Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Notting Hill Carnival Part One

It's Friday and I am at the Calypso Monarch's Show at the Tabernacle, Powis Square. I remeet Alexander D Great, who I shared a platform with at the third International Steel Pan Conference at UEL. Here's a pic of all the recent and present monarchs, from UK, Canada and T and T.
My hotel is the Wedgewood at Leinster Square, not at all far from the Tabernacle. And it's lovely.
I was expecting to rehearse our Carnival tunes on Saturday but instead I find I have agreed to play a gig with Lionel and Kwame. In Peterborough! I draw a veil. Here's some pics.

We get back in time for the last two bands of Panorama. Short as this is, it is wonderful, and it is inspiring. And it is now raining. The bands just play on. Hats off to them.
 Here's the pans being driven to the judging point. And above, here's a trolley that I was strangely drawn to that was holding a set of six bass. Hmmmm. Delicious.

they have balloons on their floats. Real Steel from Plymouth won Panorama. Coincidence 1: I tried to contact this band when I was in Plymouth in order to introduce Chris to them.

Coincidence 2:  Years ago I was playing at Leeds West Indian Centre with Panic/Pan Explosion, then, after hearing our “support” act [Real Steel] play, I advised us against playing ourselves. They were amazing. And obviously still are.

On Sunday, it's Children's Carnival Day. We start at Maxella's. The visiting French samba band gets the day off to a fine start, with a few rocking rhythms under the Westway A40 flyover [but I only took film clips of them, so that's a technology for another day]. The pictures include Roger from Alaska and Haroun sitting in van, Raoul on kit, a greened over Grand Union canal, some dancers on the corner, flag-wavers, and Nostalgia marching along. And most important: sandwich makers and servers extraordinaire: Sharon and David.

Today we are wearing white bottoms, black Nostalgia Olympic t shirts [yes, Debs, I am playing with the band that played the Olympics!], and a red tie for 50 years of Trinidad and Tobago independence. [I am wearing the shorts that Morgan gave me to mend.]

We played up Ladbrooke Grove, turned into Kensall Road, turned into Elkstone Road, where, amazingly Sophie found us. Our three tunes were Sweet MangoMore, and Moves Like Jagger [which Sophie knows already from Sparrows]. 
  the time Kimani left off playing, releasing his pan for her, Sophie had figured out Mango. All we knew about More was that probably it started with a G chord but this song didn’t live up to its name and we played it less.To say Sophie joined us at 3, she managed a good 3 hours marching/playing.  Finishing at 7 was a long day.  Little did we know what lay ahead! Took a tube with Rudi, Central and Piccadilly to  Manor House where Hazel picked us up.

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