11:35am Thu 6th Sep 2012
Notting Hill Carnival 2012 comedown…
Just over a week on from the greatest street party in the western hemisphere, I still seem to be suffering from ‘post carnival comedown’ for some strange reason. But it’s ALL good though. I am finding it rather difficult to express and put into the right words just what we and well over 15,000 of you over the 2-day bank holiday weekend experienced. It was a totally surreal weekend to say the least. We had a feeling that by taking a well earned year out from the Notting Hill Carnival in 2011, our return this year (and it wasn’t always a given) might be something more than a bit special. But this year, as anyone who was there will attest, was absolutely P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-A-L!
As you can imagine, in view of our much anticipated return to carnival this year, the weight of expectation on our shoulders was immense. But I have to say Good Times Sound System more than stepped up to the plate and met that challenge head on. And thankfully we won! And I have to say unequivocally that the success of this year’s event is due in no small part to the tireless efforts and boundless enthusiasm of the incredible team working behind the scenes for us, not to mention our incredible crowd of course. Since we were last at carnival two years ago, there have been one or two personnel changes within the backroom team who have contributed to our continued success on Southern Row for many years. So I’d like to take this opportunity to thank and fully acknowledge the critical and creative input of the lovely Linda Grogan and partner Pete Sansom @ LG Resource, who were, for many very happy and inspirational years, our ‘bedrock’ as head of our production team. We owe you guys a sincere debt of gratitude for all your, help, creativity, ingenuity, humour and above all, your ceaseless dedication to furthering the cause of Good Times @ Notting Hill Carnvial. Indeed helping us to become THE carnival institution we are today. So all the best to you in your future endeavours. We’ll miss you guys. Thank you again.
I’d also like to personally thank the following partners and people, our new 2012 supporting sponsors Havana Club who were absolutely brilliant in EVERY sense of the word over that weekend, big thanks to Mark Makin at Pernod Ricard, Kiran Gill at Tea and Cake Pr and David Graham & Red Stripe for the continued support of Good Times Sound System at Carnival. My long suffering and lovable sisters, Patsy and CJ who were in charge of this year’s site production and merchandising, Dan de Sausmarez @ Dynamite XP – our tireless on-site project manager (and bloody Gooner to boot!) lol, Andy Hackett and Leon Davis (Dynamite XP Logistics) for their invaluable help, not forgetting the entire GT production staff and volunteers, DJ Rudy Ranks who totally ‘smashed it’ as usual as did the amazing DJ Marky &
MC LowQui, DJ Russ Jay and DJ Melvo of the Loud Minority Collective, Vanessa & the Soul Kitchen crew for all our tasty food and of course, Ricky Belgrave and Lewis Benn from B.A.S.S. (British Association of Sound Systems) our official representative body, for all their patience and at times, extremely difficult work on our behalf this year. Respect!
Tara @ RBKC for sorting out all our licenses and endless paperwork, The St John’s Ambulance, our new and ever so friendly SFM Security, Richard Cuffley and Curtis Gilmore @ Sound Services (guvnors of the EQ), Funktion One Sound (they sounded immense), BBC 1Xtra for sharing the GT carnival experience with the nation, Steve @ Aris Design for all our brilliant bus and bar graphics, Ben & Russ for their cold beers, amazing cocktails and all the brilliant bar staff, our on-site spark, Saul from Star Power Generators, the Met Police, Licensee Stephen Powell @ The Globe, Hackney, The London Bus Company for our beautiful1956 vintage red double decker and of course Jane Jay for our magnificent bus and on-site bunting decoration. There are probably one or two more deserving people out there I might have forgotten to thank and if that turns out to be the case, then please accept my humblest apologies.
Whilst on the ‘thank you’ theme, on behalf of Good Times, we wish to thank every one of you brilliant fans for turning up in your thousands (over 15,000 of you over the two days) in the glorious bank holiday sunshine. The Sunday turnout in particular was absolutely massive, Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Officially exceeding previous crowd attendance records for an opening day at Good Times by a country mile. Thanks again for being part of such a historic carnival occasion and for helping to make our return to Notting Hil Carnival 2012 the most amazing sound system come back EVER!! Mind blowing stuff!
Monday afternoon’s shenannigans turned out to be just as firing but thankfully a little less crowded than the previous day’s shakedown. The vibe again was incredible. Tune after tune was greeted with a deafening sound barrage of cheers, piercing whistles and deafening horns all day long from amongst the thousands of happy smiling rave monkeys gathered in front of us on Southern Row. A sight I shall never forget. It was also heartening to see so many of our original Good Times ‘faces’ in the crowd too, many of whom have been with us from the beginning. So it was even more gratifying to see some of them with young children in tow as well. Appealing to the next party generation. I loved that. There was also a noticeable increase in the amount of carnival ‘newbies’ to Good Times over the weekend as well which was also brilliant to see. If you were one of them, then welcome aboard! We hope we’ve manage to convert you to the Good Times way of partying in the future.
Your support and patronage of our pay toilets, bars, food and merchandising stalls in particular over weekend was also very much appreciated as all funds raised go directly into the funding of Good Times @ Notting Hill Carnival 2012 as I’d previously alluded to. The sales of our ‘must have’ Good Times merchandise is fast becoming an increasingly important revenue stream which now enables us to plan for future Good Times events. So thanks again to everyone who bought (and sported) either a Norman Jay ‘Target’ or ‘Union Jack’ t-shirt or any of our branded merchandise from us over the weekend. The limited edition tees looked absolutely stunning and proved so popular at carnival, the first batch sold out completely.
