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Remembering Nottinghill Carnival

Bank holiday weekend. I can't help picturing all the fun down at Notting Hill Carnival. I used to live in Ladbroke Grove, London W11 when I was in a dub-rock band called Red Beat. I remember one year when the band had started playing in more of a funk style we played at an open air stage at Meanwhile Gardens a couple of weeks before the Carnival. I had contacted the organising comitee to see if we could get a gig at the Carnival but I hadn't heard anything so I assumed that meant "No"! Then 2 days to go I got a message saying they wanted us to play at Meanwhile Gardens just before legendary reggae band, Aswad. I called our bass player, Martin to tell him but he had made plans to attend a concert in Cardiff and he couldn't make it at such short notice. I was gutted! I went to the concert anyway and Aswad were awesome. Their set was recorded and later released as an album called "Live and Direct". They had a 5 piece brass section which sounded amazing! Aswad also played down at Stonehenge Free Festival the same year as us. Their music still resonates in my musical soul. Hope everyone enjoys the party at Notting Hill this year. The grove has gone up market since I lived there, but the vibes of the music of the Street, the ghosts of The Clash, Killing Joke and even The Rolling Stones circa "Performance" still echo in the air down Portobello Road.

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