Leeds Samba’s first samba at Brighton Pride and the main event of BSS’s 10th anniversary, what better way to set the scene? Brighton & Hove is an island of liberated values and youthful attitudes, for millions of visitors and many residents, an endless party – with a beach. Those characteristics and the most up-for-it population imaginable all come together over Pride weekend, contributing to one of the best street parties in the UK. We headed south full of anticipation for the parade, and of course the ‘post-pride renegade samba party,’ taking the drums to the people.
Meeting up on Hove seafront on a sunny saturday morning, the perfect, glorious weather had already set the scene for a really special Pride parade. Most of Leeds Samba’s 2017 hardcore had made the pilgrimage, and it was a joy to also see some old faces from Brighton’s samba history coming out to play. Hove Lawns was alive with throngs of participants making the rounds and sound trucks getting warmed up, and Brighton School of Samba looked and felt magnificent. The first time the bateria got going was a revelation, as someone made a 360 degree video of the whole samba school in action. Can’t wait to see that… well done all!
Heart warming sights included seeing BSS’s madrinha in a one-off costume celebrating 10 years of Cidade Brilhante – Nadja in a frock! OMG!! “Who’s that young guy who’s such a good repique player?” I heard someone say. Well, he was a primary school lad who’s dad brought him to gigs and rehearsals back when the samba began. They grow up so fast – now he’s making the calls! For some of the Leeds visitors playing samba at Brighton Pride was their first experience of playing in a larger bateria on a long parade route. Those smiling faces and loud drums said it all – who cares about the bruises!
The samba at Brighton Pride is a popular feature of a parade mostly dominated by sponsored trucks with sound systems. Warming up to our live drums and movement, the crowd were having a great time all along the parade route. So many happy people. Highlights for us always include Brighton seafront, the clocktower and all of London Road, before finally the extra acoustic boost of the railway viaduct just before Preston Park. The audience there got the traditional special sonic treat, the old classic ‘knock knock’ break with mega Victorian brickwork reverb. Build more bridges please 😉
After some rest, food, drinks and company everyone met up in town for the annual renegade samba party. But, that’s another (epic) story.
Brighton, you really are wonderful. We’ll be back.