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socanews Free

i103/july 2012

Free ISSN 1464-7087

i103/july 2012 ISSN 1464-7087

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contents 07/12


16/notting hill carnival regular


7 news

10 london calypso

UK related news stories

21 events

Where to go and what to do

tent 2012

16 notting hill


soca people

19 come play ah mas

12 tropical storm

26 cultural olympiad

14 bunji garlin

28 Carnival

A soca storm is brewing

The Black Spaniard comes of age

Come get some culture

Caribbean Listings

29 uk soca monarch

Feeling left out? If you are a promoter, artists, prroducer, carnival organiser, mas band, steelband, soca sound, community group or other participant who's feeling sore because we didn't mention your event, music, band or just something you think the world should know about. The remedy is in your hands. Use them to pick up the telephone now, dial + 44 (0) 7931 967 213 and tell us about your plans. Or write to us at Soca News, PO Box 13032, London, NW1 3WF; or email us at: Remember, Soca News is the only magazine dedicated to the music and culture of Carnival. Our readers include soca-lovers, band-leaders, promoters, DJs and carnival arts funders. But if you don't tell Soca News, we can't tell our readers!

The Finalists

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. 3 sn july 2012

Welcome We are back!!!


editor's letter ‘Beat the drum, sun or rain, it’s carnival time again.’ A line from the Brother Marvin song, Carnival Time Again, that sentiment truly sums up all that we feel and look forward to every time carnival comes around. Although you may not be hearing much about the actual two days of Notting Hill Carnival, believe me, it’s happening – masqueraders are busy selecting costumes, mas camps are well into production, and there are a host of band launches taking place around town. And you may have noticed that the wait between fetes and limes is growing shorter and shorter. You will find inside a thorough run-down of events, as well as what to expect at this year’s London Calypso Tent. Panorama 2012 will be at Horniman’s Pleasance, right in the heart of the carnival footprint; no matter what the setting, any lovers of the sweet sound of pan will be in their element. The Association of British Calypsonians is excited to yet again be holding their Calypso Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch Competitions. And Soca News will also be adding their third UK Soca Monarch Competition to the listings – it’s on Soca Monarch Sunday, 19 August at Scala - so don’t forget to add that fixture to your carnival calendar. Meanwhile, let’s not forget all the Caribbean carnivals taking place over this summer. St Vincent’s carnival is now over; up next is St Lucia Carnival whose season culminates on 17th July. Barbados’ Crop Over Festival is on the first Monday in August; whilst jumping up on Kadooment Day, the adventurous may consider hopping on a plane to take in the final day of Antigua’s carnival. And then there’s Grenada, whose festivities culminates on August 14th. Got your Red Bull? For more information about all news and carnival-related events, go to our website at Yours in soca

Joseph Charles The Editor

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socanews Free

i103/july 2012

Free ISSN 1464-7087

i103/july 2012 ISSN 1464-7087

cover pic

july/2012 sn 1

Poison UK Mas 2012 This issue of Soca News was brought to you by Publisher & Editor Joseph Charles Sub-Editor Katie Segal Layout & Design Joseph Charles some of our writers

Katie Segal, Natasha Ofosu, Pax Nindi, Stephen Spark, Sharon Buckley. the men with the cameras

Cleon Henry, Victor Morris, Chris Boothman, Stephen Spark. advertising sales

+ 44 (0) 8450 175 076 Published By

Joseph Charles, PO Box 13032, London, NW1 3WF contact us

Tel + 44 ()) 7931 967 213 Email Web Facebook socanews Twitter @socanews

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carnival arts

summer school Do you have a passion for carnival? Well, pass it on! That’s the message from the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, who are running a summer school from 30th July to 10th August at their premises in Luton. The course will be suitable for those aged 18 and over who have a passion for carnival arts or an interest in developing arts-based workshops for children, and would like to gain practical training. They say, “The interactive and engaging learning programme is designed for emerging carnival artists with skills in costume, music or movement. This two week course will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of carnival processes, and will equip you with the skills to lead carnival arts workshops.” If that sounds like you, contact or visit www. to book a place. The course costs £75, or £130 with self-catering accommodation. There are some bursaries still available towards the cost of the course; the deadline for application is 18th July. The UK Centre for Carnival Arts is at 3 St Mary’s Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 3JA.

