Notting Hill Carnival
We hit "de" road with Bacchanlia MasBand at Notting Hill Carnival!
Jump and Wave! Everybody JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! JUMP! & WAVE!!August Bank Holiday has been synonymous with Notting Hill Carnival ever since I can remember. In recent years, Carnival has come under severe scrutiny, and with the recent riots in the forefront of everyone’s minds, there was uncertainty as to whether it would go ahead and if it did what would be the outcome.
Thankfully, it did and despite all the controversy we were hype for Carnival. Experiencing it for the first time with a band, we couldn’t wait for the colour, the costumes, the wukkin’ up and the SOCA!! Bacchanalia Masband promised us all that and more so YUP we were hype, even with the early start. Okay, so 11am wasn’t that early and most of their band were up from 7am but hey it was Bank Holiday Monday!
Notting Hill Carnival is a staple of the London festival season. Now more than ever we need to get the Carnival mojo back, and, with London 2012 on its way next year, it’s even more important for all communities to rally behind it.
We arrived at the Baccmass meeting point and were instantly hit by the colour. The ladies and gents of Baccmass were not messing around. The costumes were AMAZING (can we just say a BIG CONGRATS to Kelly Rajpaulsingh for her brilliant handiwork with those costumes!!!) and definitely some of the best on the road this year! Their two trucks (partly sponsored by Ian ‘Rum Ambassador’ Burrell and Rumfest) were banging out the Soca rhythms, getting us and the band in the party mood. The weather also seemed to be holding up – all in all it was looking good for Carnival.
With costumes donned, the band ‘hit de road’, falling in place behind the ‘Poison’ masband. Instantly, the crowds clamoured alongside, eating up the costumes and showing appreciation for the obvious care and attention that went into each one. The band responded in kind, happily posing for pictures. With the trucks banging out hit after hit like Machel Montana ‘Bend Over’ and ‘Advantage’, we almost forgot ourselves as the media professionals we are, acting as if we were part of the band. You can’t imagine the number of times we had to restrain Mr EJS Photographer from jumping in the middle of the Baccmass ladies! Okay, I’m exaggerating – he was the consummate professional. There were some shining stars in the band who kept the party atmosphere going from the minute the trucks rolled out and, a lot of the time, it was the wardens who were getting on down to the soca ‘riddims’.
There were some shining stars in the band who kept the party atmosphere going from the minute the trucks rolled out and, a lot of the time, it was the wardens who were getting on down to the soca ‘riddims’.
However, while the crowds definitely amped up the atmosphere, overall there seemed to be a little something lacking when it came to the band. And it wasn’t just Baccmass; all the bands seemed to have lost a bit of their Carnival mojo. There wasn’t as much wining and wukkin’ as the Carnivals of yester year. The slowing down of the band movement along the route didn’t help proceedings much either. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun Carnival and I’m not taking away from all the hard work these bands put into it year after year. But I can’t help feeling that the newly imposed curfew and current events have taken their toll. At least current events didn’t stop the hordes of people who came out to support and have a good time. Even better, Carnival went by practically unscathed by violence (sadly there was one bad incident of a 20 year old boy being stabbed).
Notting Hill Carnival is a staple of the London festival season. Now more than ever we need to get the Carnival mojo back, and, with London 2012 on its way next year, it’s even more important for all communities to rally behind it. Let’s show the rampant youth and the rest of the world that Londoners know how to party. Londoners, it’s your carnival – get involved and let’s make next year’s HOT! HOT! HOT!
Get to wukkin' with;
Words: Enam G
Photography: Ernest Simons