I began my carnival Sunday a fair distance away from the area of west London that would later be heaving with thousands of people. At 7am I found myself walking through the back doors of a shuddering warehouse in Tottenham, where soundsystems were blasting out acid techno, hardtek and drum 'n' bass in various rooms. The party, coined 'FUCK SNOTTY HILL CARNIVAL', was still on in full force, and I stayed until things quietened down at around midday for a while... Though apparently there were more crews coming down for Sunday night later in the day!
I spent some time on my bus journey to Queensway looking at pictures from previous Notting Hill carnival years, mainly from the newspaper features. Perhaps I'm a bit of a spoilsport, but the pictures of glittery costumes and people drumming just aren't for me to take. I'll leave that for the guy with the big lens! It's the more out-of-sight and obscure snippets I generally wish to capture.
All Saints Road seemed like an appropriate place to shoot first. Loud drum 'n' bass, an interesting crowd, Police and violence and a floor that was like walking on marbles as there were so many laughing gas canisters.
Despite the obvious differences like dress code, music type and overall mood and tone, I felt that there were not a great deal of differences to what I saw at the rave in the morning with what was going on in Notting Hill. Music was being played at top volume through gigantic rigs, many people drinking and taking drugs and absolutely 'aving it, all outside of the rules and regulations of the club setting.
There were plenty of people taking pictures all around me, which put me off quite significantly from taking more myself. I went to find myself some better vantage points, in need of a break from the hustle and bustle.
Despite multiple of the images I made from these high points not having any context of the carnival, I still wish to share them – it was a beautiful sunset with a real buzz that I am sure will be remembered by many for years to come.