For more news visit 7 sn july 2012

BAJAN BEER NOW IN the UK The iconic Bajan brew, Banks Caribbean Lager, has arrived in the UK. It is being sold in more than 190 branches of Tesco, with a limited offer of £1 per 330ml bottle. A further rollout to other retailers is scheduled for later in the year. Ray Chee-A-Tow, CEO of Banks Caribbean Lager, said: “We can’t package up the sunshine and the beaches, but we can finally bring the UK Banks Caribbean Lager. We know you guys have had a few problems with your banks. Our beer can’t solve everything, but it can make it all taste nice!” Banks lager is a premium pilsner brewed from a classic blend of British and Canadian malted barleys, deliciously flavoured by Galena and Styrian Goldings aroma hops. Produced since 1961, it boasts a fresh, smooth taste, a medium gold hue and ABV of 4.7%.

news trini to star in bodyguard musical

caribbean veterans

Derby Carnival faces drastic cuts

Trinidad-born recording artist and actress Heather Headley has snagged the lead female role in the musical version of the film The Bodyguard. She will play Rachel Marron, a role made famous by the late Whitney Houston, whose tragic death rocked the world in February. Headley told the Daily Mail newspaper she was reluctant to play the part, especially after hearing of Houston’s death. “It becomes harder now that she’s gone,” Headley explained. “It was an iconic role before, and it’s even more so now. But what makes it easier for me is that I know I can’t live up to her. It’s very simple.” Stage and television actor Lloyd Owen is reportedly about to sign on in the role Kevin Costner played on screen. The musical, directed by Thea Sharrock and produced by David Ian and Michael Harrison, will begin rehearsals in September. Previews start at the Adelphi Theatre, London, on 6 November, with an official opening night gala set for 5 December. Headley cut her teeth in high school musicals in Indiana, USA, after she and her family had moved there in 1989. In 1997 she created the role of Nala, the spirited lioness, in the hugely successful Broadway show The Lion King. She then starred in the lead in another Disney musical, Elaborate Lives: The Legend of Aida, for which she won a coveted Tony Award in 2000. To date, Headley has released three solo albums, and won two Soul Train awards and one Grammy award.

The High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Garvin Nicholas, spoke recently at the British and Caribbean Veterans Association’s Summer Ball. The organisation exists to promote camaraderie among exservicemen, wherever or in which force they may have served. Also present were the Deputy Lord Mayor for Birmingham, where the event was held, and Minister Counsellor at the Jamaican High Commission, Lincoln Downer. In this speech, the High Commissioner said that the event gave him, “The opportunity to reflect on the sacrifice made by proud West Indians who served in the British West India Regiment from the Pre Emancipation era of 1795, until January 1927, when the West India Regiment was disbanded.” In particular, he singled out a previously serving officer, Philip Cross, who later became the Trinidad and Tobago High Commissioner to London and was awarded with honours in the field of law. The Commissioner did not fail to mention the inequalities often seen by the Caribbean troops, saying, “Unfortunately, many times instead of enjoying the glory of fighting for the mother country, they were often denied the status of combat troops, subjected to racism and were often put in the most dangerous situations to serve.” He suggested that the stories of these men and women might be collected; hopefully the BCVA, or another organisation, will take inspiration from those words, as it would be a travesty for those narratives to be lost.

Organisers of Derby Caribbean Carnival have blasted the decision of Derby City Council to cut their core funding to zero as ‘drastic and unreasonable’. The deficit, which totals £26,000, will result in this year’s festival being hugely scaled down. Fewer mas bands will be taking part in the street procession on 21st July, and the 22nd July Fun Day in Osmaston Park, which usually features international performers, a fun fair and stalls, may have to be cancelled. George Mighty, chairman of the Derby West Indian Association (DWIA) which has staged the annual event since 1975, explained, “The city council said they have to make cuts, but this is drastic and unreasonable. The cuts are disproportionate.” He said the city council has been reducing the amount year on year, since they took control of the organisation’s funding in 1997, and that the council have told them to introduce a charging policy to meet their overheads, something which he refuses to do because DWIA works with underprivileged people. “I tried to challenge it [the funding cut] under public law, and failed,” Mighty said. However, he warned, “I’m still not finished with it.” Dwindling funds for carnivals throughout the UK increases the likelihood that spectators will be charged a fee to enjoy the pageantry. “We’re putting in the time to plan carnival as a free event without much money, [in order] to transmit our culture and keep people happy. But while I really would not like it to be commercialised, I still think people should pay small amounts to help to raise money to sustain it.”

