It’s august at europe’s largest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival. Bachanal Mas*, the love child of Artistic Director Paul O’Donoghue and Band Leader Richard Gallimore are now taking to the streets. It is the day before their troupe’s entry to into festival history but their nerves aren’t showing. Following their huge sound system through the north London streets the Bachanal Mas’s revellers have only one thing on their minds. They have come to ‘palance’ and have extreme fun as their MC’s calypso / soca beats shake the tarmac of north London in their wake.
Gold paint-soaked bodies ripple and writhe as the Mas’s collective bump and grind through their way through the streets fuelled by their rum sponsor Cockspur. With each mile of their “Liquid Gold” parade the masqueraders’s infectious dancing coats the autumn streets around them with a vibrant, golden yellow. This is carnival Sunday aka “Fun Day Sunday”. Tomorrow will be their big costume parade – a pageant an entire year in the planning and sewing – but today isn’t about that.
Today it’s all about wearing gold paint and dancing J’ouvert style. And no one is safe from their rhythm-driven dancing as stewards, policemen and organisers are pulled into their bump n’ grind road show. As rum-fuelled cocktails are passed down from the sides of their float, the dancers clothes disappear along with their inhibitions as the music pounds harder and harder, drawing smiles and waving hands from the crowds on the pavement.
As warm-ups goes it doesn’t get any hotter than this. Bachanal Mas own the streets of the Notting Hill tonight.
Status: Currently on exhibition at Tamp Coffee, London (Sept-Dec 2014)
Awards: ‘Coup de Cœur’ Nomination for the 2014 ANI – Pix Palace Photography Prize
Prints: Limited Editions available for order in metal (whilst stocks last)
Image Licensing: Mark Esper. All Rights Reserved.
* Now known as ‘United Colours Of Mas‘ under the award-winning partnership of Artistic Director Paul O’Donoghue and Band Leader Richard Gallimore.Share this: