Pon De Floor // Carnival 2012.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

In South West London born and raised the Notting Hill Carnival is where I spent most of my days, well two days of the year anyway. As much a permanent fixture on my calendar as Christmas or National Hug A Ginger Day (natch), Carnival is a time where for 48 hours my ends play host to Europe's largest street party and becomes littered with millions of scantily clad, fun-loving folk eager to get their Caribbean-infused groove, grub and good times on. And so, as per, a week ago today armed with neon nails, my besties and both Wray & his Nephew I set off to join them.

Marching the familiar route from Notting Hill into Grove we azonto'd alongside the festival of colour that is the parade before negotiating the crowd and stumbling upon our first sound system in the form of Volcano Sounds on All Saints Road. Firing up the Carni crowds with the biggest of hip hop and bashment beats it's these smaller makeshift spots that I prefer over the larger sponsored stages. There's something very raw and very real about a gang of complete strangers united in skank around speaker system fashioned from wooden crates isn't there? Other than getting my SWAG on to Ni**as In Paris with a rowdy bunch of boys from Streatham this was also the place we met Solomon, a 67 year old local who had so many moves up his sleeve he'd give Elephant Man a run, literally. 

THIS is what Carnival is all about. Londoner's ditching their standard stoosh vibes, letting their inner child out and their fellow man (and woman) in. This awesome event tends to be overshadowed by media scaremongering and a few disorderly dickheads but yet again the only jerks I encountered were chickens. Plump chickens with juicy breasts accompanied by rice, pea and dumpling. Peng. Faces filled we moved up the road to CMC for a bit of drum'n'bass before searching out Sancho PanzaGood Times and as such practically every person I know. I'd like to fill you in on what happened next but Wray & his Nephew led my memory and I slightly astray. I do recall sitting on my sofa sans undergarments eating pizza circa 2am though. Lord-a-mercy.

I'm still unsure as to how I summoned the strength to drag my booze-addled body back to W11 on Monday but I reckon securing myself a ticket to the Major Lazer X Red Bull Music Academy shindig may have had something to do with it. Located under the Westway just off Portobello Road the Major Lazer Soundsystem's now-legendary free private party has become a highlight of the Notting Hill Carnival with tickets selling out in seconds. In this, it's fifth year, RBMA came at us with a go hard or go home approach plying us with free BBQ'd scran, unlimited voddie and Red Bull (OBVS) and the musical stylings of none other than Lunice, special guest Skrillex, David Rodigan, Sean-a-Paul and Major Lazer to name but a few. With more pull-ups than a Huggies warehouse this procession of musical masterminds kept spirits high, bodies low and gave the horns and whistles crew plenty to pant about. I don't know about all the other attendees but the cramps in my lower half the next day would suggest that I might have been wine'in a little too dutty. Blates worth it.

As always this bang tidy celebration of Caribbean culture was over far too soon. Roll on August 2013 and one of the very best Bank Holiday blowout's LDN has to offer. I for one will be developing my 'down di flank' in anticipation. Dun know.


When it comes to Carnival clobber festival rules apply. Have fun with fashion, dare to bare and embrace experimentation. This year I decided to channel my inner RiRi with my trusty high-waisted denim batty riders, expose le midriff in a jersey crop and get funky wid it in this beauts floral bomber I poached from the Zara sale for a mere £22! 

With major brucking out inevitable it was only right that my tootsies be treated to the comfort of Converse All Star Hi's for the day. Not only do they look the part they also protect my feet from any broken glass or soca stomping. Open toes are strictly a no go. I accessorised with a cheeky little curb chain I found in H&M for a fiver, a black vintage belt and a serious gangsta lean. Word.

Did you venture over to Notting Hill Carnival this year? If so where did you go and most importantly what did you wear?!...

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