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2011 Calypso Monarch - Alexander D Great

london calypso tent kick starts the 2012

notting hill carnival season Notting Hill Carnival has a lot more to offer than two frantic days of revelry over the August bank holiday. Probably the surest sign that carnival is fast approaching is when the London Calypso Tent opens its doors; from Friday 27th July until the carnival weekend, aficionados will be gathering, every Friday evening, at Carnival Village, Tabernacle, Powis Square, London, W11 2AY, to listen and lime as the British-based calypsonians battle it out on stage. Although some people wait until the final showdown on finals night, it is worth making two or three visits to the tent so you see all the contestants, not only the finalists, and analyse how the performances develop over the five weeks. The atmosphere is friendly and informal. As Association of British Calypsonians (ABC) president Mighty Tiger (Ashton Moore) is fond of pointing

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out, calypso is the first music of the Caribbean. Since it started in 1991, the tent has attracted more performers and bigger audiences, year on year. However, ABC is responsible for far more, as it works hard to increase awareness and understanding of the artform nationally, particularly amongst youngsters, who have their own competition. Unlike many of their counterparts in the Caribbean, who buy their songs from established writers, the British youngsters are encouraged to write and perform their own material – the difference between a true calypsonian and a calypso singer. Each season, ABC presents a guest artist from the Caribbean; this year, the star of the show will be Explainer, who is sure to have the audience singing along to hits such as Ras Mas and Lorraine. Also in attendance will be Canada Calypso Monarch, Structure, and all the perennial stars of the London Calypso Tent, backed by the ABC Brass Band and the Soca Divettes.

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soca people

tropical storm

a soca storm is brewing

The days of soca artists giving featured performances accompanied by recorded music are numbered, if a new band has its way; the London-based Tropical Storm Band are on a mission to keep public appearances truly live. To make this a reality, they are offering to back, with their full band, any artist who is able to travel to the UK. Garvin ‘Scrappy’ Johnson, lead vocalist and band co-founder, says that it’s an insult to the hard work of soca’s founders that today’s artists are singing to backing tracks. He also feels that it undermines any attempts to fully showcase Caribbean music to new audiences, saying, “If you’re going to expose the Caribbean, expose it at its best, at its fullest… That is the whole purpose of having a live band.” Johnson adds, “To me, it [a live band] enhances the artiste’s performance and lets people understand a lot more of what the culture is, what carnival is, what soca is, what Caribbean entertainment is.” Although they 12 sn july 2012

are yet to officially launch, Tropical Storm Band have already been making waves. In May they supported Trinidadian singer-songwriter Nadia Batson, and followed this up with an appearance in their own right at Ipswich Arts Festival in June, sharing that platform with soca star Shurwayne Winchester. Johnson says, “Working with Nadia was golden. She is a wonderful person, and very talented vocally. We would like to be in her presence again very soon.” An award-winning singer, both in his native Montserrat and in the UK, Johnson is best known for hits such as Start to Bounce, Be Mine and his 2012 offering, Put Them Up. He is joined in the Tropical Storm Band by fellow vocalist Konata Alleyne, Shawn Caribbean and Dsharp on keyboards, Drummix on drums and MD and Bid D on bass. They have been playing together since June last year, and are working on their debut release, which they hope to drop in time for Notting Hill Carnival.

