Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 11th 2013 Contents A40
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, May 11, 2013
"A complete culture shock!"
marketing executive Kelly Raj-
paulsingh experienced when she
migrated to England in 1995 and
started playing mas in the popular
Notting Hill Carnival parade.
Expecting to have a whale of a
time, as she had done as a mas-
querader for years in T&T Carnival,
the three-day event held every
August, was nothing short of
unfulfilling, Rajpaulsingh told the
T&T Guardian in a telephone
"I was completely shocked, the
experience was completely differ-
ent from that of T&T's Carnival.
First of all, the bands are so much
smaller than what I was accus-
tomed to at home. There are at
least 25 to 30 people---a vast dif-
ference from the 200 and over
masqueraders that make up a car-
nival band in Trinidad," said Raj-
She added, the costumes weren't
as vibrant in colour or creative
looking as those seen on the streets
of Port-of Spain for carnival either.
"It was just not what I expected
at all. It is really poorly managed...
poorly marketed. If you are not in
it you will not even know it's hap-
"In a lot of cases, they did not
know how to make costumes, how
to do a production line or even
source materials for costume mak-
ing---the latter is still a problem
today. The only thing that was on
point was the music," said Raj-
paulsingh who got her formal
training in costume design at Cen-
tral St Martins College of Art and
Design in London.
It was this experience that led
the 37-year-old former South res-
ident to start her own carnival
On the advice of her husband
Andrew, a sound system producer
who previously provided music for
bands at Notting Hill Carnival,
Rajpaulsingh staged her first
unthemed presentation in 2005.
The band started out as fun, just
to bring family and friends togeth-
er. In 2010, the husband and wife
team relaunched the band as a
full-service costume band, dedi-
cated to bringing its masqueraders
a Carnival experience unlike any
other in London.
"We aim to deliver the most
exciting and well-executed carnival
package to all our masqueraders.
We are looking to revolutionise the
way carnival is viewed in the UK
by introducing innovative new
concepts to our masqueraders and
open our doors to everyone and
anyone wishing to learn and be
part of the experience," said Raj-
The band still remains a
small/medium sized carnival group.
For Carnival 2013, Bacchanalia
collaborated with local band Gen-
esis, and presented a section called
Sorcerer. The costumes were even
featured in T&T born rap artiste
Trinidad James' video Females
Rajpaulsingh said they've been
asked to become more involved in
the production of the Notting Hill
Carnival parade, but they're unable
to because of their other commit-
"What we really want to do is
come back home at some point
and share in a much larger way,
what we have been doing in the
UK," said Rajpaulsingh.
For more info on Bacchanalia
visit their site www.baccmas.com
or Facebook page Bacchanalia. For
updates from the band you can
follow them on Twitter @Baccha-
Carnival is Bacchanalia
T&T culture will be on show in
London this weekend at one of the
city's most popular events, The
World On Regent Street.
This global themed festival will
showcase music, arts, food and
fashion from all over the world.
Regent Street is known for its
range of shops, including many
upmarket brands like Ferrari,
Benetton, Tommy Hilfiger and
One of the participants in the T&T
presentation is Notting Hill Carnival
band, Bacchanalia which will give a
sneak peak of its 2013
presentation Species: Evolution.
Bacchanalia bandleader Kelly
Rajpaulsingh said this country is
the only Caribbean nation among
the ten countries participating in
today's extravaganza. She said
local organisers have put together
a list of activities that will
showcase T&T's culture, music and
cuisine in a carnival style
presentation. The highlight of the
presentation will be a performance
by Rapso group 3 Canal.
"Regent Street is one of the most
popular streets in London. It is a
massive shopping area and is
flooded with tourists, so this is a
very good opportunity for T&T to
be on show," said Rajpaulsingh.
The Tourism Development
Company's (TDC) Web site listed
the activities planned by the T&T
contingent to promote this country
including marquees serving
indigenous cuisine such as roti,
bake and buljol and local rums.
There will also be a steelband,
tassa drummers, chutney dancers
and other local artistes.
Participants will also learn "how to
lime" with the "Professional
Limers" crew who will be planted
among the crowd to demonstrate
the art of liming like a true Trini.
There will also be an information
centre where visitors to Regent
Street can enter a draw to win a
holiday to T&T.
LONDON TO SEE T&T
Models on London's Regent Street, showing off costumes in Notting Hill Carnival band Bacchanalia's 2013
presentation Species: The Evolution. Bacchanalia is part of the contingent representing T&T at The World on
Regent Street celebrations this weekend. PHOTO COURTESY BACCHANALIA MASBAND
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