Usually I’m a right miser when it comes to Notting Hill Carnival. There’s always a high chance of rain and it doesn’t compare to playing mas in the Caribbean BUT I decided to give it another go. Every year I choose a different band, so this year it was time to give UCOM a try; I fell in a love with the Midas Touch frontline costume and the rest is history.
This year I was actually super excited for Notting Hill Carnival; between Twitter and Whatsapp group chats, all I could think about was feathers, gems and playing mas. I collected my costume about 10 days before carnival and it was love at first sight…I couldn’t wait to be on the road with family and friends, plus for the first time in a while, the weather forecast was clear skies and sunny…sweet!
I skipped the pre-carnival fetes (even though it’s the best time to fete in London) and in true MegFabulous fashion, I spent carnival weekend eating, sleeping and pampering myself. Rest assured, my laidback approach had zero effect on my ability to go ‘full hundred’ once I hit the road.
Dutty mas>>>pretty mas! Lucky for me, Carnival Sunday is a full day of dutty mas. UCOM’s Purple Haze theme meant foam, coloured smoke, powder and tons of purple paint! I started the day by running down Ladbroke Grove to meet the truck, who knew it would actually leave on time?!
My friends accosted and smothered me in purple paint, I was way too clean for their liking. Rule number one: you can’t be clean in dutty mas! UCOM play a variety of Soca from different islands, you’ll hear a lot of Bajan Soca and plenty of Lucian tunes. We were still on Ladbroke Grove when I heard ‘Split in de middle,’ please believe I ran to the nearest railings!
Special aside for the ‘Carnival is boring on your own’ crew: I had the BEST time on my own for a good half hour before we crossed the stage. I made new friends and danced with everyone to a wicked Bajan soca set — whoever was DJing at that point, I love you!
The band was full of vibes from start to finish. My only critique is that we finished early, but I was well and truly POP DUNG! When the truck turned off Ladbroke Grove, we called it a day and headed to Notting Hill Gate for a cheeky Nandos. It was time to rest and re-up for tomorrow.
The sun was shining down on Notting Hill when we arrived to meet the truck. Every masquerader looked stunning in their costumes, it was a beautiful sight to behold. I can only imagine how happy management felt to see all their hard work come to fruition. I was definitely feeling like a goddess as I posed for photographers and spectators alike.
We flew down Ladbroke Grove and slowed down as we turned the corner. The music was good but the first part of the day was somewhat a blur. I felt quite restless along the road before approaching the judges and couldn’t wait to get my feathers off.
Luckily as we approached the stage the DJs had us hyped. I was ready to get on! No bias, but my section was the best; Midas Touch shelled down that stage in all our gold, glittery, glory! #TeamMidas
I did the usual posing for pictures before I banished my feathers and headpiece to the truck. This is when the fun really began. The second part of the day was a blur, but for all the right reasons this time. I pushed back behind the truck, on the side of the truck, climbed the truck — no behaviour at all!
I felt that epic level of euphoria as we jammed on Westbourne Grove for a few hours. This is what Carnival is all about: freedom and vibessss. As we eventually got closer to the end of the route, they played ‘Cheers to Life’ and my entire soul lit up!
This was hands down my best Notting Hill Carnival experience ever, and of course, we took Band of the Year! I seriously can’t wait until the next mas!