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Bacchanalia: More Than Just A Carnival Mas Band

Fall From Grace, 2012 Review….Excellent, Excellent, Excellent

‘Twas on a balmy, mosquito ridden night that we found ourselves on the outskirts of East London, on the pursuit of an adventure….. Passing remnants of what seemed like an old industrial town, we stumbled upon an encased steely enclosure that inhabited The Base, an inclusive contemporary business centre in Dartford. Within the steely gaze of the surrounding buildings and the luminous lighting that lit our path, we were drawn to the welcoming pulsating sounds that emanated out of a mas camp in action, the welcome was made even better when upon entry we were greeted by The, one of a kind ‘Rum truck’.

There is an air of mystery that loiters in the air. Barely audible and head deep in concentration, you forget that you are in a mas camp surrounded by members, hard at work busy completing costumes in the run up to Notting Hill Carnival. Lining the walls are complete works of art, mas costumes different in design and infused with deep, opulent colours, feathers ubiquitous in appearance and jewels intricately placed in the right places, glowing and shiny in beauty. One cannot help but notice the specially made Trinidadian inspired, wild Indian costume that dominated London Heathrow Airport back in July and welcomed Olympic guests from afar. This is Bacchanalia Mas Band.

Initially incepted as a fun mas band back in 2005, Bacchanalia is the brain child of Andrew and Kelly Rajpaulsingh, devout carnival supporters and passionate participants with a sole aim to educate and showcase their rich, ridden culture to those willing to learn and engage. With a Trinidadian background they have self funded, built and created an exclusive mas band with a small number of members, however open to everyone, bringing family and friends together and revolutionising the whole carnival experience. In 2010, a re-launch saw them evolve into a full costume band which over the course of time has elevated itself to exclusive status due to the full services offered and  has graced the corporate environment.

Whilst the mas band has been on the scene for the last 3 years, Andrew and Kelly have an extensive wealth of knowledge spanning close to two decades. Both academically and business inclined, it is Kelly, the lead designer with an extensive fashion background who brings the ideas to life, fusing her culture, untold experience in the carnival world and her visible passion. Not confined to London, they are both active participants in Trinidad & Tobago carnival and are respected amongst their peers and the scene for the contribution that they have made and their continuous pursuit in improving the image of carnival and keeping their culture alive.

2012 proves to be of no exception for Bacchanalia. With a spectacular launch earlier on in the year, in less than 4 days, the streets of Notting Hill Carnival will be emblazoned with the band’s offerings with a few surprise delicacies on offer. Bacchanalia were kind enough to take time out of their busy schedule and have a chat with us.

Check out our interview held at the Bacchanalia Mas Camp
with Band Leader/Lead Designer/Creator, Kelly Rajpaulsingh.

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