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soca people bunji garlin

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Bunji garlin The Black Spaniard Comes of Age Words. Natasha Ofosu Image. softbox

The dread locs are gone, replaced by a clean-shaven head. The street-cred threads have given way to slick suits. Has the fireman gone soft? Apparently not. Instead, says ragga-soca artist extraordinaire Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez), he’s now grown up. He’s transported us to the Fourth Galaxy, a dimension of his own design, where nothing is ordinary. This inter-galactic mode sees Garlin coining a whole new vocabulary and, whilst not entirely relinquishing his Fireman image, a newer persona is emerging: the iSpaniard, whose, “Swagger is prolific”. Bunji has been working with a swathe of different production companies, as well as collaborating with artists such as Kerwin Dubois and new artist on the scene, Revelation, who he says has, “Extreme lyrical skill”. One of his goals is, as it has always been, to see the sub-genre ragga-soca rise to recognition and proper acceptance in Trinidad; in touring the world it is never rejected, but the home ground is the toughest nut to crack. The iSpaniard would prefer to stop entering competitions, to be able to bring everything he has to a show that’s of equal calibre, and equally acclaimed, as competing performance. And he’s much more focussed, learning from mistakes, which he says have had both negative and positive immediate effects, but in the end have only made him grow. Meanwhile, he is also very focussed on his family. Whilst even more women throw themselves at him than before he was married, belying the accepted wisdom that a male in the industry should look available in order to retain fans, he and Fay-Ann exclaim at the phenomenon and are solid as a rock. They are continuing to learn from and grow with each other. This rounded, matured individual is the new model, and look out for his Presidential / iOS movement coming at us in 2012. Check out our interview with Bunji, the iSpaniard, at

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feature Notting Hill


Sun 26 & mon 27 aug 2012

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Notting hill

Carnival If one subject dominates our consciousness all year round, it's Notting Hill Carnival, in all its frustrating, fascinating, turbulent complexity. Planted almost by chance in the mid-1960s in the then-shabby streets of West London, home to immigrants who could not afford to live anywhere else, it took root and grew at an astonishing rate into Europe's largest street festival. Despite the efforts of friend and foe alike to claim it, abuse it, uproot it or chop it down, this hardy annual has not just survived but thrived, and thrown off dozens of shoots that have grown into successful Caribbean-style carnivals across Britain and Europe. Notting Hill Carnival is a powerful creative and cultural force that has nurtured the talents and careers of hundreds of artists, designers, musicians, even a few politicians, and has enthralled and inspired millions of ‘ordinary’ people over its 40-something years. For the London economy - though sadly not for carnivalists - carnival has borne highly profitable fruit year after year. We have heard rumours that other events take place over the last weekend in August, but frankly we don’t believe them. We might campaign for the August Bank Holiday to be renamed the Carnival Holiday, for there is only one place to be on Sunday 29th and Monday 30th August - the streets of Notting Hill. Sadly, a curfew was imposed three years ago, and no doubt that will remain in place this year. A more benign recent change was a small alteration in the route, where the ‘dog leg’ in the south west corner, which involved three turns, with now only have one - making it a strict right angle. So 70 or so mas bands and a dozen steelbands will be (exceedingly slowly) circulating clockwise along Great Western, Westbourne Park and Chepstow Roads, Westbourne Grove and Ladbroke Grove. The judging-point, VIP seating and press enclosure will be at the bottom of Great Western Road. 17 sn july 2012

As usual, Sunday is Children’s Day, and although many bands appear on both days, several come out only on one. The idea that Sunday is appreciably quieter no longer holds good, although it does tend to wind down earlier. The first band generally crosses the judging-point just after midday, and recently the point has been shut down at 6.30pm, so any band arriving after that time has not been judged. There is no running order for carnival, but you can expect the samba bands and Masquerade 2000 to be among the first to pass the judges. The best way to see carnival, of course, is not crushed amongst a million sweaty revellers behind a barrier, but enjoying the freedom of the road and the camaraderie of a carnival band. It’s not too late to get a costume or a T-shirt. Just call one of the bands, go round to the mas camp, and very soon you’ll see why making and playing mas is a unique and addictive experience. This includes all those not willing to wear a skimpy costume, and men - you don’t have to be covered in sequins to play mas (though that’s ok, too)!

