewaa Fly Yaa Way

for more mas visit 06/10



Genesis launches ‘Cyber Tribe’ words & image Rhianna Peters Revellers at the ready, as Genesis Carnival Company Mas Band looks to the future with its ‘Cyber Tribe’ themed costumes, designed by Symone Williams and Emily Greaves. Celebrating their 30th year participating in Notting Hill Carnival, Genesis talks of how taking part at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee has been their greatest achievement thus far, and a great honour. Inspired by futuristic designers such as Thierry Mugler and Gucci, Symone talks exclusively to Soca News of her inspiration behind this year’s theme for Genesis, saying, “I love fashion, especially tribal, and always strive for our costumes to portray a meaning without words.” The band also took part in the opening of the Millennium Dome, and their carnival costumes have been displayed in the Victoria & Albert Museum. We look forward to the new archive project that is currently under construction, with a view to keeping Genesis’ vision to educate and promote the history of the carnival arts to a wide general public. The archive will provide the opportunity to look at and buy Genesis costumes via their interactive website. Additionally, there will be youth workshops teaching youngsters where carnival comes from, which is aimed to ‘channel misused feelings into something positive.’ The site 12/


will also host an online forum and regular informative newsletter. Since 1980, Genesis has won a multitude of awards, including Best Kiddies Band on the Road, Soca on the Move, Best King and Queen of Carnival, Best Mobile Sound System, and Designers of the Year. They all mean a great deal to the band; in future years, Best Carnival Band on the Road is the title they wish to claim. Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament in the Bible, translates simply to ‘beginning’, and the founder of Genesis Mas Band, Vernon Williams, was also there as a founder member at the beginning of Notting Hill Carnival. Throughout the years, Genesis has become bigger, stronger and more united as a band, described by one of their masqueraders as, “An unstoppable force of nature.” They are recognised predominantly for their unfailing commitment to the carnival arts and their exceptionally high costume production standards. This year’s Cyber Tribe theme is based on four characters, which are fusion of the Great Watusi tribe of Uganda and the legacy of the majestic Egyptian God and Goddesses: Element, Egyptic, I-Solar Flex and Amaddrix-the Modern Warrior. Be sure to look out for Genesis at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival (29th-30th August).

Revellers at the ready, as Genesis Carnival Company Mas Band looks to the future with its ‘Cyber Tribe’ themed costumes, designed by Symone Williams and Emily Greaves. The multi-award winning mas band is set to storm the streets of Notting Hill in true Genesis style. Celebrating their 30th year participating in Notting Hill Carnival, Genesis talks of how taking part at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee has been their greatest achievement thus far, a great honour. Inspired by futuristic designers such as Thierry Mugler and Gucci, Symone talks exclusively to Soca News of her inspira-



art in association with campbell’s of london

Viv Logan

From Symbolism to the Dance-Hall

Tel: 020 7584 9268 33 Thurloe Place, South Kensington, London SW7 2HQ



Born in Jamaica, but raised in Essex in the UK, Viv Logan began painting in earnest as part of therapy when recovering from breast cancer. Initially preoccupied with her struggle with the disease, she went through a spiritual transformation during her recovery, resulting in paintings which speak to her sense of wonder about life. Inspired by 19th and early 20th century symbolist painters such as Dali, Magritte, and Kahlo, Logan draws from her inner world and spiritual journey, evoking emotions and feelings that are universally familiar. Quickly garnering a wide audience and numerous arts awards, Logan’s work progressed quickly. As her illness faded into the background, her art became brighter and lighter thematically. She began painting children at play, dear old ladies with toothless grins, and a series on Jamaican dance-hall dancing, perhaps her most compelling celebration of life to date. Logan has always maintained an intense interest in the human form, not just its physical appearance but also its spirit and joy. The dancers in the dance-hall portraits perhaps capture joy and vitality more vividly than any of her other portraits. Alive with movement and rhythm, patterns and counterpoise, fervent bush strokes and softly modelled forms, the dancers truly capture the universal joy of dance, life, and art.





soca people jalena

jalena Soca News was recently privileged to interview Jalena, a soca artist hailing from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. The talented singer’s musical career started in 2004, when she was asked to join her neighbour’s band. Things went from strength to strength and, in 2005, she recorded her first song with the late Sheldon ‘Shel Shock’ Benjamin from Trinidad. Jalena said, “I wanted to be a singer for so many years, but never actually saw myself singing soca, even though soca has always been my first love”. Jalena has a wide range of musical influences, including Bajan Edwin Yearwood, Antiguans Onyan and Claudette Peters, and AJ Ventura, a soca artist and producer from St Croix with whom Jalena would love to collaborate. As a soca artist from BVI, Jalena feels that there is an extra pressure to represent in the soca scene: “We don’t have many artists here that are known outside of the VI community, and I think we’re all waiting on that one soca artist who’s gonna make outsiders stop and pay attention instead of always overlooking us. I think my sister by another mister, Rudy (also a BVI female soca artist), is doing an awesome job thus far. Big up to her!” The singer/songwriter’s recent groovy soca track, Wuk Meh, produced by Soc@ Child, received positive feedback from the UK soca community. Having just finished recording a pop/dance/r&b/rock album, Jalena is currently working on her very first soca CD, which she hopes to release later this year. “I chose to do two albums because I love and listen to all kinds of music, not just soca. I figured, since I listen to everything then why not do it all.”



soca people dil e nadan

dil e nadan Dil E Nadan was formed in Trinidad in 1957 by the late Usaf Khan and Ramnarine Moonilal. In 1962, the group won the Prime Minister’s Trophy for best Indian orchestration, and came to dominate the local Indian music industry. By the early nineties, three of Ramnarine’s sons, Rennie, Raymond and Richard, were all band members; the former two worked their way through the ranks to become singers, the latter joining as a tabla and dholak player. Dil E Nadan first performed in New York in 1993, with a sell-out show. In 1996, they were signed to Soca Paradise, releasing their first CD, People’s Choice. They became the first chutney group to perform at the Brass Festival and Youth fest, and hold the record for the most awards (24) at the 103fm awards show. The band recently signed a five year deal with Bollywood LTD in Holland for performances in Europe.



