5 Days of Extreme Unadulterated Fun….
2012 has certainly proved to be an exceptional year to date and the culmination to one of the last greatest shows on earth this year confirmed this (we still have Christmas and Ham to look forward to). Notting Hill Carnival this year was in layman’s terms a BLAST!!!!
- Generally Notting Hill Carnival receives approximately 1 million visitors. Using logic and sense, one could have told that this year alone, the number of visitors soared in the 1.5+ million figures, this, a by product of the Olympic and Paralympics visitors.
- The M25 traffic was present on the carnival route.
- Mas Bands costumes were on POINT….as an elderly would simply say…’wat beauty’.
- The weather held up. Yes whilst there was an early trickle of rain that threatened the proceedings, the sun came out on both days…a first in many years.
- The police, yes the dreaded people in uniform are actually human beings with feelings and can hold an enlightening conversation whilst waiting for ‘traffic’ to move.
NEWSFLASH: Notting Hill Carnival has now ended until it comes back again in 2013; as a result a prolonged wave of sadness has descended amongst the nation. This we might add has not been helped by the slight reminder of winter, looming just around the corner. This sadness is heartfelt by all who attended and participated. Medically named, post -Notting Hill Carnival 2012 Tabanca, or in short NHC12T, it has no immediate cure, for whilst crippling the bacchanalists’ soul, it is an emotional disease that can only be cured by time, patience, patience and more patience……until the next epic round!
However, not looking to let the nation perish under the blanket of depression, the good medics have devised a temporary solution to keep the people going. Along with the thank you parties around the corner, ongoing weekly fetes, radio shows, UKSS created this diary with a few good memories to keep you going.
Note: As you remember those last 2 weeks, rejoice at the freedom and fun that was NHC 2012, recognise the unification of different cultures, families, friends and acquaintances that epitomised the true essence of carnival as dreamt by Claudia Jones, marvel again at the splendour and beauty that was the mas costumes and people and whilst laughing at the antics of those well-known, appreciate and respect the effort put in by designers, band leaders, artists, DJs, patrons, volunteers, sponsors, media, friends and families, despite whatever circumstances might have occurred, for without them, some of this might not have been possible.
Carnival Thursday 23rd
Carnival Thursday marked the beginning of constant fetting in the run up to NHC. It was the warm up leg to an unforgettable experience and was the day where we started to see local and international revellers and visitors come out in their numbers to celebrate, meet old friends, make new friends and kick of the long carnival weekend in style.
Poison After Work Lime
Every year Poison UK have their After Work Lime on Carnival Thursday. The music is provided by some of the best international soca DJs and often you will see some international artistes passing through. This year was no different as was proved by the exceptional turn out.
From Atlanta, to Miami to T&T, Alicia D Duchess, DJ Private Ryan, DJ Chinee, DJ Spice and DJ Stephen created the vibes in the packed La La Bar in Hammersmith, London. When I say packed I really mean PACKED. It took ages to get from one side of the bar to the next and let’s not mention the queue to be served a drink at the bar….However the vibes were sweet and we were treated to a great mix of music.
The 11th anniversary of this yearly event went very well indeed. Brought to us by Specialist Entertainment, Socalicious has become another must attend event for NHC Thursdays.
With DJ Shotmaster from Trinidad and D’Enforcas from Canada you knew you were in for a good night. (We should rename this night International Soca DJs @ Notting Hill Carnival Night).
As we walked in we were greeted by revellers ‘mis-behaving’ and rolling around on the floor. The vibes were high, the music was fast paced, and the crowd was a good looking bunch, all the right ingredients for a warm up carnival fete.
Carnival Friday 24th
Poison 10th Anniversary Concert
The line up:
- Ms Desire
- Lil Rick
- Skinny Fabulous
- Bunji Garlin
- Fayann Lyons
You knew you were in for a good night with those names on the bill.
Set in the O2 Empire in Shepherd’s Bush, London we were celebrating Poison UK’s 10th Anniversary in Soca Royalty style.
We here at UKSS are happy to see one of the UK’s most formidable soca businesses reach a milestone. It shows that there is a community of soca lovers here in the UK who are willing to come out and support for the love of soca and the Caribbean culture. This fact alone is the inspiration behind UKSS.
