It is fitting that on Carnival Tuesday we should be writing to set the record straight and put down an accurate historical record.
Ever since the end of Peoples War Carnival Band in 1998 there has been continuing confusion about our involvement with Peoples World. This situation continues until today . We have told the people who approach us that Peoples War Carnival Band and Peoples World are NOT the same band but completely different bands. The confusion occurs, people say, because the names are similar and sound the same.
So there is People WAR Carnival Band and Peoples WORLD . Different spelling. Different mas bands.
1. Michael La Rose and Keith La Rose formed Peoples War Carnival Band in 1982. We chose the name Peoples War from a poster supporting the fighters in the war against the Portugese colonialists in Angola, Mozambique and Gunea Buissau
2. Michael La Rose was the designer and bandleader and Keith La Rose designed the Tshirts and publicity. People War Sound System provided the music on the road.
3. Like all bands we had experience in another mas band before we formed Peoples War Carnival Band. We were the music section for Lion Youth Band as Peoples War Sound Syrstem one of the first sound systems on the road at Notting Hill Carnival. We were also involved with playing music for other bands like Mangrove, Race Today Renegades, Starlite and Genesis. We also provided music at the Carnival Devreloment Committee’s (CDC) Sunday sessions at the Tabernacle, Powis Square in the late 1970s.
4. Peoples War Carnival Band produced the body of our masquerade work between 1983 and 1998. 15 years.
5. Peoples War Carnival Band designed simple mas that had to say something. It had to comment about our history and condition in the J’ouvert mas tradition. We callled it “Radical Mas”. The theme of Peoples War Carnival Band’s fisrt mas band in 1983 was “Come What May We are Here To Stay” and ended in 1998 with”After the Windrush”..
6. Michael la Rose’s individual masquerade design “End of Empire” from the 1994 Peoples War Carnival Band theme “Back to Basics Britain”was used in the Victoria and Albert Museum display “40 years of the Notting Hill Carnival” in October 2004.
7. In 1989 Peoples War Carnival Band founded The Asssociation for a Peoples Carnival (APC) with Dexter Khan of Cocoyea, Pepe Francis of Ebony, Clive “Mashup” Phillip of Mangrove and other concerned Carnival individuals in response to the vicious policing of carnival that year. Michael La Rose was elected chair of the organisation
8. In 1996 we decided to wind down and end Peoples War Carnival Band in 2 years time. After Notting Hill Carnival 1998 Peoples War Carnival band was officially wound up and ended.
9. Some people in the old band wanted to form a new band. Michael agreed to assist the new band with help with mas making and music on the road, so that the new band could be established.He was never a part of the new band or their decision making. Michael never designed mas themes for the new band. Michael’s son Renaldo, DJ Redz provides the music section for the new band to this day.In 1999 Peoples World brought out their first mas band. .
10. The name selected by the people in the new band was Peoples World. This was very similar to the name of the other band. The name “Peoples World ” was the invention of Keith La Rose for a sound system. He was never consulted or asked his permission for use of the name by anyone. They also selected the “dancing man” image choosen by Keith La Rose, from his contacts in the music industry, to be the branding of Peoples War Carnival Band on our first Tshirts, hats and all our publicity.
We hope you now know who Peoples War Carnival Band were, and what we did between 1982 and 1998.
For a couple of years now Michael has been writing the story of our band making much more information available as a historical record . It will be called “Radical Mas ; 15 years of Peoples War at Notting Hill Carnival 1983 -1998” . It will include the people and masqueraders involved with the band , the mas and themes , music, other band leaders, mas pioneers, the APC and the struggle for carnival with Notting Hill Carnival organisers, the police, the local council and Arts Council . .
The culture of Carnival means new bands are formed from peoples apprenticeships and experience of working in other bands. There are many new bands formed in London out of Cocoyea, Ebony, Nostalgia, Pantonic etc . It is how new bands are formed.
We hope everything is clear and you now know the difference between Peoples War Carnival Band and Peoples World.
Please tell the people you know.
Keith and Michael La Rose