soca people sizwe c

Sizwe C Born in Canada to a Trini father and a Haitian Mother, soca artist Sizwe C first started singing soca back in 1998, motivated by his close friend Keshav Singh. “I always wanted to sing soca,” he says, “I really wanted to be a member of a band - like Byron Lee or Atlantik. But Keshav is the one who put a mic in front of me and pressed the record button. I’m all bout ‘de soca’, soca is my passion, soca is my life, for without soca there is no me.” There are an array of artists with whom Sizwe would love to collaborate, including Kerwin Du Bois, Kamau George, Problem Child, Ms Paige and Chardanai, to name but a few, but he would be truly ecstatic if he had the opportunity to work with any of his musical heroes, such as Sparrow, Calypso Rose, Lord Superior, David Rudder, Explainer and Gypsy. The Trini artist, who was nominated in 2008 for an International Soca Award for best new artist, has just released his brand new song Tonight (Rock Leh we Rock), with other tracks to be released later on this year.





feature london calypso tent 2010 Carnival village : the tabernacle

dates for your diary FRI 30th JULY Opening Night

FRI 6th aug tent night

FRI 13th aug tent night

FRI 20th aug

Who We are As partners with Carnival Village , the Tabernacle is the new home for the one and only ABC London Calypso Tent The Association of British Calypsonians (ABC) is a unique organisation: it is the only representative body for British-based calypso singers and composers in both the UK and Europe. Since it was formed in 1991, ABC has produced a growing programme of activities based on the traditions and culture of calypso, but with a British focus. Calypso has had a presence in the UK for nearly 50 years, and ABC’s dream is to hear the music being played regularly on all major UK and European radio stations - both via live performances and recordings. To achieve this end, ABC has been educating and encouraging the development of calypso via workshops in schools and within the community, and today one can see some of the fruits of their efforts at ABC’s Junior Calypso Monarch competition. The education programme is intended to encourage wide participation, innovation and learning, through fun. It is hoped that, at a later date, it will be possible to offer a qualification as well. ABC’s agenda is to promote calypso of the highest quality and to develop young people’s potential and creative ambitions, all delivered by ABC calypsonians working in partnership with young people, their teachers and/or youth leaders.

groovy soca monarch Calypsonians vie for first position to see who will be crowned Groovy Soca Monarch 2010.

thur 26th aug

calypso monarch finals The ultimate prize of the London Calypso Tent, the Monarch maker.

fri 27th aug

final night of the tent By this time you should be singing along to the calypso you have heard over the past week, as another year draws to a close. Tickets £10 advance £12 at the door Tickets available on the door from 1 hour before event (cash only). Concs: CoW ResCard, seniors, students. Advance (no concs): 0844 412 4641 (24hrs) or online. In advance at venues by appointment only. 06/10


london calypso tent 2010 Carnival village : the tabernacle

The mighty tiger Ashton Moore president of the abc

Red Man

2009 Canadian Calypso Monarch Michael Thomas, aka Redman, hails from the island of Grenada, where he began his musical journey as a reggae performer in 1984 - thrilling the street and dancehall audiences alike. In 1988, accompanied by Grenada’s Police Band, he sang his first calypso and was Master of Ceremony at the kaiso tent. He moved to Toronto in 1989, and in 1990 was a finalist in OCPA’s tent. Redman performed in the tents for 11 years and he has been a finalist no less than nine times. Known for his upfront and peppering kaiso lyrics, Redman’s logo is ‘None shall escape in kaiso’. A very versatile performer, he has recorded reggae, r&b, calypso and soca songs. He took a well-earned seven year sabbatical before returning to centre stage in 2008, and is the 2009 Canadian Calypso Monarch.

carnival village : The Tabernacle Powis Square, W11 2AY www. / info@ Tube: Westbourne Park; Ladbroke Grove; Notting Hill Buses: 7, 70, 52, 23 Cars: Limited ‘Pay & Display’ 22/


Tiger was the first London Calypso King, and since then has been crowned Calypso Monarch nine more times. He has had a long and interesting career, coming from Trinidad’s Victory Tent and the Lord Kitchener’s Calypso Review. Some of his recent tunes are Kilkardy Woman, Mating Game, Dance with You and Yaa Asantewaa, the official theme song of the Yaa Asantewaa Arts and Community Centre. Although the Mighty Tiger ended his competing days as the Calypso Monarch in 1997, he remains the undisputed Calypso Monarch of London, and many more epic calypsos may be expected from this talented bard.

World Music Stage @ Powis square

Sat 29 & Sun 30 Aug

Akima Paul 2009 Calypso Monarch

Despite her high-flying job as a dispute resolution lawyer with an international law firm, Akima is infectiously polite, warm and extremely humble. Having originated in Grenada, she joined the ABC in 2007 after coming to the UK to study. Her first win, as a child, was the Calypso Competition at the National Arts Festival in Grenada. She went on to write winning compositions for two junior monarchs, won Female Calypso Monarch twice and the Independence Calypso Monarch, and then culminated in winning the National Monarch in 2001. Akima loves to perform, and is now the defending London Calypso Monarch, having won the title in 2009 with her song, Passport Love. The audience were hooked from the start with video clips of women’s ‘real life’ stories of broken romances with men who married them just to gain a British passport; she developed the theme, giving it a wicked twist when she tore off her immigration officer’s uniform to reveal a wedding dress. Her well-conceived and well-executed presentation earned rapturous applause, proving that she has set a whole new benchmark for this year’s competition. In her customary self-effacing manner, Akima says that her winning composition was not originally intended for competition, but was a private joke between her and some friends.


