I did my usual and tried to see every system then scarper before the tourists arrived.
Met the Swift family at 08:30 at Westbourne Park tube station and we set out to see some sound systems well ahead of the anticipated two million visitors.
Sir Lloyd ~ First stop Tavistock Road/Leamington Road Villas, where Sir Lloyd had a very pretty Void system.
The bass boxes are ratchet strapped onto wave guides which act like megaphones. A nice design by Rog Mugale involving a lot of carpentry. I have often thought of making something similar but this is the first time I have actually seen it done.
Channel One ~ The Channel One sound system was supposed to be sited further down Leamington Road Villas but at 09:00am on Sunday morning, they were nowhere to be seen.
Pity, I had particularly wanted to see this famous old system. Arguably the best looking reggae sound system in London.
Killer Watt ~ I still think of the corner of St Luke’s Road as ‘my pitch’. Twenty years ago, Freddie Morrison and I put in the King Sound System on this street corner, running off a little Honda generator. Freddie DJ’ing from a burger van. My enduring memories being of playing ‘Dollar Wine’ and ‘Who Let The Dogs Out’ to thousands of happy dancers in the sunshine. Not a drop of rain that year.
Killer Watt Sound System has now taken over this location and they DJ from a much more professional stage than we ever had. When we visited, they had the stacks built up but were still doing their knitting.
Different Strokes ~ These boys had unloaded half a dozen boxes from their truck but had stopped for a smoke and no doubt to plan the day ahead.
Metro Glory ~ Undoubtedly the most well-organised crew at Carnival this year.
At the junction of Westbourne Park Road/Ledbury Road, Metro Glory were all set up, quietly having a cup of tea in their backstage marquee. Nice stage, hats off for professionalism.
Disya Jeneration ~ Powerful looking, green, NCA stacks installed by Disya Jeneration in Powis Mews.
They have placed five substantial NCA stacks around a huge dance area. The picture above is of the smallest stack, facing the DJs across the street.
People’s Sound ~ The People’s Sound system had yet to arrive. These boys may be running a bit late as they ‘come up from the country’ (nod knowingly, not exactly sure what that means).
Plenty of people milling about outside the record shop though. Putting up artwork and canvas.
Rapattack ~ Always my favourite system to look at and ponder, the Rapattack sound system was fully installed and ready to go.
Vintage boxes still in perfect working order include Martin 115 (copies), lookie-likey Philishaves, JBL slant plate lenses (see the little Celestion lenses tucked underneath), Martin HF horns and bullets. I reckon he’s running this 5-way.
King Tubby’s Sound System
Cecil Rennie’s historic system was all tarpaulined over in blue plastic sheeting when we visited. Here’s an image if what we missed, taken at last year’s Carnival.
Rampage ~ The Rampage stage spanned the entire width of Colville Square with two elevated platforms (DJ, MC) and a bridge between them. A huge set-up with a modern Hughes & Kettner concert PA system at ground level.
This cleverly employed the use of two rearward facing sub cabinets in each stack. Presumably to introduce an antiphase and so protect the ears of technicians behind the speakers. I saw this done with an Electrovoice system at Bugjam this year and it worked well.
We crossed under the Westway and it started to rain on and off. The battery went almost flat on my camera and although we saw some more systems, I wasn’t so well organised identifying each of them.
High Grade ~ At the junction of Oxford Gardens with St Lawrence Terrace, High Grade had three stacks. They were preparing to sheet over the speakers against the rain.
Volcano ~ Definitely a contender for this year’s heaviest sound, the Volcano Sound
System utilised eighteen 21″ bass boxes in three stacks, surrounding their grassy pitch on Portobello Road.
Gladdy Wax ~ Also on Portobello Road, The Gladdy Wax Sound System was set up neat and tidy, utilising a multitude of speaker boxes.
Pineapple Tribe ~ First time I’ve seen this substantial system (photos to follow). It was set up in Southern Row, about 50 metres from where Sir Norman used to have the Good Times bus.
A few random images I took along the way
… and a few more, that Lloyd kindly sent me, my camera battery being on its last legs
I had better say a few words for the mobile systems in the parade. These were generally loud. It was full-on raining by the time we walked the parade route. I felt so sorry for the hundreds of kids who had gone to so much trouble with their costumes and make-up. The weather forecast is much better for Monday.