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Notting Hill Carnival: Europe’s biggest street party

 

Who doesn’t love a good boogie? No matter what your preference of genre is, the energetic vibe of Notting Hill Carnival means that whoever you are, your feet will start tapping, your hands clapping and your head nodding. You’ve got to be good with big crowds though! It all started in 1959 when the BBC televised a Caribbean carnival, hosted at St. Pancras Town Hall in Euston – it even featured the Mighty Terror singing the calypso “Carnival at St Pancras”. Here are our highlights from this year’s Carnival…

 

The parade

It would be daft to come to Notting Hill Carnival and miss the parade. It may not be quite as revealing as the Rio Carnival on the other side of the pond but what it lacks in fleshly delights it makes up for in good times. The parade began at 10am on both Sunday and Monday and is always a highlight for the thousands who visit the carnival each year.

 

The Roti Stop aka ‘The Roti King’

Run by Bernard Jackson, this food stall has been a staple of the Carnival for over 20 years. His Trinidadian Roti is a bestseller as it’s made on the spot, is super fresh and his chicken is boneless so more ‘tucking in’ and less fiddling.

 

Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues

Gaz Mayall is a DJ whose session has been a part of the Carnival since 1981. He gathers a live band for a mix of Ska, Rock, Pop and Punk classics – always a show worth catching. The man himself is strictly old-school: ‘We’re strictly vinyl. No CDs, I don’t even bother with headphones. Vinyl lets you see and feel the grooves where the record starts. The golden age of sound system music was all pressed up on vinyl, so we’re not exactly short of great music,” he said.

 

The Mangrove Steel Band

Who can go to Carnival and not hear a steel band play? It would be like going to Jamaica and not trying plantain. A steel drum is an uplifting sound in itself but a whole band is incredible. 

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