Beverley Browne 2009 Groovy Soca Monarch Brown Sugar has been with the ABC since 2004, and is the UK’s first female calypsonian to win the calypso monarch title in two consecutive years (2006 and 2007); she came in second last year. Leading the new wave of female dominance in British calypso, she also won the Groovy Soca competition in both 2008 and 2009, so this year will again be defending that crown. From Trinidad and now based in Oxford, Brown Sugar began competing in 2001 at Trinidad Central Bank. After moving to the UK in 2003, she entered AJ’s Calypso Tent in Reading, later discovering the London Calypso Tent at Yaa Asantewaa. “I’m from Trinidad, which is the home of calypso, and as a child I started singing gospel. I am heavily involved in the church and still sing, but calypso is something which I have grown to love,” says Browne. Brown Sugar won the first Calypso Monarch competition in Reading, which recognised the emancipation of slaves and the abolition of slavery, and performed at Oxford Carnival in 2007. She says, “My future plans involve producing an album over here and working to ensure that calypso is more accessible to people in the UK, as well as working to see more calypso-inspired nights throughout the year.”

LORD CLOAK Errol Brown

Born in Trinidad, Lord Cloak has won the London Calypso Monarch crown twelve times. With a style reminiscent of the notable Trinidadian artist ‘Lord Blakie’, Lord Cloak is full of wit and humour. He often sings of the injustices done to calypsonians by the various carnival committees during his continuous reign. Some of his winning songs are Promoters, Give My Name An Ease, The Judges and Cloak Again.

dave b

Dave Batson Based in Reading with Barbadian roots, Dave B joined the ABC three years ago and is modestly oblivious to his reputation as the gentleman of the London Calypso Tent. As a singer, he has been performing with various bands since 1968. In 2007, Dave gained a whole new set of fans with his song Jumping up at the Yaa, referring to the Yaa Asantewaa Arts Centre which had been home to the ABC since its inception.



london calypso tent 2010 Carnival village : the tabernacle

giselle carter Giselle began singing at a very young age, winning her secondary school’s calypso monarch title three times. She launched her professional career in calypso in 1998, initially as a frontline vocalist for the band Kalyan, and progressed to win many titles in Trinidad. In 2003 Giselle moved to our shores to study, and won the first ever UK Groovy Soca Monarch competition in 2007, with When Will I See You Again. In 2008 she penned three songs, one of which, I Have Hope, was dedicated to the memory of eight year old Hope Arismandez and won her the calypso monarch title.


Wendy Lewis Based in London, with Trinidadian roots, WenD has been calypso monarch twice, in 2001 and 2004, and placed second in 2007. She is one of a growing number of strong female calypsonians in the arena. In the past, WenD’s song lyrics have been analysed in academic cultural studies, a definite accolade. For further information go to

G-STRING Gerry Archer


Clive Lewis Clivus is originally from Anguilla, and is one of the more recent members of the ABC. His songs are always well received as he adds a dash of calm to the sometimes frantic pace of the tent.



G-String is proud of his Guyanese roots, and continues to thrill audiences at the tent with his inimitable style. He played pan as a teenager, later being offered a place with London All Stars, with whom he won Panorama. Currently pursuing a BA in Housing and Urban Planning, G-String placed fourth in the ABC tent in 2006 and has been a finalist on 3 occasions; he also placed third in the Reading Emancipation tent. Fans still recall his now classic calypso, Happiness; he is currently working on a new album.


From the ‘spice island’ of Grenada, Peace and Love has been singing calypso for the last twenty years. He is a colourful, versatile and popular entertainer, whose antics are infused with youthful energy that keeps everyone enraptured. His persona echoes his sobriquet he sings mostly of peace and love. Some of his songs are Colour of the Rainbow, Love Peace and Love and Feeling to Jump.

helena b

Helena Bedeau Based in London, with Trinidadian and Grenadian roots, Helena B was the UK’s 2005 calypso monarch. Indeed, calypso royalty has become a family tradition as her daughter, Kiki B, is the UKs current junior calypso monarch.




Cleopatra is a Trini blessed with a combination of good looks and a beautiful voice. A versatile singer and stage performer, Cleopatra has performed with bands including Tropical Brass, Sound Revolution and Ruption. Asked about her musical influences, she cites Calypso Rose and Singing Francine. Cleo has been a regular performer with the ABC since 2002, and in 2009 was runner up in the groovy soca competition.

Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, with Trinidadian and German roots, Alexander grew up in London. A professional musician, composer and arranger for more than 30 years, he returned to his calypso roots in the late ’80s, creating his own fusion of calypso, soul and blues which he calls socablues. Alex divides his time between his 10 piece band, running his own small record label, and leading calypso workshops in schools and colleges. Since February 2000 he has been Calypsonian-inResidence at the BBC, for whom he delivers a satirical calypso on a fortnightly basis for broadcast across the regions and in the BBC’s ukblack podcast. A stalwart of the calypso tent, this innovative calypsonian has a unique writing and performance style. As well as having penned all his own songs, he has written for other members of the tent. His compositions include Monsanto’s Law, Panorama Attack and Unzip Ah Banana.

Born in St Vincent, Explorer has been singing calypso for over twenty five years and is popular with calypso lovers. His catchy renditions have kept him in the calypso monarch finals for numerous years, although he is yet to win the title. Explorer nevertheless continues to be a force to be reckoned with, giving both Tiger and Lord Cloak serious competition over the years. Some of his compositions are Graveyard Robbery, Jump And Wave, Check Me Out and You Can Make It If You Try.

Cleo Guiste

DE ADMIRAL Jeffrey Hinds

De Admiral is one of the ABC’s early members, and has always remained committed to making the sounds of calypso reaching new audiences. Born in Barbados and a keen steelband man, he made his debut in the late 80s. De Admiral’s calypso idol is the late Lord Kitchener, who he sadly never had the pleasure of meeting. His success in Trinidad in 2000 is considered his greatest achievement; his songs include DJ Man Calling, The Grand Master and I Like it Bad.

Alexander Loewenthal

Horace Blake

rondell donawa Rondell is from Trinidad, and in his young life has already received numerous awards. He started singing at a very young age, and has taken many prizes at junior calypso events over the years. Rondell represented Trinidad and Tobago at several Caribbean and international cultural events, and performed here in London for Black History Month in 2001.



london calypso tent 2010 Carnival village : the tabernacle

music man Michael Nanton



Fakekou has an extraordinary calypso pedigree, with the Mighty Baron for an uncle and the legendary Calypso Rose for an aunt. He has many other musical influences to add to those and other calypso greats, including rap, house, garage and hip hop, all of which contribute to his own personal flavour of calypso.

