In a competitive Carnival market, one carnival band has taken it upon itself to ensure that Saint Lucian designers aren’t marginalized. London’s Xtreme Carnival Band, sister band to our very own Royalites xTreme Carnival Band has been parading the Notting Hill Carnival circuit for well over a decade now giving much needed visibility to Saint Lucia’s carnival product in the United Kingdom.
With themes such as Fantasy Island, We Raving, Sunrise to Sunset and this year’s Cultural Melee, Xtreme Carnival Band, under the guidance of legendary mas woman Patsy Ricthie, continues to capture the essence of carnival in each costume.
It’s the vehement belief by the long time band leader that more of the young creative minds should be given a chance to showcase their skills in order for the product to remain relevant and not stagnated. This year, Xtreme Carnival Band boasted three Saint Lucian designers on their team;Nadine Fricot-Alfred, Rogers Glace, and first timer Kamarra St. Hill.
Nadine’s design, Vision of Aztec,has been touted as one to watch on the road come bank holiday and Kamarra broke the internet when her full costume design Nubian Royale selling out the section 48 hours after the photos were uploaded. Rogers, who continues to bless the road with intricate costumes,will see his design Persian Persuation make the 3.5 miles long parade which will cover Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove and Notting Hill.
“We urge our young Saint Lucian designers to come forward as we are willing to give them all the support needed”, an elated Patsy told us as she gleefully informed us of the raving reviews each costume had been receiving since the launch.
Notably, each design identifies effortlessly with the band’s 2019 portrayal, “Cultural Melee”.
Since its first performance at the Notting Hill Carnival in 2008, the band has built up an impressive portfolio of successful performances Commonwealth Secretariat, Stratford Town Hall, Paddington Arts Centre, The Young Diplomats and supporting the Mayor’s Media blitz in the summer of 2011.
They continue to grow from strength to strength and remain the sole carnival band in the U.K., dedicated to promoting Saint Lucia Carnival and preserving the “mas camp lifestyle” much like their sibling band in Saint Lucia (Royalites xTreme)- yes, they build what they design. Their mandate to ensure that young, vibrant designers have a platform to express their creativity, will undoubtedly add to the band’s longevity and open new doors for Saint Lucian designers.