TROJAN CARNIVAL BOX SET (TJETD132) - To Coincide with the 2003 Carnival, as well as the first UK "On Route Worldwide Carnival Conference" held in June, we at Trojan felt the time was right to acknowledge the festivities in a Jamaican style.

While Calypso is traditionally associated with the celebration, the music of Jamaicans both home and abroad is equally essential for dancing in the street. In fact, while the procession winds it way through Notting Hill and Ladbroke Grove, the roads around the route are a veritable source of sound with sound systems coverings roots, ragga and revive.

The history of Carnival can be traced through various religious cults with Christian elements including Voodoo, Candomblé and Kumina. Carnival originated through Catholicism and was initially intended to acknowledge the abstinence of meat (carne) for forty days and forty nights. Traditionally the festival would begin on Ash Wednesday: (the start of lent) and led to two or three days of celebration, although this was usually a pretty sedate affair. However, following the eventual abolition of slavery, Carnival became an all out bacchanal when thousands of young Afro Caribbean revellers paraded the streets with kalinda sticks that they would thump together in a rhythmic fashion. This was followed by torch lit sticks being beaten in the same way, which led to the practice being banned and the introduction of safer instrumentation.

By the end of the Second World War there were few musical instruments available to celebrate Carnival, which led to an innovative new sound. During the conflict US Naval ships would regularly refuel in the Caribbean and the discarded oil drums ended up in landfill sites. Through African ingenuity, the steel drum was born when it was discovered that notes could be produced from the upturned cans beaten into musical scales. The drum, known as a pan, is now a prominent feature of Carnival.

Although pans are fundamentally associated with Trinidad and Tobago, Selwyn Baptiste demonstrated that reggae is perfectly suited to the instrument and performed 'Mo' Bay' that features on our bashment style disc. Incidentally, Selwyn went on to become a member and eloquent spokesperson of the Notting Hill Carnival Committee.

In the 1950s, due to a shortage of labour in the UK, the Government embarked on a recruiting drive in the West Indies. This inspired many Caribbean islanders to find a supposed better life at the colonial homeland and brought with them their musical traditions. In spite of the early struggle of being accepted by the host nation, a group of mostly Trinidadians threw an impromptu Carnival through the streets of Notting Hill in 1964. In a bid to uphold tradition the expatriates recreated their own unique celebration, donned traditional costumes, picked up their steel pans and took to the streets. Only a few hundred witnessed the first procession, but although it was a modest affair, the first ever Notting Hill Carnival was both a social protest and a cultural celebration., but as other West Indian immigrants and white locals joined the festivities the event has grown to the epic proportions it is now famed for, with crowds estimated at around two million.

Although it has become a multicultural event it still retains a strong Caribbean flavour, with colourful costumes and the pulsing sounds of the West Indies remaining the lifeblood. The most vibrant and colourful part of the celebration is the extravagant costumes popularly known as mas (masquerade). The procession consists of more than fifty groups, each displaying a different theme consisting of dozens of suitably attired adults and children. Each mas band is made up of the king and queen, with two attendants alongside the section mas.

In 1976 the family Carnival was marred by violence resulting from racial tension stirred up by the media's portrayal of black youth being synonymous with pretty crime. How many times have you read reports of street robberies being attributed to black youths although if the assailants were white, no reference to racial identity would be noted. It was this kind of negative attitude and the controversial SUS laws that helped spark the racial tension, which erupted near Portobello Road on the main Carnival route. Following a minor skirmish, all hell broke loose and the police were attacked with stones and other missiles. Just as the British Army were inadequately equipped in Iraq for their "search for weapons of mass destruction", the metropolitan police were forced to arm themselves with dustbin lids, milk crates and wire fencing.

While the behaviour of the poorly trained police officers was laughable, the judiciary were equally as inept. Following several arrests a subsequent trial resulted in seventeen youths being faced with seventy-nine charges. However, only two were convicted of Carnival related offences, which cost the taxpayer a record £250,000. The Pioneers, who from the sound of it had a smashing time, recorded 'Riot Inna Notting Hill' that features here as an appropriate reminder of that regrettable incident.