With Trinidadian roots and living in Oxford, Reverend B has been an ABC member for five years. During that time he has gained respect as a unique performer and song writer, and has written winning calypsos for his consort, Brown Sugar. In tandem with his rôle as a Christian missionary, Reverend B has taken calypso to Israel, Rome and the USA.

Sterling Callender

Music Man has been appearing at the London Calypso Tent since 2003, when he proved himself a crowd-pleaser with his two calypsos, Son of an African and Don’t Misunderstand. He has a great talent for reggae as well as calypso; when he performed on the World Music Stage in Powis Square during Carnival in 2002, the crowd didn’t want him to let him go . A Vincentian by birth, Music Man is mad about football, is very health conscious, and believes that we should all strive to be environmently friendly in order to save the earth for our children.


Sheldon Skeete Sheldon first began writing and singing soca in 1999, when he recorded his first song, Millennium Jam with Kerwin Du Bois. He has competed in the Trinidad Carnival calypso competition since then, and also several times at the London Calypso Tent. With a career in aircraft engineering in the RAF also under his belt, Sheldon is excited about the prospects for his 2010 song, Define Poverty.



Born in the UK, but of Barbadian decent, David has performed extensively throughout the UK and abroad. He began his music career as a drummer, and first joined the London Calypso Tent in the late 90s, composing and performing his own material: hits such as It Making Me and Treat Me So. David is well known for his uptempo party soca rhythms, and for encouraging audience participation. After a hiatus, he re-joined the tent in 2009, and continues to grow from strength to strength. David intends to be one of the UKs great soca entertainers.

Bert Browne


William O’Garro Dansa is a relative newcomer to the London Calypso Tent, having made his debut in 2007. With roots in Montserrat, he brings to the tent not just his love of calypso but also superb dance skills - hence his name – for which he trained professionally in the Caribbean. Dansa is also the head of the Hibiscus Dance Group, and a very active performer who enjoys music in all its forms.






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. For more event information visit or to advertise in this section send your details to

Sat 12th June 2010 Soca Mafia Promotions

Glo Fete

@ Tudor Rose, The Green, Southall, UB2 4BG. DJs: DJ Bliss, DJ Tate, DJ Tyrone, D Tee, Martin Jay, Mr Mention, QT 2Hype & Vinny Ranks. Price: 1st 100 tickets £5, then £10 thereafter, more on the door. Time: 10pm - late. Tel: 07939 238 735 or 07702 035 724.

Vibes Creation & Afrodiziyak

Carib Jam - Represent Your Island Special

@ Mr Jacks Wine Bar, 38/40 St James Street, Walthamstow, E17 7PE. DJs: DJ Bones, Lady SP, Natural Mystic & De Crazy 1. Price: £5 B4 1AM on the guest list, not on the guestlist £10 gents £10 all night. Time: 10pm late. Tel: 07939 637 672

Invaders Mas Band

Sat 19th June 2010

band launch / de road to 2012

The Barbados Cultural Organisation

@ St Marys Primary School, Mayo Road, Harlesden, NW10. Price: £10 in advance, more on the door. Time: 8pm - late. Tel: 07932 806 276.

Tenth Annual Charity Ball

@ Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, Coram Street, WC1N 1HT. Price: £55 per person. Time: 7 - 8pm. Rum punch

reception; dinner commences at 8.15pm. Tel: 020 7299 7150 / 07834 883 370. Grenada Voluntary Hospital Committee

Boat Cruise Party

Onboard the Mercia leaving Festival Pier. Price: £25 (includes food). Time: 8.30pm - 1am. Tel: 020 7474 5154. C.Z.S Promotions

Palance-eeeeee UK

@ Mount Strive Banqueting Suite, 99 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7NY. DJs: D Tee & Lady SP. Price: £5 limited tickets, £8 on the door. Time: 9pm - late. Tel: 07585 263 934

continues over... 06/10


Events continues from pg 29

Sun 20th June 2010 Carnival Village

caribbean dinner jazz

@ The Tabernacle, Powis Square, W11 2AY. Hosted by: Cutty Williams. Featuring: Hinda Hicks. Price: £18.50 dinner & jazz, £10 jazz only tickets. Time: 5 - 9pm. Tel: 020 7193 5859.

Fri 25th June 2010

is £7 b4 1am & £10 after if ‘REPPIN’ or £10 b4 1am & £12 after if NOT. Time: 10:05pm till 5am, No Entry After 3:30am!. Tel: 07908 725 015

Sat 26th June 2010 bumperz

@ Huddersfield Carnival Arts Centre, 26 Westgate, Huddersfield, HD1 1NU. DJs: DJ Toro. Price: £3. Time: 10pm late. Tel: 07961 189 281.

Sat 3rd July 2010 Impac Entertainment

Soca Bantan / Soca Train neXt Level PoisonUK

20 degrees/Wet Fete @ Club Debut, Weston Street, SE1 3QX (formerly SE One). Time: 9pm. Featuring live: Dil E Nadan. Price: £15, VIP £25. Tel: 020 7193 5859.

ramajay - Soca Time machine

@ Black Grape Live, 268 West Green Road, London, N15 3QR. DJs: Martin Jay, DJ Tyrone, Mr Credable, DJ Frisko plus Bully da riddim master. Price: £5 all night. Time: 10pm - 4am. Tel: 07976 255 965 Projam Promotions & Blu Bar

Represent Yuh Country Colours Summer Wear & Vincy Carnival Warm-Up!

@ Blues Wine Bar, 260 Brixton Road, Oval, SW9 6AQ. DJs: Digger D, DJ Bliss, Soca Phd, Tammy G, D.S.I , Sexy D, Lucian Touch, DJ General & DJ Goofy. Price: Limited entry on door



@ Hudawi Cultural Centre, Great Northern Street, Huddersfield, HD1 6BG. Featuring live: Soca Bantan launching his 2010 album, Brother B (Grenada), Pupa Leendi (Grenada) Short Pree (Grenada), Silvah (Trinidad), Congquez G (Grenada) Dale Saunders (St Kitts/Anguilla) Fakekou (Trinidad). DJs: DJ Bones, DJ Cash, DJ Think 2wice & QT 2Hype. Price: £15 in advance, more on the door. Time: 9pm - late. Information: coaches leaving Lewisham 4pm & Shepherds Bush 5pm sharp. £45 includes return coach, show & fete, complimentary drinks & snacks on coach. Tel: 07776 259 670/07538 999 001.

