Along with St Paul’s and Notting Hill there's another great afro caribbean community carnival, and its up in Manchester. These images were made while I was still at college just half an hour down the road from Manc and all things mad.
As punk morphed into two tone while I was still at school and The Clash made White Man in Hammersmith Palais, reggae was a natural progression in listening pleasure before rave in all its mental loved up glory took over everything. Consequently carnival in Manchester was a logical event destination.
The Hac was in the same town and we'd taken in that too. There was even a drug store in Mosside that actually sold drugs, and the Robin Hood pub was just legendary. It’s still a wonder we didn’t get robbed or stabbed.
Probably one of the best gigs ever was at Manchester’s International 2. Trouble Funk really, really dropped the go-go bomb hard. The bouncer outside warned me to take care of my rucksack on my back because the local kids would work in twos.
One would distract you by talking to you asking for money, while the other would come up behind and use a razor on your rucksack to rob you. So should have taken my camera to that gig, but at that time photography was either arty student conceptual, or Edward Weston and Ansel Adams.
I hadn’t yet learnt that the thing that makes photography unique and valuable is what the person behind the camera brings to it. In the meantime check out the haircuts and the hip hop battle...