For more on carnival visit

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feature For a full list of bands visit

come play ah mas From the beginning of carnival there has been mas. Masquerade is a way of representing a story, often through historical or allegorical figures. Different characters appear in carnivals around the world, each having a local and, perhaps, political relevance. In Caribbean carnivals, from which Notting Hill Carnival was originally conceived, these have now largely been replaced with fantasy presentations. Notting Hill has adopted this latter tradition, where fantastic, ornate costumes are worn with flourish and pride, moving their way down the streets in bands of shimmering colours, beads, feathers and sequins. Each band has a theme, and usually the masqueraders are divided into several sections, each of which is meant to portray a different aspect of that central idea. On the Sunday, officially Children’s Day, some adult groups also play ‘dutty mas’ (dirty mas), where the participants wear matching Tshirts and cover themselves in mud, chocolate 19 sn july 2012

or paint. It’s a custom that goes back to the early days of carnival, one that appears in other traditional festivals around the world, and strangely enough is seen as a cleansing or purifying ritual – though if you smear a police officer with chocolate you might have difficulty persuading him of that! When you’re a spectator, being pinned behind barriers can lose its appeal after a few hours, particularly when the sun is beating down or the rain soaks you to the skin. But when you’re ‘playing mas’ you truly have the freedom of the road, and once the music starts the weather just doesn’t matter. There is, quite simply, no better way to enjoy carnival than to be a participant. All you have to do is choose your band – there are over 50 – sign up for your costume, and get ready to enjoy a unique, unforgettable experience on carnival day.

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event guide july/aug 2012

Sat 21st Jul 2012

Sun 22nd Jul 2012



Miss Trinidad & Tobago UK Launch Party

@ Sky Lounge, 32nd Floor, Nido Building, 9 Frying Pan Alley, London, E1 7HS. Music by: Rebel D. Price: £15, concs for adv bookings. Time: 8pm - 2am. Tel: 07958 336 694. UK Chocolate Nation

2012 Band Launch

@ Holiday Inn London - Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London, WC1N 1HT. Live Acts: Live acts on the night - Blaxx (Trinidad) & Rupee (Barbados) and from the UK Trini Boi Joocie. Music by: Mike Forbes, Vinny Ranks (Soca Mafia), Mr Mention (Soca Mafia) & DJ Tate. Price: £10 adv, £15 on the door. Time: 10pm - 4am.

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Panectar Fund Raising Lime 2012

@ Maxilla Social Club, 2 Maxilla Walk, London, W10 6NQ. Live Acts: DJ Miguel will be playing the best in pan tunes, Pan Jazz and back-in-time music. Price: £7 adv, tickets only. Time: 7pm.,

thur 26th Jul 2012 ABIR the Colours of Life

RUMblin' Edition Three Smith and Cross Rum

@ Cottons Islington, Rhum Jungle

70 Exmouth Market, London, EC1R 4QP. Price: £12 + bfee (early birds); £15 + bfee; £20 on the door. Time: 7pm - 1am. Tel: 020 3006 2311., www.abir-mas. com

Trinidad and Tobago High Commission

trinidad & tobago culturefest

@ Tricycle Theatre, London, NW6 7JR. Live acts: there will be performances by artists including Machel Montano and Ella Andell, and appearances by Richard Thompson, Olympic silver medallist, Brian Lara, Dwight Yorke, Earl Lovelace, author, and Anya Ayoung-Chee, fashion designer, amongst others. Also a number of workshops, including those in making carnival costumes and playing the steel pan. Price: free - although some events may be ticketed to control numbers. Time: 26th July to 25th August,10am 11pm daily.

event guide Fri 27th Jul 2012 Shipwrecked Carnival

Lava After Work Drinks

@ Jewel Piccadilly, 4-6 Glasshouse

Street, London, W1B 5DQ. Music by: DJ D Raskal, DJ Dale, Diamond Star International & DJ Markee. Price: free. Time: 5.30pm - 1am. Tel: 07990 587 333, 07904 709 390 or 07957 967 387., www. Association of British Calypsonians