Sat 11th July 2010 Lucians Unite in association with The High Commission for Saint Lucia

a family fun day & bbq

@ Ladywell Arena, Silvermere Road, Catford, London, SE6 4QX. Info: Come and enjoy a host of events, competitions, activities, music & live entertainment for all the family. Price: £1 adults, 50p children, 5 and under free. Time: 11am - 6pm. Tel: 07916 322 588 / 07960 053 725

Sun 18th July 2010 Cocoyea & UK Chocolate City

relaunch / confu-sion

@ Inn on the Green, 3-5 Thorpe Close, London, W10 5XL. DJs: Soca Massive, Zoomer D, Mike Forbes & CheInTheMiXX, passing through DJ Scooby & DJ Tate. Price: £5. Time: 5pm - 11pm. Tel: 07956 223 247

Sat 24th July 2010 AnseLaRaye (St Lucia) Association UK 1992

summer bbq/food and drink all inclusive

@ The Bee Gees Club, 71 Shackwell Lane, London, E8 2EB. DJ: Manna Sound. Price: £25, advance tickets only. Time: 6pm - 3am. Tel: 07940 107 981 / 07913 788 242.

Sun 22nd Aug 2010

Soca News

uk soca monarch finals

@ Tudor Rose, The Green, Southall, UB2 4BG. Tel: 08450 175 076, see page 30 or vist socamonarch.

more events

08450 175 076

Cockspur. Proud to support the community

available now at the following supermarkets

Asda Waitrose Tesco Somerfield 06/10


entry details about the uk soca monarch The UK Soca Monarch competition has become a reality because of a desire to showcase artists and soca music, and a wish to build a viable soca industry here in the United Kingdom. There is an abundance of talent in this country which needs more opportunity to flourish and to be heard by the public. We at Soca News see it as our duty to actively promote and create awareness of the culture and talent we have in this country. To that end, we have decided to promote the first ever UK Soca Monarch Competition, which we hope will receive the love and attention it deserves.

who its for The UK Soca Monarch Competition is open to any UK-based soca artist who believes that they have what it takes to be crowned UK Soca Monarch 2010.

More Info Call Soca News on 08450 175 075 or email uksocamonarch@

Friday 25th june 2010 06/10

First and foremost, we need your best so competition. Each contestant must subm have an up-tempo beat (i.e. not be classi soca). Please attach the song, as an mp3 application email. If you do not have a di mention this in your email and we will m

All entrants must be UK residents aged 1

closing date for all entries is 32/

what’s required

Also required for entry are:

• a high resolution (minimum A5 (21 x 1 picture – please also attach this to you than 10MB

• a current biography – we can accept al types

All contestants must make themselves av connected to the UK Soca Monarch Com moter, and must be available on the day

Please do not email internet links to us; w websites.

All the information must be emailed dire Please email or telephon any problems submitting your applicatio

oca song for submission into the mit an original track. Songs should ifiable as calypso as opposed to file of not more than 10MB, to your igital version of your song, please make other arrangements.

18 or over.

14.85cm) at 300dpi) promotional ur email, as a jpg file of not more

ll common word processing file

vailable for promotional duties mpetition as requested by the proof the finals.

we will not copy information from

event details The finals of the 2010 UK Soca Monarch competition will take place on Sunday 22nd August @ The Tudor Rose in West London. 08450 175 076

ectly to us at uksocamonarch@ ne us on 08450 175 076 if you have on.





Saint Lucia

Carnival 2K10 Mon 19 & Tue 20 July

saint lucia carnival 2010 The Caribbean carnival schedule covers the entire year, from January to December. Countries that keep to the pre-Lenten carnival tradition are Trinidad & Tobago, Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe. By contrast, Saint Lucia has positioned its carnival on the third Monday and Tuesday in July, between the long-established Vincy Mas, which takes place on the first week of the month, and the emancipation carnivals of Barbados and Antigua, which follow at the end of July. Saint Lucia begins to buzz with excitement as the carnival season approaches. It generally runs from the end of May until the third week in July, when everything culminates on the streets of Castries in two days of mas and mayhem. Carnival on the island has successfully evolved a distinctive and well-received form of its own, thanks in part to its position in the calendar: now in July for its eleventh year, the move from its original pre-Lenten date has proved to be successful, and this year the festivities promise to be even bigger. The official launch of carnival took place on Sunday 6th June, with several mas bands, including Just4Fun and Royalites Xtreme, Rituals and Toxik already launched and having showcased their presentations for this year’s festival. Band launches are just the start of the proceedings, and the full carnival calendar includes the Soca Monarch and Calypso Monarch competitions, King and Queen of the Bands, J’Ouvert and, of course, Parade of the Bands.

more carnival info at 06/10


Saint Lucia

Carnival 2K10 Mon 19 & Tue 20 July

places to stay

If you are looking for somewhere small and locally owned to stay on your trip to Saint Lucia, here are a few suggestions.

about the island

island facts

Saint Lucia is one of the Windward Islands, named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse. It was first visited by Europeans around the year 1500 and colonised by France, who signed a treaty with the native Carib people in 1660. Great Britain took control of the island from 1663 to 1667, and then went to war with France over it fourteen times, finally taking complete control in 1814. A representative government came about in 1924 (with universal adult suffrage from 1953), and from 1958 to 1962 the island was a member of the Federation of the West Indies. Finally, on February 22nd, 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state of the Commonwealth of Nations, which it celebrates annually with a public holiday. Saint Lucia is a full and participating member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

Nationality Saint Lucians, or Lucians Location Saint Lucia is one of the Windward isles of the Lesser Antilles, situated midway down the Eastern Caribbean chain between Martinique and St Vincent, just north of Barbados. Time GMT - 4 Capital Castries Language English; however, a French Creole is widely spoken. Electricity 220/240 volts AC, 50Hz Currency Eastern Caribbean Dollar (symbol EC$) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of EC$100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of EC$1, 50, 25, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.