But let's not let these events overshadow the spirit of Carnival, where everything from hip hop, house. salsa, African drumming and of course Jamaican sounds are well represented. This is in addition to the masquerade bands, floats, steel bands, sound systems, and the two enormous live stages that have featured memorable performances from artists such as Eddy Grant, Aswad and the Main Street Crew.

Notting Hill Carnival truly caters to diverse musical tastes and welcomes people from all over the world. With this in mind we have featured a pop no style disc that includes easily accessible hits to move even the most conservative of reveller. The opening track is a plea for 'Unity' from Freddie Notes & The Rudies, who members later enjoyed a high chart profile as Greyhound, following Freddie's departure. The party fever continues when the spirited Daniel In The Lions Den perform 'Dancing In The Sun', alongside the Cimaron's joyous 'Happy People' that is complimented by the 'Brit pop reggae' sound of Teddy Brown who performs 'Walk The World Away', which is just what the section mas will feel they would have done, after parading the West London streets.

Reggae music has inspired a number of pop stars to emulate the sound and performers, such as Elton John and Paul Simon must have been truly flattered when their songs 'Jamaica Jerk Off' and 'Mother And Child Reunion' were performed by the legendary Pioneers in different guises.

Count Prince Miller performed in the television series 'Desmonds', alongside the late great Norman Beaton and proved a popular MC at various high profile concerts. As Carnival is about family we could not forget the younger revellers and have consequently included the Prince's ever popular 'Mule Train', a song he later revisited with Sly & Robbie.

Reggae covers are suited to a broad-based audience as they will hopefully be vaguely familiar with the tunes that make these songs more accessible such as Mungo Jerry's 'In The Summertime', the Staple Singers' 'I'll Take You There', alongside a version of the Barry (Blue) Green, Lynsey (de Paul) Rubin and Ron Roker seventies composition 'Sugarloaf Hill'. While versions of pop songs proved popular artists such as the Cimarons and Danny Ray looked within to release inspiring versions of the Desmond Dekker/Jimmy Cliff hit, 'You Can Get It If You Really Want' and Delano Stewarts' 'Ain't It A Beautiful Morning', respectively that should be equally appealing to the diverse audience found at Carnival. Our homage to the multinational gathering continues with the frivolous sound of John Holt's 'Reggae From The Ghetto', Dandy's 'Caribbean Rock' and the lovers rock of Maria Pierre singing for the mas 'Walk Away'. To end our look at pop style, Neville Willoughby takes time out from the producer's chair to sing 'I Love Jamaica' and the Pioneers return under the guise of Sidney, George and Jackie perform their original version of 'Feeling High'.

Having looked at the pop style we turn our attention to the groovers, including celebratory tracks from Barrington Spence who performs 'Jah Jah Train' and the combination of B.B. Seaton, Delano Stewart and Maurice Johnson who, as the Gaylads sublimely cover 'Young, Gifted And Black'. The party spirit continues with songs that perfectly describe the festive vibe of Carnival. The Techniques perform 'Drink (More) Wine', Pate Kelly describes the 'Best Time Of My Life' and Cornel Campbell tells us that 'The Music Keeps On Playing'. Meanwhile, the Twinkle Brothers assure us that the 'Best Is Yet To Come' and they should know about Carnival, as sometime lead vocalist Ralston Grant is rumoured to have played the pans before performing alongside his brother Norman.

To rock your dancing feet we have included Bob Marley's 'Lively Up Yourself' and Toots Hibbert's revived 'Pressure Drop' that he delightfully re-recorded in 1972. Maintaining a groovers theme the now New York-based Keeling Beckford covers King Floyd's 'Groove Me', while the Jamaican veteran Derrick Harriott performs 'Groovy Situation', a song that later proved a crossover hit for Freddie McGregor in 1987. In case anyone does not feel the vibe Mikey Williams and Zap Pow remind us that 'This Is Reggae Music', Lloyd Parks repeats Slim Smith's interpretation of 'Everybody Needs Love' and the Bleechers assure us that at this time especially we do 'Everything For Fun'. Our final groovy tracks include Cornel Campbell, Buster Riley, Bobby Davis and Jimmy Riley as the Sensations performing 'Those Guys' and two Jamaican specials, 'My Jamaican Girl' and 'Living In Sweet Jamaica' from the Gaylads and Jackie Brown respectively.

