Ban on steelbands in Leeds West Indian Carnival parade EXCLUSIVE
England, U.K. - Traditional Caribbean steelband music has been banned from the 44th Leeds West Indian Carnival parade.
The carnival committee of 13 members took the unanimous decision to have no live music in the parade itself at an emergency meeting this week.
Members said due to recent “unrest” in the Chapeltown area they felt they had no option but to make this year’s carnival “a bit calmer” with no steelbands playing on any of the floats.
Chairman Arthur France said: “We are not putting any steelbands on the road in the parade this year. It was a decision taken as we are being extra cautious following recent unrest. In light of violent events, and after careful consideration, we decide that we will not use any steelband on the road, which means no live music.
It is terribly unfortunate and a retrograde step to ban the Steelbands from participating in the West Indian Carnival Parade in Leeds.
We often hear stories about the evolution of the Steelband and its association with the depressed areas of East Port-of-Spain. I have no problem with that . It is a fact
But within 8-10 years your were having Steelbands energing from the "Middle Class" of the Society , young men and boys who were resident in Woodbrook, Newtown, Corbeau Town, Belmont ans St James, Steelbands such as . Dixieland, Starland, Tropitones, Silver Stars, Saigon, were all Steelbands comprised of many "College Boys" and "White Boys" and what about "Girl Pat " Steelband , They were not young ladies from any depressed area. Many of them were Public Servants and many were former students of Bishops High School for Girls .
Then what about the early supporters of Ellie Manette and the Invaders Steelband. People like Beryl Mc Burnie, Sir. H.O.B.Wooding , Sir L.C.Hannays, Andrew Carr, Harold Dupres, Lennox Pierre, Errol Hill, Albert Gomes, Ronald Williams and Aubrey Adams just to name a few who were some of the early supporters of the Steelband Movement.
Most Pan Players were not "Badjohns" or "Fighters" but unfortunately many of the Steelband supporters and followers were. This gave the Steelband a "Bad Name", Ian Lambie
Actually even among steelband followers it was a minority who caused any trouble
that is very sad.......that people could feel that having a steel band on the road would invite riots.....it would do the complete opposite and the members decision has reinforced the ideology that being black was what fuelled the riots......they are obviously not that informed as the riots around the UK stemmed from all walks of society...who harboured a grudge......not one race, or any person of any one faith..what a bad decision.....especially from a West Indian......
Hey Whoa, there Trev! A lot (probably the majority) of those steel bands over there are mainly white folks. Now that pan has conquered the entire world with its popularity as a musical genre, everybody plays. And a lot of them play very well indeed! Even here in Canada at Carnival time, in almost every Canadian city nowadays and where most of the mass bands are composed of a mixture of every nationality you can think of, there are tons of white dancers and not just a few of us beating a pan too! It's all about the love and the musicianship.
If the committee in Leeds are reading these comments --and I believe they are-- maybe they will listen to wiser heads and reconsider...if not for this time, then the next.
I do not know Gloria. I have to admit those MALES are acting like knuckle-grazing cavemen. Can they not see this as a precautionary, temporary measure. Had the riots not taken place when they did, things would have continued as usual. Next year provided that nothing disastrous occurs, the steelbands will be back on the streets. We should know by now that when incidents arise that affect society, the measures that are taken do not always sit well with us. But there is no need to go over the edge. Even though there were no steelbands on the street, the world is still spinning, and you and I are still alive. Have a great day. ***Cindy***