On July 15th 2017 Leeds Samba visited Liverpool Brazilica Festival, one of the annual highlights of many a UK sambista’s calendar. The festival features Brazilian film screenings, dance events, club nights, street stages, food markets, a copious supply of Caipirinhas… and of course, the Saturday night street parade, featuring hundreds of performers en-route through Liverpool city centre.
Back in 2007 Gez became the first mestre de bateria at Cidade Brilhante, the newly formed Brighton School of Samba. Ten years on and BSS is still going strong, with the bateria under the direction of Malcolm, who earned his stripes playing with b-loco, Estrondo, the London School of Samba and more. What better way to celebrate 10 years of BSS than teaming up for a few extra special events? Brazilica was the first of these, a nice warm up for Brighton Pride in August.
Leeds Samba members donned their BSS costumes, struck up the batucada and proudly became part of the army of the queen of hearts. Yup, Alice, the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter all put in an appearance too… see who else you can spot on the internet.
Liverpool is a fantastic city for an event like this, with its friendly, diverse port city vibes and thriving nightlife. As we grooved our way through town, ‘just another rockin’ Saturday night in Liverpool’ suddenly became a samba carnival, and the audience response was great. All along the parade route crowds emerged from houses, bars, clubs and restaurants, and the pavements were soon lined with revellers. Most were dancing, drinking and having a chat; is it just me, or is Liverpool less video & selfie-obsessed when it sees a street parade? Whatever, it works!
As ever, the end of the parade left many of us just warmed up and ready for more, so we headed to the after-party laid on by the event’s main organisers Liverpool School of Samba at Camp and Furnace. Beautiful live sets from Katumba and Sambafriq went down a storm with the crowd, and – speaking for the Leeds crew, we could have carried on all night.
Thanks to Liverpool, Brazilica Festival, Brighton School of Samba, and all the other groups who made the parade. See you next year!!!