London Calypso Tent 2012 Opening Night

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Live Acts: Featuring live and direct from Trinidad & Tobago, Legendary Calypsonian, Explainer; also featuring direct from Barbados via Toronto, Canada’s Calypso Monarch, Structure. Together with the stars of the London Calypso Tent; backed by the ABC Brass Band & the Soca Divettes. Lord Cloak, Helena B, Giselle, Alexander D Great, Mighty Tiger, Brown Sugar, Cleopatra, together with Clivus, Dave B, De Admiral, G String, Nikisha, Rev B, Sheldon Skeete & Music Man. Price: £10 adv. £12 online. Time: 8pm. Tel: 020 7221 9700.,

fri 3rd Aug 2012 Shipwrecked Carnival

Lava After Work Drinks

@ Bar Soho, 23-25 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JL. Music by: DJ D Raskal, DJ Dale, Diamond Star International & DJ Markee. Price: free. Time: 5.30pm - 1am. Tel: 07990 587 333, 07904 709 390 or 07957 967 387.

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Association of British Calypsonians

London Calypso Tent 2012 tent night

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle

Association of British Calypsonians

London Calypso Tent 2012 tent night

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle

Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Live Acts: as Friday 27 July. Price: £10 adv, £12 online. Time: 8pm Tel: 020 7221 9700.

Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Live Acts: as Friday 27 July. Price: £10 adv. £12 online. Time: 8pm. Tel: 020 7221 9700.,,

sat 4th aug 2012

Sat 11th Aug 2012

Sun Bailante

Carnival Carousal

The Foam Party Represent Your Country

@ Cable Club, Bermondsey Street

Eyes Wide D Masquerade Fete

Tunnel, London, SE1 3JW. Music by: Sun Bailante, DJ Tate & DJ Bliss. Host: Sun Bailante. Price: £10, £12 then £15, motd. Time: 11pm - 6am. Tel: 07921 891 611. Over 18 only, ID will be required on the door.

@ The Gable Bar, 25 Moorgate, London, EC2R 6AR. Music by: DJ Markee, Vinny Ranks (Soca Mafia), Mr Mention (Soca Mafia), D Tee & C Jay. Time: 9pm - 3am. Price: £8 adv. Tel: 07958 733 391, www.

Tempo & Rum Shop Max

sun 5th aug 2012 Anse La Raye (St Lucia) Association UK (1992)

family fun day

@ Greenside Community Centre, 24 Lilestone Street, London, NW8 8SR. Live Acts: Featuring performances by traditional dancers, Dife, La Rayan Folk Dancers. Price: £3 adults, £1.50 kids. Time: 2 - 9pm. Tel: 07940 107 981, 07913 788 242 or 07849 341 058.

fri 10th Aug 2012 Shipwrecked Carnival

Lava After Work Drinks

@ Bar Soho, 23-25 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JL. Music by: DJ D Raskal, DJ Dale, Diamond Star International & DJ Markee. Price: free. Time: 5.30pm - 1am. Tel: 07990 587 333, 07904 709 390 or 07957 967 387.

soca galore

@ Tommy Flynns Bar, 253 Ealing Road, Wembley, London, HA0 1ET. Music by: QT 2Hype, Trini Topshotta, Royal Vee & 24ct Golden Touch. Price: £10 adv., motd. Time: 10pm 4am. Tel: 07956 121 510, 07961 850 344 or 07590 377 354.

Sun 12th Aug 2012 Fantasy Island - The Ultimate All Inclusive Caribbean Party

@ The pool side, Brockwell Lido Dulwich Road, London, SE24 0PA. Live Acts: Special Guest Soca Diva - Destra Garcia and band. Music by: Martin Jay, Soca Mafia plus other top DJs. Price: £50 early bird, £60 thereafter (all inclusive). Time: 6pm midnight. Tel. 020 7193 5859., www.poisonuk. com

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event guide Tilda and Maka Promotions and Etit Promotions in association with BJ Productions, LV, Tease and Reveal

Jamaica & Trinidad 50th Independence - Reggae meets Soca

@ O2 Academy Brixton, 211 Stock-

well Road, London, SW9 9SL. Live Acts: Beenie Man, Cham, Lil Rick, Swappi, Miss O, Christopher Martin & Bugle. Live band Mafia and Fluxy. Music by: Martin Jay. Price: £35 + bfee, motd. Time: 7pm - midnight.

