Then Annette decided we should be back in Leeds, and with her untiring support, Foxwood Steel popped up at the side of Chapeltown Road in Savile Park which we did in a sunny 2013 and a rainy 2014.
We thought we would get moved on but the Carnival-goers just took us for part of Carnival proper. Perhaps we should have kept the name, Foxwood Steel Bandits! Then in 2015 Hilary and George and Mexican rescued us, and put us on at Rhythms now Café Bliss Carnival Village.
Here's some shots of setting up.
And then again this year. Now we don't just use our own private steelband but we are able to plan, to practise and to take community band, East Steel, and some older Sparrows [well those not at work or at LeedsFest] as well as ourselves.
First on Bank Holiday Monday is Leeds Pan Central. We are me [Victoria], Bex, Vicky, Amy, Wanda, Charlotte, Joyce, Lynn, Anne, George, Sheeks, Chloe, Georgia G2, Sophie. Maddie.
Second and third sets today go to Carnival Foxwood and Sparrow. Now we are me [Victoria], Bex, Vicky, Gary, Gig, Georgia, Sophie, Amy, Charlotte, Wanda, Chloe, George, and, towards the end, a rare sighting of Claudia! [whose very mother it was who got us back into Leeds carnival]. Yay. Guest Jermaine on shaker. And a surprised Tamanna finds herself also playing along on one number [still in her motor memory]. [Still in our set!]
Perhaps the best moment was when the DJ [who was himself black] discussed aloud, at some length, and into the microphone, that steel pannistes could be black, they could be white [to quote Johnny. We felt so welcome after all these years. And just as well as there would only be Jermaine and Claudia today! And then Mexican asked the audience to applaud and they did, and they did, and they did. We hit the Red Stripes after that.