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Within The Sounds of Notting Hill Carnival - Stories, Histories & Resistance

London, 28.08.20

Interviews, archival footage, music and spoken word - looking at the social and political roots of London's annual Notting Hill Carnival. 2020 marks the first year that Notting Hill Carnival has not taken place since its inception in 1966.

Exploring the many stories & voices in the history of Notting Hill Carnival - of which there are too many for one hour - this show focuses on thoughts around Claudia Jones, Rhaune Laslett, Leslie Palmer - their work in Carnival and it’s resonances.

Featuring interviews & contributions from:

Lloyd Bradley - writer and historian of Black British music - author of Bass Culture: When Reggae Was King & Sounds Like London: 100 Years of Black Music in The Capital

Carole Boyce Davies - Caribbean intellectual & activist, author of Left of Karl Marx & Beyond Containment - two studies of the life & work of Claudia Jones

Debi Gardner - Executive Officer of the British Association of Steelbands (BAS), a practising panist & member of Mangrove Steel Band (London) and Phase II Pan Groove (Trinidad) and organiser & board member of Notting Hill Carnival

Julian Henriques - Goldsmiths, University of London - author of Sonic Bodies: Reggae Sound Systems, Performance Techniques, and Ways of Knowing

Colin Prescod - Writer, film-maker, activist and organiser - Chair of the Institute of Race Relations & resident of Kensington for over 60 years

Rhea Storr - Artist filmmaker who explores the representation of Black and mixed-race cultures. Masquerade as a site of protest or subversion is an ongoing theme in her work. So too, is the effect of place or space on cultural representation.

We have put together a reading/watching/listening list for anyone wishing to study & find out more.

Produced by Estelle Birch & Josh Farmer


  • Sterling Betancourt ‘Wizard Of The Ping Pong’ With Russell Henderson’s Calypso Band
    Blue Basin Samba
  • Shell Invaders
  • Lord Kitchener 
    London Is The Place For Me
  • Mighty Terror 
    Life In Britain
  • Lord Kitchener 
    If You're Not White You're Black
  • Lili Verona 
    Underground Train
  • Sterling Betancourt ‘Wizard Of The Ping Pong’ With Russell Henderson’s Calypso Band
    Ping Pong Samba
  • Steel Pan Drum
    Evolution Of Sound
  • Trinidad Steel Band 
  • The Original Trinidad Steel Band 
    Yellow Bird
  • Mangrove Steel Band
    Savannah Grass (All Saints Road In Notting Hill, London) August 2019
  • Junior Byles
    Fade Away (Played By Gladdy Wax Road Show - Notting Hill Carnival - 2010)
  • Sylvia Tella
    Brothers Unite (Played By Channel One Soundsystem - Notting Hill Carnival - 2003)
  • Aswad & Sons Of Jah
    Interview Excerpt From ‘Grove Music’ 1979
  • Junior Telfer
    Interview Excerpt From ‘Carnival Of Tears - Today Special’ 1976
  • Junior Murvin 
    Police And Thieves
  • Tippa Irie & The Colonel
    Saxon Studio International ‘Coughing Up Fire’ B2
  • Smiley Culture
    Police Officer (Live At Saxon Studio - Notting Hill Carnival - 2004)
  • Mangrove Steel Band
    Savannah Grass (Arranged By Andre White) Live At The BAS/NHC 42nd Panorama Competition