Notting Hill Carnival 2012 comedown…
Just over a week on from the greatest street party in the western hemisphere, I still seem to be suffering from ‘post carnival comedown’ for some strange reason. But it’s ALL good though. I am finding it rather difficult to express and put into the right words just what we and well over 15,000 of you over the 2-day bank holiday weekend experienced. It was a totally surreal weekend to say the least. We had a feeling that by taking a well earned year out from the Notting Hill Carnival in 2011, our return this year (and it wasn’t always a given) might be something more than a bit special. But this year, as anyone who was there will attest, was absolutely P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L!
As you can imagine, in view of our much anticipated return to carnival this year, the weight of expectation on our shoulders was immense. But I have to say Good Times Sound System more than stepped up to the plate and met that challenge head on. And thankfully we won! And I have to say unequivocally that the success of this year’s event is due in no small part to the tireless efforts and boundless enthusiasm of the incredible team working behind the scenes for us, not to mention our incredible crowd of course. Since we were last at carnival two years ago, there have been one or two personnel changes within the backroom team who have contributed to our continued success on Southern Row for many years. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank and fully acknowledge the critical and creative input of the lovely Linda Grogan and partner Pete Sansom @ LG Resource, who were, for many very happy and inspirational years, our ‘bedrock’ as head of our production team. We owe you guys a sincere debt of gratitude for all your, help, creativity, ingenuity, humour and above all, your ceaseless dedication to furthering the cause of Good Times @ Notting Hill Carnvial. Indeed helping us to become THE carnival institution we are today. So all the best to you in your future endeavours. We’ll miss you guys. Thank you again.
I’d also like to personally thank the following partners and people, our new 2012 supporting sponsors Havana Club who were absolutely brilliant in EVERY sense of the word over that weekend, big thanks to Mark Makin at Pernod Ricard, Kiran Gill at Tea and Cake Pr and David Graham & Red Stripe for the continued support of Good Times Sound System at Carnival. My long suffering and lovable sisters, Patsy and CJ who were in charge of this year’s site production and merchandising, Dan de Sausmarez @ Dynamite XP – our tireless on-site project manager (and bloody Gooner to boot!) lol, Andy Hackett and Leon Davis (Dynamite XP Logistics) for their invaluable help, not forgetting the entire GT production staff and volunteers, DJ Rudy Ranks who totally ‘smashed it’ as usual as did the amazing DJ Marky &
MC LowQui, DJ Russ Jay and DJ Melvo of the Loud Minority Collective, Vanessa & the Soul Kitchen crew for all our tasty food and of course, Ricky Belgrave and Lewis Benn from B.A.S.S. (British Association of Sound Systems) our official representative body, for all their patience and at times, extremely difficult work on our behalf this year. Respect!
Tara @ RBKC for sorting out all our licenses and endless paperwork, The St John’s Ambulance, our new and ever so friendly SFM Security, Richard Cuffley and Curtis Gilmore @ Sound Services (guvnors of the EQ), Funktion One Sound (they sounded immense), BBC 1Xtra for sharing the GT carnival experience with the nation, Steve @ Aris Design for all our brilliant bus and bar graphics, Ben & Russ for their cold beers, amazing cocktails and all the brilliant bar staff, our on-site spark, Saul from Star Power Generators, the Met Police, Licensee Stephen Powell @ The Globe, Hackney, The London Bus Company for our beautiful1956 vintage red double decker and of course Jane Jay for our magnificent bus and on-site bunting decoration. There are probably one or two more deserving people out there I might have forgotten to thank and if that turns out to be the case, then please accept my humblest apologies.
Whilst on the ‘thank you’ theme, on behalf of Good Times, we wish to thank every one of you brilliant fans for turning up in your thousands (over 15,000 of you over the two days) in the glorious bank holiday sunshine. The Sunday turnout in particular was absolutely massive, Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Officially exceeding previous crowd attendance records for an opening day at Good Times by a country mile. Thanks again for being part of such a historic carnival occasion and for helping to make our return to Notting Hil Carnival 2012 the most amazing sound system come back EVER!! Mind blowing stuff!
Monday afternoon’s shenannigans turned out to be just as firing but thankfully a little less crowded than the previous day’s shakedown. The vibe again was incredible. Tune after tune was greeted with a deafening sound barrage of cheers, piercing whistles and deafening horns all day long from amongst the thousands of happy smiling rave monkeys gathered in front of us on Southern Row. A sight I shall never forget. It was also heartening to see so many of our original Good Times ‘faces’ in the crowd too, many of whom have been with us from the beginning. So it was even more gratifying to see some of them with young children in tow as well. Appealing to the next party generation. I loved that. There was also a noticeable increase in the amount of carnival ‘newbies’ to Good Times over the weekend as well which was also brilliant to see. If you were one of them, then welcome aboard! We hope we’ve manage to convert you to the Good Times way of partying in the future.
Your support and patronage of our pay toilets, bars, food and merchandising stalls in particular over weekend was also very much appreciated as all funds raised go directly into the funding of Good Times @ Notting Hill Carnival 2012 as I’d previously alluded to. The sales of our ‘must have’ Good Times merchandise is fast becoming an increasingly important revenue stream which now enables us to plan for future Good Times events. So thanks again to everyone who bought (and sported) either a Norman Jay ‘Target’ or ‘Union Jack’ t-shirt or any of our branded merchandise from us over the weekend. The limited edition tees looked absolutely stunning and proved so popular at carnival, the first batch sold out completely.
Since carnival we have been inundated with requests for these limited edition t-shirts, so if you still want one you’ll be relieved to know we have just re-ordered them. A handfull are currently available online from our eBay shop right now. Just search ‘NormanJay t-shirt’ (can’t remember the exact link) and you should be able to find them. Available in various sizes inc M/L/XL & XXL (mens) and M/L for women, plus a limited range of children’s sizes from 3-11 years old (all while stocks last). Don’t forget if you have an iPhone you can download my Norman Jay Free App for all the latest GT news, blog updates, live gig dates, online shop, exclusive mixes and vintage Giant 45 plus Original Musiquarium BBC London radio shows available only from iTunes . Unfortunately at this point in time there is no Android app just yet but we’re working on it.
Finally, I am at great pains to point out that Good Times Sound System have always previously operated on a non-profit basis at the Notting Hill Carnival. That is why your continued support is so important to us. So once again we thank you and look forward to you guys joining me at Good Times style knees up near you!
Speak again soon eh? Nice one!