Fri 17th Aug 2012 Association of British Calypsonians

London Calypso Tent 2012 LCT Groovy Soca Monarch

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Live Acts: as Friday 27th July. Price: £10 adv, £12 online. Time: 8pm. Tel: 020 7221 9700. Shipwrecked Carnival

Lava After Work Drinks

@ Bar Soho, 23-25 Old Compton Street, London, W1D 5JL. Music by: DJ D Raskal, DJ Dale, Diamond Star International & DJ Markee. Price: free. Time: 5.30pm - 1am. Tel: 07990 587 333, 07904 709 390 or 07957 967 387.

Sun 19th Aug 2012


Soca News

Live Acts: Bunji Garlin & Fayann Lyons, Lil Rick, Skinny Fabulous, Swappi & Tallpree. Tel. 020 7193 5859.

UK Soca Monarch Final

@ The Scala, 275 Pentonville Road

King´s Cross, London, N1 9NL. Live Acts: Groovy Soca Monarch finalists - DeeVine, Jonas Keeve Eugene, Triniboi Joocie, Lutenants, Soca Kidd, Ms Desire, Big Bad, Muzik Lil Muzik (defending monarchs). Power Soca Monarch finalists - Soca Princess, Jonas Keeve Eugene, Triniboi Jooice, Lutenants, Soca Kidd, Sharene Glasgow & Muzik Lil Muzik (defending monarchs). Music by: DJ C Jay. Price: £10 adv, motd. Time: 7pm - 2am. Tel. 07931 967 213.

Thu 23rd Aug 2012 Association of British Calypsonians

London Calypso Tent 2012 Calypso Monarch Final

24 sn july 2012

National Panorama - Champions of Steel Competition

@ Hornimans Pleasance Park, Kensal Road, London, W10 5EH. Featuring: steel band finalists. Price: free. Shipwrecked

Shipwrecked in T&T - All Inclusive, Unlimited Premium Drinks Party

@ The Mermaid River Rooms, Black-

fri 24th Aug 2012 Association of British Calypsonians

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle

Middlesex, UB2 4BG. Live acts: Gappy Ranks, Supper Jigga TC & Shal Marshall. Music by: Robbo Ranks. Price: £27.50 + bfee, motd. Time: 9pm - 4am. Tel: 07989 651 891

British Association of Steelbands,

Sat 18th Aug 2012 @ Tudor Rose, The Green, Southall

Sat 25th Aug 2012

friars, London, EC4V 3DB. Live acts: International & Local DJs. Music by: . Price: £55 (all inclusive). Time: 5am 10pm. Tel: 07990 587 333, 07904 709 390 or 07426 865 055.

Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Live Acts: check online for finalists. Price: £10 adv., £12 online. Time: 8pm. Tel: 020 7221 9700.

London Calypso Tent 2012 LCT final night

Pre Carnival Ton Up

@ Carnival Village, Tabernacle

carnival friday concert

Powis Square, London, W11 2AY. Live Acts: check online for finalists. Price: £10 adv., £12 online. Time: 8pm. Tel: 020 7221 9700.

for more events visit

sat 6th oct 2012 Soca News

soca music awards

@ The Holiday Inn London-Bloomsbury, Coram Street, London, WC1H. Price: £35 (early bird until 3rd Aug, £45 thereafter). Tel. 07931 967 213. 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 or to advertise in this section send your details to

25 sn july 2012


cultural olympiad Will you be supporting your country? The Grenadian Olympic Committee have taken over the Arlington Conference Centre in Camden for a week, temporarily renaming it Grenada Olympic House. From four to 10pm daily, from 4th until 11th August, they are open for visitors wishing to experience elements of culture and art from Grenada, with merchandise also available. The launch will be on Saturday 4th August at 6.30pm; the close at the same time on the eleventh. Grenada Olympic House will host nightly events, including calypso performances and a mas exhibition, poetry and dance. For the more combative, there will even be a dominoes competition; for the artistically inclined, an art / photographic exhibition and writers’ corner. Making appearances will the Grenadian Sports Minister and members of the Olympic team. They will also be promoting trade, tourism and investment in Grenada throughout the week. Grenada Olympic House: Arlington Conference Centre, 220 Arlington Road, Camden, London, NW1 7HE; 4th-11th August, 4-10pm daily