Coco Palm

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Bay Gardens Resorts

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Ginger Lily + 1 (758) 458 0300

Juliette’s Lodge + 1 (758) 454 5300

Palm Haven

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balenbouche estate

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For more information on hotels visit

For more information about Saint Lucia, contact the Saint Lucia Tourist Board Tel: 020 7341 7000 • Fax: 020 7341 7001 • Email: • Web:



the artists Teddyson John

the music

These are just some of the tracks that have been released so far for Saint Lucia Carnival 2010.

Carnival Come Back Again


I Do


Teddy first burst onto the soca scene back in 2007, with his massive hit single Home for Carnival. With his musical talent expanding as a drummer, keyboardist, percussionist and singer, it’s almost certain that Teddyson will drop a heavyweight tune for carnival this year.

rickY t

Winner of the road march titles in 2006 and 2007 for his massive hits Container and Pressure Boom, Ricky ‘Teasel’ Joseph is a well known Saint Lucian artist whose witty lyrics and catchy beats are a definite crowd pleaser.

So Long


No Surrender


Par Fem Bomb

Mad Bob


Calixte Ian Xavier, better known as Kakal, is an energetic Saint Lucian performer who became a recognised soca artist in 2002; shortly after, in 2003, he was crowned the winner of the Soca Monarch Competition. To date, Kakal has a staggering 15 masterpiece tracks under his belt.

Menage ah Trois


Winnin Up

Sir Lancelot

Love How You Whine


Bumper Sticker



Teddyson John

ok there

Ricky T


The original daddy of Saint Lucian music, famous for performing on stage with a mask on his face, Invader has been on the soca scene for more than 25 years. He is still recognised as one of the greatest Lucian calypsonians to ever grace the soca scene.


Easily labelled one of Saint Lucia’s top performers, Alpha has dominated the soca landscape for more than ten years. He never fails to keep his audiences entertained, and is a lively character. His 2009 carnival hit Can’t Wait was well received in the UK, and 2010 promises to be a bigger and better year for the artist.



Saint Lucia

Carnival 2K10 Mon 19 & Tue 20 July

mas bands

Playing mas puts a different spin on Carnival and enhances the overall experience. Here are just some of the bands and their presentations for Saint Lucia Carnival 2010.


The Lost City

Cozy Guzzlers

Ashore in Mexico

Fantasy Carnival Band

Majestic Caribbean

Foreign Based T-shirt Band


High Definition HD Carnival Band

Pirates of the Seven Seas +1 (758) 715 9941

People’s Choice

Cultural MelĂŠe +1 (758) 489 6370

Red Unlimited

Reflections of Rio


Mardi Gras - The Magic of the Masque

Royalites Xtreme Carnival Band

SharpEdge Carnival Band

Saints & Sinners

Intercommercial House Competition Kaiso Finals King and Queen of the Bands

Sun 18th July

Parade of the Bands (Jump Up)

Mon 19th & Tue 20th July

Toxik ...The Band

Soucoyan - A Treat in Saint Lucian Mythology

Dreams....Living the impossible

MAS Action

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Square Jam

Mon 12th - Fri 16th July

Sat 17th July

Just 4 Fun


Soca Monarch Finals

Sat 10th July

St Lucian Spirit

Jambo Afrika

Castries Market: Then and Now

Groovy Soca Monarch

Sat 3rd July

Thur 15th July

Hit Radio T-shirt Band

La Mosaique

Carnival Launch

Sun 6th June

Africa is Our Soul

Hit Carnival Heat

Scentsation: The Aroma of Life


The following dates are based on those from previous years, and should be verified.

XS Energy

for more info on carnival 2010 visit





carnival caribbean

Fri 25th June Tue 6th July 2010

Sat 24th July Mon 3rd Aug 2010

Vincy Mas

Antigua Carnival

St Vincent puts on a spectacular show each year during carnival. Vincy Mas, as it is popularly known, has many events happening at this time including the Miss Carnival Beauty Show, the King and Queen of the Bands competition, a Junior Carnival, Steel Band and Calypso Competitions. The season starts in June. All the fun is rounded off with a Mardi Gras parade of costumed bands on the last day.

Antigua stages colourful and spectacular street party. They display their creativity in song, dance and pageantry in a series of exciting steel band and calypso competitions featuring the island’s best musicians and performers. Other highlights include the colourful Parade of Costumed Bands, the Miss Antigua Pageant and the Caribbean Queen Competition. Antigua’s carnival began 50 plus years ago and has its roots in slavery. The festivities are a celebration of the emancipation of the slaves, commemorated in local concerts, food fairs, parades and cultural shows all over the island. Festivities start from midJuly.

Mon 19th Tue 20th July 2010

Saint Lucia Carnival

Please visit page 35 for more information on Saint Lucia’s Carnival.

Mon 2nd Aug

Barbados Crop Over Festival Crop Over, a five-week summer festival, is Barbados’ most popular and colourful festival. Its origins can be traced back to the 1780’s, a time when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful harvest - the Crop Over celebration. As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival, and in the 1940’s the festival was terminated completely. However, it was revived in 1974, and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza that exists today - an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe. cropover.htm

Mon 9th Tue 10th Aug 2010

Grenada Carnival A celebration with pomp and pageantry like the mother of Carnivals. Grenada’s carnival is indeed a celebration of the artistry, uniqueness, and vibrancy of the nation’s people. Colourful costumes, competitions and an outpouring of talent go along with the celebrations. The feeling of emancipation brings together peoples of all walks of life, celebrating to the intoxicating sights, sounds and tastes of music, dance and food. The display of colourful costumes, talent shows and parades take the breath away. www.spicemasgrenada. com

