Tomorrow will mark the 45th birthday of the Notting Hill Carnival, wow, forty five years! Back in the day, around this time of year, I’d be making some serious preparations ahead of the carnival celebrations. My girls and I would be deciding what outfits to wear, what sound systems to check out, and you know yours truly would be practicing the latest dance moves to execute them at Europe's biggest street party. But that was then. Today my Bank Holiday shenanigans are more likely to consist of a visit to Ikea, or a vigorous house clean from top to bottom followed by a couple of hours spent with relatives. Yup, I know - BORING! You see, unfortunately once you get to a certain age the fun element of carnival is superseded by fear. I know in my case, year after year I’d read the horror stories and worry that I might be caught in the crossfire of a gang war, get robbed, crushed in a stampede or some other life threatening incident. The last time I remember attending around 6 years ago, true to word, I did get caught up in a crush and promised myself that if I ever got out alive, I wouldn’t go back. So far I’ve kept my promise. Not to say I don’t miss it though. I do. Desperately. I was contemplating taking my son to the kiddie carnival on Sunday, but I don’t know if either me or him are ready for that (he’s only 4). Maybe next year. Just maybe.
But anyhoo, in proxy of me actually going down to West London to ‘hol’ up mi foot and jump’ I thought I’d compile a little list of top carnival tunes as voted by my Twitter and Facebook fam, followed by a little homage. So here goes:
TOP CARNIVAL TUNES
Let the Beat Hit 'Em - Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, as voted by ME!
Flex - Mad Cobra, as voted by my Richie
Dollar Whine - Soca Boys, as voted by Diane, Christy and Marie
Feeling Hot Hot Hot - Arrow, as voted by Janice
Tease Me - Chaka Demus & Pliers, as voted by Mikey
Hol Up You Foot and Jump - Zulu Lightning, as voted by Shach & Laura
Gimme D Ting - Lord Kitchener, as voted by Senga
Fools Paradise - Melissa Morgan, as voted by Venice Webb
You Know You’re at Notting Hill Carnival When…
- You pay £10 for a piece of jerk chicken, rice and peas and a can of coke and don’t even screw about it.
- Walk for at least 20 miles and spend the entire day dipping it low like a teenager, not feeling the effects until two days later when you can‘t get out of bed.
- Whine with at least one aesthetically challenged/ dirty old man who you ordinarily wouldn’t give the time of day to. Hey, it’s carnival after all.
- Spend most of the day arguing with your friends (or most likely a friend of a friend) about which sounds to visit: “What do you mean she wants to listen to acid jazz? Listen, this ain’t in Camden. Laters to that”
- Devote too much time and energy to finding the Westwood stage, only to get there and find yourself squash up in a Slam dance situation (Onyx stylee) with dudes who looked like they’ve just stepped out of Pentonville.
For further information on the Carnival visit www.nottinghillcarnival.com