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"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Immersion therapy at the Brixton Splash

Bugger Ascot, Wimbledon and Henley. My summer season begins and continues mainly within the confines of SW2 and 9. I've already talked about the Lambeth Country Show - which this year coincided with  two of the best summer days for a decade, which always helps.

Last weekend, this local season peaked with the Brixton Splash - a more intense and music-centred affair that, for the space of a long Sunday afternoon sees the streets around Brixton market and the newly-poshed-up Windrush Square turned into dance floors.

It's like a little bit of the Notting Hill Carnival sound system scene had detached itself and floated down south of the river. And the systems here are massive - on a par with the biggest crowd-pullers in W11, and the streeets just heave.

The live acts on the stage outside the library (under that old Bovril ad) are strictly local, with a roots and old-school bent. Little known outside their own scenes these acts had no trouble surfing the goodwill of the crowds last Sunday, everyone seemed pleased just to be there and soak up the sun and the drinks.

So, another version of my old dream - a Caribbean street party, yet again, in my favourite place. How could I miss it?

I keep moving around the triangle, squeezing through the heaving crowds around the sound systems, and can't help noting that I am about two and a half times the average age here. What's lovely is that it doesn't matter.

It has to be said this bit of Brixton can often seem like a street party, even on a cold winter Saturdays - the sounds and the smells of Jamaican  and Trinidadian street partying are never that far away.

The police presence was heavy and highly visible - especially around the Atlantic Road/Coldharbour Lane and Rushcroft Road junctions, where, late in the day, big groups of of kids were standing around in that way, facing off each other, all enjoying the musicv and yet somehow all waiting for that moment when the music stops, with the biggest gang - all dressed in fluorescent yellow and black, the cops, were also playing their traditional  wall-like role.

You can't forget that a week or so before this event, there was a violent eviction of squatters from some of the flats in Rushcroft Road.

I slipped away as the light started to fade and sounds of sirens picked up.

See some nice pics from the Splash on the Weekender Life website!


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