Travelling to a carnival couldn’t be easier so get your credit card ready and call our friends at SN Travel on 0844 844 0696



carnival uk

The Caribbean Gems Struggles On Written by pax nindi - global carnival centre The British Caribbean carnival season kicked off on Sunday 30th May with Preston City Caribbean Carnival, followed by Luton International and Reading Community Carnivals, which both took place on 31st May. From there onwards it’s bacchanal straight through ’til September, and with blessings from above the weather will hopefully be as good as it was on the May Bank holiday. Caribbean carnivals, as any other carnivals, come with their ups and downs but, as the saying on the street goes, “If you’re black you work twice as hard as your other cultural counterparts.” For the last two years there’s been more on the down side than the up, with various justifiable reasons including lack of sponsorship money due to the recession, and many carnival organisations being turned down for funding for reasons better known to the funders. The last few years have seen the growth of Caribbean carnival events from 200 to over 300 around the country. Following the stringent licensing act introduced in 2003, and last year’s global financial crisis, the numbers are now due to go down as many organisers are struggling to keep carnival going without breaking the new law. There was even a situation where PRS, the Performing Right Society which exists to represent songwriters, composers and publishers, was threatening to take some carnivals to court because they wanted money, backdated three years, for copyright music which carnivals had been playing in their parades.



When the Olympic bid for London was written, Carnival was a key artform with a slice of the budget that would have had most carnival events and clubs benefitting from participation and free national publicity. As it stands, the proposed ‘Festival of Carnivals’ has been written off for the Olympics, and most carnivals in the country are still not sure how to get involved despite several regional meetings by Arts Council and other interested parties. Thankfully, though, there are still some ‘ups’, despite all these headaches. The key Caribbean-style carnivals will be going ahead this year, which includes Notting Hill, Leeds, St Pauls (Bristol), Northampton, Derby, Leicester, and Nottingham. Some of the carnivals have adopted ways of meeting their financial headaches, such as Birmingham taking place every two years (next one 2011) to allow time for fundraising. Recently, a local MP, having had complaints from Derby, Leicester and Nottingham Carnivals that all their Arts Council applications were turned down, piled on some pressure, and now a consultant has been contracted by the Arts Council to assist those three carnivals, as well as Northampton, which is in the same region. Despite all this, the Caribbean carnival will continue its spectacle, and hopefully grow against all odds. More information on carnival dates can be found on the new Global Carnival Centre site, www.globalcarnivalcentre. com, and on the Soca News website.

Sat 12th June


Bermondsey, London The Blitz -themed parade will meander around Bermondsey, passing The Blue, then be welcomed into Southwark Park for the Bermondsey and Rotherhithe Carnival; a new day out for the whole family around Southwark Park’s beautiful bandstand.


Nuneaton Celebrating its 80th year with the theme, 80 Years of Children’s Entertainment, this carnival has a procession which features over 20 decorated floats including the Carnival Queens float, designed and built by Nuneaton & Bedworth In Bloom. Starting at 1pm, the procession incorporates five marching bands, majorette troupes, cheerleaders, a shire horse drawn omnibus and the mayoral car, as well as over 100 walking entries

and visiting Carnival Queens from all over the country, all bringing their own floats. Organisers claim the procession makes this Carnival the largest Carnival in Warwickshire, and one of the largest voluntary organised town Carnival’s in the country.

Sat 26th June


Organised by Beat Initiative, the Belfast City Carnival this year celebrates the International Year of Astronomy and features giant floats, big stilt-costumes and hundreds of performers who will parade through the city centre. The fun starts at noon in Custom House Square, which will host an all-day carnival party, with music and entertainment. The parade will leave Writers’ Square at around 2pm, and move along lower Donegall Street, into Royal Avenue and on to Castle Junction, where there will be a special carnival performance at 2.30pm, arriving at Custom House Square at 3pm. http://blog.belfastcarnival. com

Sat 19th June


Tottenham, London Each year, Tottenham Carnival captures the tremendous community spirit of local people. This year, the carnival procession features over 40 floats and over 1000 participants moving up the high road to its final destination, Bruce Castle Park, featuring five stages, a museum, a fairground, and food from all over the world. The parade starts at 11am in Eade Road N4. www.tottenhamcarnival.

Sat 3rd July

ST PAULS CARNIVAL Bristol The cultural gem of the West country boasts local sound systems, poetry corner, a live stage and a procession involving schools, samba bands, Afrikan drumming and more. The carnival procession starts at 1.30 pm from Portland Square (Carnival Village), and processes round St Pauls’ streets and back into the Carnival Village, where

there is a special ramp for final presentations. The GCC Executive Director has run this 43 year old carnival as a Consultant Artistic Director for four years.

Sat 3rd & Sun 4th July

COWLEY ROAD CARNIVAL Oxford With the theme ‘Invention’, Cowley Road Carnival features a carnival procession involving local schools, community groups, dance and music stage as well as roving performers, family creative workshops, food and drink traders and stalls for community groups and charities. The Saturday music concert brings carnival sounds and bands performing in South Park (ticketed). www.cowleyroadcarnival. continues on next page...



carnival uk

Sun 4th July


Coventry The procession is part of a three day festival showcasing some of the finest local, national and international artists across a multitude of genres including comedy. Godiva Carnival features a procession, the kids’ tent and a wealth of entertainment in the arena with information about local history and eco-friendly groups in the region.

Sat 10th July


With over 60 floats this year, Norwich’s famous procession will begin at 5pm rather than 6.45pm on the Saturday to better suit young families, and the explosion of fireworks from Norwich Castle will provide the finale of that evening’s festivities. Live music in Chapelfield Gardens will end at 10pm instead of midnight on Saturday, and will not be held on Sunday. The changes follow public



consultations held by the Mayor. The mile-long procession winds through the heart of the city, from Newmarket Road through St Stephens Street, Castle Meadow, Tombland, ending by Whitefriars Bridge.