Poison UK, you know how to throw a special concert for your supporters, the community and in celebration of your anniversary. Shout outs to Nikisha, Konata and Ms Desire who represented the UK very well, Skinny Fabulous who got very involved with the crowd, Tallpree for Jab Jab hit after Jab Jab hit. Lil Rick a.k.a Ricky Minage for pure jonesin and Bunji and Fayann for the nonstop dynamic energy they dished out on stage, least not forgetting having the power to part the dancefloor…..
The concert was a hit and all who attended had a ball. It was nice to see New York DJs out in support and the Amsterdam, Berlin crew in attendance. This was a perfect night.
Busspepper’s Bachannal Friday
Woi!!! The place was heaving, from one concert to another well attended event with a familiar face, Konata and DJ Markee behind the decks.
Walking into Busspepper was like walking into a highly charged room of ‘eager’ bodies. Everyone was buzzin’, the place was nice, it was hot, it was mad and the security guards were in good spirits. UKSS were certainly the most sober people in the place and where it not for duty purposes, we would have stuck out like sore thumbs. At one point we felt we were stuck in a X-factor meets Red Eye event, there was people singing at the top of their lungs, people wining down to the ground, ladies tik-tokin, (eyes went dizzy after a while) it was really going off inside Bachannal Friday.
Carnival Saturday 25th
Blistering Thundering Madness….!
Right! Soca Mafia! Where do you want me to begin???? Oh Gosh nah…. We are not going to say anything about Oh Gosh, our heads and bodies hurt in a very very ‘good way’ just thinking about it. We will just go ahead and show you this…
Carnival Sunday 26th
Quote of the day: I can’t even put Vaseline on my mouth, it’s caked with chocolate….
Post Carnival quote: UKCN….’black n yellow, black n yellow, black n yellow, black n yellow…
We believe UK Chocolate Nation might have to commission their own chocolate making factory to satisfy the numbers. 1100 people joined UK Chocolate Nation this year making them the biggest band on the road for Notting Hill Carnival 2012. Can we say WoW!
Okay the concept of playing mas with UKCN is simple. Play with a mas band that embraces and unifies everyone and to top of it gives you free rein of chocolate. You can smear it on yourself, pour it on anyone, smudge each other with it, pelt it across people’s heads, any mad, inventive, fun way you can think of using chocolate. It was as simple as that. It was a gooey, sticky, crusty, wet, sweet smelling affair and to top of it we were entertained by a wicked music set on the road.
…..And just when you thought that the chocolate was done, there was more chocolate to come! As you can imagine covering 1100 people and their friends with chocolate from the start to the finishing line which by the way was all the way to the holding bay, required A LOT of chocolate and there was plenty, plenty, plenty to go round. Let’s just say all 1100 went to bed smelling sweeeeeet that night.
UK ‘Chocolate’ Carnival has been the talk of carnival. Even Kerwin Du Bois couldn’t keep away, it is that infectious. Once you have experienced getting covered in chocolate it becomes an experience you want to experience every year, so note to UKCN…chocolate factory and a yacht/ship to accommodate everyone, pretty please?
Carnival Monday 27th
Okay so Monday was ram up, seriously. We have never seen the side roads housing island corners, food and sound systems so full and heavily congested. Crowds, trucks, mas bands were all knee deep in traffic on the carnival route. It was hard to move and through the latter part of the day upon an arranged meeting; the UKSS team got separated on duty. Things were so bad that a lone, weary UKSS soldier had to make a serious choice to either fight going through the crowd and reach destination by nightfall or seek refuge in one of the trucks. The latter won.
Yaa Asantewaa Carnival Group thank you very much for the brief accommodation that was afforded.
This had to be the best looking Carnival Monday Notting Hill has ever had. The Mas Bands really out did themselves with the designs this year. If we had been put in a position to choose which band we wanted to play with, it would have been the hardest choice to make, seriously. 2013 already is proving to be interesting……
UKSS had the pleasure of walking through carnival, and whilst we did not manage to capture all mas bands in imagery and footage, we captured a few and needless to say all who participated did a great job. It would be unfair to breakdown the events bit by bit, so trawl through the pictures taken and tag yourselves and friends and watch the endless hours of footage below.
UKSS would like to note, to the events we missed, due to being only human and having limited resources of energy, it is unfortunate we were unable to attend your event, however we all know a good time was had by all.
Until next year 2013…..stress less, fete more and keep the culture moving positively.