A+ A A-

Local Heroes

 By Piers Thompson
The dread and the cops - late 70s 
 
These mean streets of Napoli have thrown up their fair share of Local Heroes. You’ve got Aswad and Pink Floyd, Nic Roeg and Noel Clarke, Neneh Cherry and The Raincoats. And then there’s the Holy Trinity, those three agents provocateurs, Mick, Paul and Joe, towering above Ladbroke Grove like the Colossus of Trellick, calling out for a riot of their own.
 

Images of The Clash are seared into every street in the neighbourhood, whether it is Mick brooding down at the lights on the Westway, or Paul striding through the market in his paint-spattered leathers, or Joe and his 101’ers gigging at The Elgin. But the seminal image comes from Ladbroke Grove during Carnival in 76. Paul and Joe, caught between the lines of Police and Thieves, cry out for a riot of their own.
 
And it is Carnival that provides the high point for two of my particular heroes, Michael de Freitas and Gaz Mayall.
 
Michael is the ultimate flawed hero, . A chancer from Trinidad, via Tiger Bay, his arrival in Notting Hill sparks off the 60s. Simultaneously 

buffeted by the events he is instrumental in shaping, he veers from Rachman henchman to scourge of slum landlords; from soft spoken gangster, Michael de Freitas, to  Michael X, Britain’s black power leader; from the charismatic catalyst of the counter-culture to paranoid and murderous leader of a cult.
 
 
But it was Michael de Freitas who started the Notting Hill Carnival, when he and Rhaune Laslett (a middle-aged, wheelchair-bound Polish émigré) held a party for the local kids of the London Free School in 1966. 
As jazzmen Russ Henderson and Sterling Betancourt led the pied piper 

parade around Powis Square, London’s Carnival was born. But more of him later.
 
But today, Carnival revolves around Gaz Mayall and his Rockin Blues Sound System outside The Globe. It’s where the spirit of Michaels’s Carnival still resides…and Napoli adores him for it. 
 
 

In 1986, he formed the Trojans, his Celtic ska ensemble, who return to their W11 roots on Saturday (see below) at The Tabernacle. In 1989, Gaz rocked his first Carnival, where he continues to build outrageous sets and purvey sounds as diverse as Prince Buster and Paloma Faith.Gaz changed London’s night-life. He created the Club Scene as we now know it. Gaz was the first person to take over a night-club one night a week and do his own crazy-assed thing. Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues opened at Gossips in 1980 and has been going ever since, though it moved in 94 to St Moritz.
 
 On SBS_TV - Trojans Live at The Tabernacle (press full screen and then play)
 
 
The Trojans will be playing at the Tabernacle this coming Saturday - 17/10/09 - see related listing plus tickets here. 
 
 
{module Facebook FanBox for articles} 
 
 

More News

Prev Next

Hits:4628

Portobello Radio Ep 42, with Chris Sullivan & Piers Thompson: The End Is Nigh Special.

Portobello

 Piping hot from the USB, the latest episode in ...

Read more

Hits:4016

Two meetings, one voice

Two meeting…

You had to be there. North and south of the boro...

Read more

Hits:26097

New Site

New Site

We're back ;)   Read more: New Site...

Read more

Hits:4220

Corbyn Won Kensington Nomination

Corbyn Won …

On July 21st Jeremy Corbyn overwhelmingly won th...

Read more

Hits:5174

Hats-off to Micky P: Portobello Live 3rd/4th May

Hats-off to…

Reflecting on the Portobello Live Festival - by ...

Read more

Hits:5731

Portobello community stands up against plans to turn iconic area into bland shopping centre

Portobello

Hundreds of protestors, including children and p...

Read more

More News 2

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Prev Next

Hits:7736

Greferendum: an anthology

Greferendum…

Thinking of Greece. ...

Read more

Hits:4730

Pink Cigar video release

Pink Cigar …

 Local down’n’dirty rock’n’roll outfit Pink Ciga...

Read more

Hits:7563

Gaz’s Rockin Blues 35th Anniversary Spectacular

Gaz’s Rocki…

Gaz’s Rockin Blues 35th Anniversary Spectacular ...

Read more

Hits:5184

Interactive Video Art at The Dissenters Gallery Catacombs

Interactive…

On Saturday 4 July, 11-5pm, a chance to see the ...

Read more

Hits:4350

"Exposed" a Solo Show by Louis-Nicholas Darbon

"Expos…

 Coming up Thursday- June 4th -  at the Graffik ...

Read more

Hits:4552

Mock The Opera Protest @ Holland Park

Mock The Op…

A protest is taking place tomorrow at the Hollan...

Read more

Hits:6562

Where next for Labour?

Where next …

 Labour’s defeat in the UK general election on M...

Read more

Hits:4414

Artists For Nepal – local benefit gig for Nepal

Artists For…

 Thursday May 21st at the Elgin with music, film...

Read more

Hits:4920

RED ALERT by Maximilian Wiedemann

RED ALERT b…

West Bank last exhibition at the current buildin...

Read more

Local Events Calendar

<<  September 2018  >>
 Mo  Tu  We  Th  Fr  Sa  Su 
     

Upcoming Events

Social GK5

writers pic2

We're looking for writers! Join in! (scroll down the article)

Rants

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7

I don't do …

I don't do rants. But,

...it's a rant! ...

Read more

Last Night …

Last Night I Dreamt...

"I could see the body of Kim Kardashian..." ...

Read more

Portobello …

Portobello drinkers 'harassed' by children

  From our sports correspondent Dave 'the ...

Read more

Everyone’s …

Everyone’s a F*****g DJ

by Kensal Scream  At long last! Another salvo f...

Read more

Lap dogs …

Lap dogs & devil dogs - the final solution

By Kensal Scream Time for another rant by the K...

Read more

Trains and …

Trains and  lycra pants

 By Kensal Scream That Really Grinds my Gears i...

Read more

An e-mail f…

An e-mail from Billy Connolly?

We can not be sure that  it’s his but it co...

Read more

Your Experience

Real time web analytics, Heat map tracking

Login or Sign Up