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In a similar but somewhat more ambitious move, under the auspices of His Excellency Garvin Nicholas, High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, London, that twin island state is holding the Trinidad and Tobago Culture Fest for an entire month. They will be occupying the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, which incorporates cinema, theatre and gallery spaces, from 26th July until 25th August, aiming to give visitors a truly immersive T&T experience. The Tricycle will see performances by artists including Machel Montano and Ella Andell, and appearances by Richard Thompson, Olympic silver medallist, Brian Lara, Dwight Yorke, Earl Lovelace, author, and Anya Ayoung-Chee, fashion designer, amongst others. As well as concerts, there will be a number of workshops, including those in making carnival costumes and playing the steel pan. All events will be free of charge – though some may necessitate ticketing to limit numbers. Trinidad and Tobago Cultural Village: Tricycle Theatre, 269 Kilburn High Road, London NW6 7JR; open 26th July – 25th August, 10am – 11pm daily.

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carnivals caribbean

Sat 28th July Tues 7th Aug 2012

Sat 7th July mon 6th Aug 2012

Sat 2nd june tue 14th Aug 2012

Antigua stages a 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 mid-July.

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.

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 from 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.


barbados cropover

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grenada carnival



We at Soca News would like to thank all the artists who have submitted their entries to this year’s soca monarch competition, and offer our congratulations to those who have made it through to the final. We’ll see you on Soca Monarch Sunday, 19th August, at the Scala in King’s Cross. To the entrants who didn’t get through, we say better luck next year. The UK soca industry needs events like the UK Soca Monarch competition in order to build visibility and status for the genre in this country. If we took a straw poll and ask a person on the high street to name more than five UK soca artists, - well, frankly they would struggle to even understand the question! We’d like to change that. Using facebook and twitter to promote themselves and communicate directly with fans, although helpful, still isn’t enough for artists to reach new audiences, especially outside the Caribbean. Much more needs to be done, and that’s where UK Soca Monarch comes in. The final of this year’s event will take place at the Scala in Kings Cross, where Muzik Lil Muzik will battle it out to try and retain their title. So mark the date in your diary now. Soca Monarch: Sunday 19 August.

Groovy Soca Monarch DeeVine Jonas Keeve Eugene Triniboi Joocie Lutenants Soca Kidd Ms Desire Joel Hamilton-Mills Orlando Perez Muzik Lil Muzik (defending monarchs)

Power Soca Monarch Soca Princess Jonas Keeve Eugene Triniboi Joocie Lutenants Soca Kidd Sharene Glasgow Muzik Lil Muzik (defending monarchs)

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luton carnival 2012 review No clear support for this year’s carnival

This year, Luton Council decided to merge their premium events to coincide with the Olympic Torch relay this year. The newly conceived Luton Festival, the Mela and Luton Carnival were all moved to the weekend beginning Saturday 7th July, which culminated with an evening event on Sunday 8th to celebrate the torch’s arrival. Unfortunately, most of the publicity for the weekend mentioned only the festival, which left some confusion as to when or whether the carnival was going to be taking place - and of course unpredictable weather didn’t help. Together, these factors unfortunately shifted the audience numbers for carnival day from 80k last year, to 30k this. Despite all of that, the content of the carnival was the best ever, with the local mas band participation reaching 1,500 and an injection from UKCCA’s Carnival Cross Roads Eastbound Olympic project, which included over 500 participants from five eastern region

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towns. Directed by internationally renowned carnival expert Pax Nindi, Carnival Cross Roads featured what the media described as the best moving Rio style float ever to be seen in UK. Eastbound music and costumes were produced by the best carnival artists in the UK, which explained how they got away with not using huge trucks and generators for their part of the carnival. The weather was friendly throughout the day, with only minor showers as the procession passed through Luton Town Centre, where the judging point was located, and then back to Wardown Park. The Eastbound float was also used as a platform for the torchbearer to pose for the media on the 51st day of the Torch Relay. Let’s hope that next year there will be better publicity to match the energy invested by our carnival sector, and Luton Carnival will be back on track.

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Soca News Magazine | July 2012  

Soca News Magazine, July 2012 issue.

Soca News Magazine | July 2012  

Soca News Magazine, July 2012 issue.