Sun 11th July


Nottingham The carnival parade will burst onto the city streets in an explosion of colourful costumes, live steel pan, samba, dancing and an ensemble of sound systems. The parade will make its way from Friar Lane at 2pm, through the Market Square, and on to Derby Road to the stage show on the Forest Recreation Ground. caribbean-carnival-2010

Sat 17th & Sun 18th July


Newham, London Taking place in East Ham’s Central Park, this carnival is brought to the public by the Mayor of Newham with a procession involving

over 500 local school children parading through the streets of the borough in a colourful costume parade. There will also be a variety of music and dance acts, activities for young ones, a funfair, sports, food and fashion. www.newham. com/page/summer/ the_mayor_s_newham_ show/376,10,0,0,0.html


Derby Derby Carnival brings a taste of the Caribbean to the city. There will be live music, including soca, reggae and steelpan, with mas costumes adding the colour.

Sat 17th July Sun 1st August


Gloucester The ever-popular Gloucester Carnival returns in 2010, this time given an overhaul due to roadworks in the city centre, so the procession will take place in the park for the first time in its 74 year history.

Schools, commnity groups, clubs, dance groups and individuals will all be contributing their own entries to the parade of floats, and as well as the traditional procession the event will also include live music and walkabout performers, plus a stage constructed in the park especially for the occasion. children/28330/Gloucester-Festival

Sat 24th July


Liverpool Organised by Brouhaha, this is the city’s largest annual multicultural, multiart form celebration, and the organisers claim that it’s the largest single piece of carnival arts in the North West, with 1000 local, sub regional, national and international costumed participants. This annual event engages groups and communities in a series of arts workshops, producing small-scale costumes and large-scale structures that celebrate the city’s diverse identity, attracting

audiences of up to 20,000 people. news.php

Wed 28th July


Sandown, Isle of Wight This is Sandown’s biggest carnival of the year, featuring a whole day of activities and entertainment followed by a parade around the town involving over 700 people in the procession. Apart from Sandown Carnival’s own activities, lots of retailers and businesses get involved, giving treats and offers for Carnivalgoers. www.sandowncarnival. com/pages/2010/main_ top.php

Sat 31st July


futuristic tribes from the year 3000! Now in its 21st year, the parade starts from Cardiff Bay after 11am, with an opportunity to jam in St Mary’s Street after 1pm.

Sat 7th Aug


Leicester What began in 1985 as an event to keep the cultural traditions of the Caribbean alive has now become a multi-cultural event portraying the varied cultural diversity represented in Leicester. This is evident by the participation and attendance at the Leicester Caribbean Carnival.


Cleethorpes, UK www.cleethorpescarnival.




Cardiff, Wales Organised by SWICA, the popular MAS Carnival theme for 2010 on Saturday July 31st will be ‘Cosmic Celts’. Imagine

Sun 8th Aug

Hackney, London. Involving over 850 performers from 16 carnival groups in Hackney, this carnival is part of the

Cultural Olympiad, celebrating arts and culture alongside sports in the run-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Hackney One Carnival is organised by Hackney Council’s 2012 Unit with local carnival groups. Building on the council’s long history as a host of carnival organisations, it encourages communities not usually involved in carnival to share the experience and showcase their heritage alongside traditional carnival groups. hackney-one-carnival2009.htm

Sun 29th & Mon 30th Aug


One of the oldest Caribbean carnivals in the UK, the festival is run by the local people of Leeds. Sunday is dedicated to the procession, and on Monday the park hosts a live stage featuring the best in reggae music. Leeds Carnival Committee was the first in the UK to start carnival

day with the traditional J’Ouvert in the early hours of the morning, before Carnival officially starts in the afternoon. Although sound systems line the streets on the route, only traditional instruments are allowed on the threehour procession itself as it snakes its way through Chapeltown and back to Potternewton Park.


Notting Hill, London From its modest roots in the 1960s as a local event intended to bring some fun and togetherness to what was then a deprived and sometimes troubled area, the carnival has grown to become Europe’s largest street festival, attracting thousands of masqueraders and over a million visitors. Notting Hill blends the traditional Trinidad Carnival elements of mas, calypso/ soca and steelpan with Jamaican-style static sounds and hundreds of food and craft stalls.




directory record shops everybodies music

261 Tottenham High Road Tottenham London N15 4RR 020 8802 0146

............................... websters records S61 Shepherds Bush Market Shepherds Bush London W12 8DE 020 8740 4651

Shipping A Hipp Service

PO Box 62657 London EC1P 1PY 07957 267 281

takeaways big appetite

11 Medway Parade Perivale Middlesex UB6 8HN 020 8998 5372

............................... cummin up 293 Sydenham Road London SE26 5EW 020 7776 5868

.............................. cummin up 7B Dartmouth Road Forest Hill London SE23 3HN 020 8699 6144

.............................. cummin up 389 Lewisham High Street London SE13 6NZ 020 8690 9167



cummin up

Travel Agents

.............................. roti joupa

201 - 203 Stockwell Road London SW9 9SL 020 7274 2242

265E New Cross Road New Cross London SE14 5UL 020 8694 1745

12 Clapham High Street North Clapham London SW4 7UT 020 7627 8637

.............................. roti stop 36B Stamford Hill Stoke Newington London N16 6XZ 020 8815 4433

tourist boards Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority UK

Suite UG.0725 Floral Street Covent Garden London WC2E 9DS 020 7031 8160

............................... Barbados Tourism Authority 263 Tottenham Court Road London W1T 7LA 020 7299 7175

............................... grenada board of Tourism c/o Representation Plus 11 Blades Court 121 Deodar Road London SW15 2NU 020 8877 4502

............................... saint lucia Lower Ground 1 Collingham Gardens London SW5 0HW 020 7341 7000

Sackville Travel

............................... stoke newington Travel 168 Stoke Newington Road Stoke Newington LONDON N16 7UY 020 7254 0136

venues Mr Jacks Wine Bar

38/40 St James Street Walthamstow E17 7PE

............................... the tabernacle Powis Square London W11 2AY 020 7221 9700

............................... tudor rose The Green Southall Middlesex UB2 4BG 020 8843 2132

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Soca News Magazine | June 2010  

Soca News, both online and in print, aims to produce material that will further educate and entertain, as well as raise awareness of a wide...

Soca News Magazine | June 2010  

Soca News, both online and in print, aims to produce material that will further educate and entertain, as well as raise awareness of a wide...