Disc three is considered big people music for those who love the authentic sound of Jamaica. The Starlites, led by Stanley Beckford perform 'Mama Dee', alongside the banned Jamaican chart topper, 'Soldering'. Incidentally, following the group's demise, Stanley, with the Turbines enjoyed notoriety when he recorded the suitably named 'Carnival' and later won the Jamaican Song Festival performing 'Dem Haffe Squirm'. The song festival link continues on this compilation when Derrick Morgan musically mulls over the belief that the first song festival was good but in between none could match the excitement of 'Festival 10', while Turnell McCormack sings in praise of the competition with '(What An) Irie Festival'. Tinga Stewart is another festival victor having won with 'Play De Music' in 1974, a feat he followed the following year when he wrote the winning entry, 'Hooray Festival', for his brother Roman.

Primarily, this compilation concentrates on reggae contributions to Carnival but the anthemic 'Big Bamboo' from the Merrymen leans closer to Calypso while the playground sing a long style of 'Brown Girl In The Ring' brilliantly performed by the Maytones is clearly influenced by the traditional Mento sound of Jamaica.

The man hailed as Jamaica's Solomon Burke, Roy Shirley, performs his classic 'Hold Them' a sure fire hit to keep up a party mood and if you like this check the long overdue retrospective, Best Of - Music Is The Key (TJDDD114).

Our celebration continues with similar hits from the Fabulous Five Inc., the Viceroys (not to be confused with Wesley Tinglin's group), as well as another sure shot from Derrick Harriott and Ernie Smith whose respective recordings of 'Shaving Cream', 'Wheel And Jig', 'Face Dog' and 'Duppy Gunman' are much more fun than those contrived Mediterranean holiday hits.

Our final bashment style includes Joya Landis' classic, 'Moonlight Lover', immediately followed by Dennis Alcapone's DJ version, 'Wake Up Jamaica', which leads to Carey Johnson of 'Real Fashion Reggae Style' fame in combination with Lloyd 'Warning' Young to perform 'Come Down'.

So there you have jump up. jump up it's Carnival time and whatever your preferences just like Carnival there is something here to please anyone who cares to tune in turn on and party.

Stephen Nye




Freddie Notes & The Rudies
Dancing In The Sun
Daniel In The Lions Den
Jamaica Jerk Off
The Pioneers
In The Summertime
The Doctors
I’ll Take You There
The Deltones
I Love Jamaica
Neville Willoughby
Happy People
The Cimarons
Feeling High
Sydney George & Jackie
Reggae From The Ghetto
John Holt
Ain’t It A Beautiful Morning
Danny Ray
Caribbean Rock
Dandy Livingstone
Mother And Child Reunion
The Uniques
Mule Train
Count Prince Miller
Sugarloaf Hill
Del Davis
Walk Away
Marie Pierre
You Can Get It If You Really Want
The Cimarons
Walk The World Away
Teddy Brown

Drink More Wine
The Techniques
Everybody Needs Love
Lloyd Parks
Everything For Fun
The Bleechers
Groove Me
Keeling Beckford
Groovy Situation
Derrick Harriott
Jah Jah Train
Barrington Spence
Lively Up Yourself
Bob Marley & The Wailers
Living In Sweet Jamaica
Jackie Brown
Music Keep On Playing
Cornel Campbell
My Jamaican Girl
The Gaylads
Pressure Drop `72
Toots And The Maytals
This Is Reggae Music
Zap Pow
Those Guys
The Sensations
Young Gifted And Black
The Gaylads
Best Is Yet To Come
The Twinkle Brothers
Best Time Of My Life
Pat Kelly

Riot Inna Notting Hill
The Pioneers
Big Bamboo
The Merrymen
Brown Girl In The Ring
The Maytones
Festival 10
Derrick Morgan
Come Down
Carey (Johnson) & Lloyd (Young)
Face Dog
Derrick Harriott
Duppy Gunman
Ernie Smith
Hold Them
Roy Shirley
Irie Festival
Turnell McCormack & The Cordells
Mama Dee
The Starlites
Mo’ Bay
Selwyn Baptiste
Moonlight Lover
Joya Landis
Wake Up Jamaica
Dennis Alcapone
Play De Music
Tinga Stewart
Wheel And Jig
The Viceroys
The Starlites
Shaving Cream
The Fab 5 Inc

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