Carnival 1997

As with last year some of the band were playing with The London All-Stars in Saturday night's Panorama. These seven players and five others went up to London on Thursday 21st August using 12 return railway tickets generously donated by Great Western Railways. They stayed at the Kensington Youth Centre. The seven had their first practise on the Thursday night ending at 2am. They had more practises on the Friday and Saturday while the others went into London to do some essential shopping! Leanne (Real Steel's drummer) ended up drumming for the All Stars which shows the level that Real Steel's musicians work at. Saturday night saw even bigger crowds at Hornimans's Pleasance than in previous years. The London All-Stars played 'Misbehaviour' and came sixth. For the seventh successive year Ebony won. The players vowed to return, possibly playing for Real Steel as a whole band.

Four of the Real Steel players (Looking very focused).

After much in depth analysis of the night's performances and a few hours grabbed sleep it was time to get the Real Steel float ready. The rest of the band had arrived during the previous evening and now the whole bad was in London ready to perform. Before anyone played anything the float had to be decorated, loaded with pans and then all nailed down. The main decorations were a couple hundred orange, black and white balloons (the band colours). These were donated by various Plymouth companies. They also had two new banners, sponsored by the Barbados Advocate. By about 3 o'clock every spare foot on the trailer had a drum nailed down on it and Real Steel were ready to go. They played excellently all the way round the three mile route and kept a following crowd enthralled with their musical prowess. At 10 o'clock when they had done the full circuit and had reached their starting point in Kensal Road they went on to entertain the high-spirited crowd dancing around the float. While they were unloading the float numerous fans came up and congratulated them on their performance, many were surprised at the quality of playing from such young players.

Real Steel are now looking forward to next year's Notting Hill Carnival and maybe competing in Panorama as a whole band.

Notting Hill '97 photo album

The Real Steel float

Keeping the crowds happy at the end of the circuit