Random $lices #2


This week, in our new regular series, R$N randomly selects a trio of things you should do at Notting Hill Carnival in order that you may be able to walk tall and get down, or something…

If you’re either super eager and get to to Carnival at 6am on Sunday morning, or if you’ve been out til sunrise and find yourself doing the walk of shame through Notting Hill, you’ll be in for a sharp suprise. J’ouvert (pronounced Joo Vay) is how carnival traditionally opens – kicking off at 6am, it’s a ritual where everyone goes bananas, channels the demonic spirit and, basically, have a massive mud fight. Everyone is fair game, as I found out a few years ago when staggering around bleary eyed on Ladbroke Grove after a Carnival warm up party, only to be suddenly attacked by a drunken, rabid gang – replete with devil forks, half drunken bottles of Appleton and each armed with a bucket of mud. Within thirty seconds I was covered head to toe in mud and then handed a bottle of rum and my own bucket of mud and encouraged to get involved, joining the throng and ‘mudding’ unsuspecting passers by. I’ve now incorporated it into my normal daily ritual, running out first thing in the am and smearing mud all over the faces of early morning commuters on a Tuesday in November. It’s the best way to kick things off, after that, all inhibition has evaporated and you’re in carnival mode, proper. 
Channel One Soundsystem
In amongst all of the soundsystems, Channel One stand out for both consistency of sound and fanaticism of their followers. Being in the middle of the Channel One crowd is like being in some dub religous cult, dreadlocked vegan yoghurt weavers, 1000 year old rastas, lost tourists experiencing bass epiphanies all jammed up against each other, girating to the chest quivering frequencies. Apparently, my learned dub head friend tells me, it’s gone all ‘digi dub’ recently, and the sound is thinner as a result. I was there last year, as usual, and if that sound was thin, then so was Leigh Bowery.  
Ninja Tune After Party at Paradise
Notting Hill is pretty dry when it comes to party venues, there is the fantastic Loft Studios down the road of course, who are hosting the Krankbrother after party on Sunday with Anja Schneider but, other than that, Tory licensing laws do their utmost to put a kybosh on having fun into the night. There are loads of parties all over London that capitalise on it being Carnival and theme/brand their parties accordingly, but it’s not really the same – going to a Carnival after party in Dalston, is it? Luckily, The Paradise Bar up the road in Kensal Rise usually put on good after parties, and this year is no different.  Local boy done good Ross Allen joins the likes of Zed Bias, The Two Bears, Adrian Sherwood and, one of our favourite garage producers, Sticky to continue the bass assault into the night and the early morning. Get there before 9, though, or don’t expect to get in at all.