Since carnival we have been inundated with requests for these limited edition t-shirts, so if you still want one you’ll be relieved to know we have just re-ordered them. A handfull are currently available online from our eBay shop right now. Just search ‘NormanJay t-shirt’ (can’t remember the exact link) and you should be able to find them. Available in various sizes inc M/L/XL & XXL (mens) and M/L for women, plus a limited range of children’s sizes from 3-11 years old (all while stocks last). Don’t forget if you have an iPhone you can download my Norman Jay Free App for all the latest GT news, blog updates, live gig dates, online shop, exclusive mixes and vintage Giant 45 plus Original Musiquarium BBC London radio shows available only from iTunes . Unfortunately at this point in time there is no Android app just yet but we’re working on it.
Finally, I am at great pains to point out that Good Times Sound System have always previously operated on a non-profit basis at the Notting Hill Carnival. That is why your continued support is so important to us. So once again we thank you and look forward to you guys joining me at Good Times style knees up near you!
Speak again soon eh? Nice one!
05:53pm Mon 20th Aug 2012
Well the official countdown to Notting Hill Carnival 2012 is well under way (well official to my mind anyway) and now with only 6 days to go before the first tune blares out of our powerful new Good Times speakers, the mounting excitement, not only amongst fans everywhere, but around the local Notting Hill area as well, is truly palpable This is possibly the BUSIEST week of the year for us. As you can probably imagine, there will be plenty of fervent ‘behind the scenes’ activity going on from our fantastic production crew, bar staff and site volunteers from now right up until one minute before 12 o’clock on Sunday 27th August. All this effort is just to ensure that you guys have the best time possible with us over the coming bank holiday weekend.
Entrance to Good Times 2012
Due to the massive crowds who attend GOOD TIMES every year and the resulting congestion issues, the Met Police in association with Kensington & Chelsea Council will be implementing NEW CROWD MANAGEMENT MEASURES this year where they will close some access roads in the area, thus restricting access after a certain time. So please be advised, it is vitally important you arrive as early as possible on both days ARRIVE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE ON BOTH DAYS. Our official location address is: Junction of WEST ROW and SOUTHERN ROW (off Kensal Road), London W10. There will be TWO officially designated street access points to GOOD TIMES this year. You can reach us via the KENSAL ROAD entrance (which runs directly north of WEST ROW) or along SOUTHERN ROW, accessing it from either BOSWORTH ROAD or APPLEFORD ROAD. The old LADBROKE GROVE entrance into SOUTHERN ROW (via the concrete steps) will now be a designated EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY, so you will NOT be permitted entry. We are obliged to inform you that the Met Police WILL BE ENFORCING these new crowd control measures as soon as we have reached our maximum crowd capacity. So be warned!
You can arrive at carnival as early as you like although the music doesn’t officially until MIDDAY, continuing through til 7pm on both days. SUNDAY is a designated ‘family day’, so you can bring the kids along and safely enjoy the atmosphere before the hordes arrive. If you are a wheel chair user, it also a good call to visit us during this time (and several do). Our THREE fully licensed GOOD TIMES branded bars will be open to the public as well as our newly installed and serviceable (10) TOILETS . As I have already allude to, there will be a nominal charge for their use throughout the day on BOTH days for GOOD TIMES PATRONS ONLY. They will be open from NOON til 7PM daily. BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY is traditionally the busier of the two but this year that may not be the case as capacity crowds are expected around GOOD TIMES on BOTH days.
What to expect…
A GOOD time obviously. But seriously though, we’ll be deejaying for up to 6 hours each day playing a truly unrivalled eclectic mix of black and dance music spanning at least 5 DECADES. If your like your music a little older (and purer), then I’d advise the music ‘connoiseurs’ among you to be there from the start at 12 o’clock where I play stuff you’d NEVER imaging hearing at carnvial (and that’s no idle boast). So if you arrive early doors (and of course if the weather is good), you’re very likely to hear anything from cool listening JAZZ to NORTHERN SOUL, some 60′s/Mod classics running into 70s and 80′ dance stuff stuff including, SOUL, FUNK, DISCO, REGGAE, SKA, HIP HOP, R&B, D&B and HOUSE music including ALL the ‘street corner’ classics you’ve come to expect from us. The music will obviously become more dance-y and crowd friendly as the day becomes busier, ending in a collective ‘crowd frenzy’ at close down at 7pm. There simply isn’t any type of black music that doesn’t get a look in from us over the entire carnival weekend.That’s exactly how the music schedule runs at GOOD TIMES (as it always has) and it works for us. The HUGE capacity crowds who share our love and enjoyment for it every year are a living testament to this fact .
So we cordially invite you to come along and BE A PART OF IT!
More CARNIVAL updates throughout the week – thanks reading and please SHARE THIS INFO!
10:35am Thu 16th Aug 2012
Like possibly millions of people around the UK and the rest of the world at the present time, I’m suffering terribly from post Olympic blues at the moment. It was a truly amazing spectacle to behold. I have never before spent soo much time in front of the tv watching sport. It was probably one of the best summer fortnights I can ever remember in London. I doff my hat to our entire Team GB sportsmen and women, especially our gold medalists and Olympic champions. BIG UP!
The 2012 Olympics have clearly inspired a palpable ‘feel good’ factor in the country, particularly here in London, where the vibe was fantastic. So it is our intention here at Good Times Sound System to help prolong that special feeling over the coming August bank holiday weekend (Sun 26th and Mon 27th). For those of you who haven’t yet heard, Good Times will DEFINITELY be back at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival. Although at the time of writing, there will be NO official after party either. But we are working tirelessly on the possibility of a last minute ‘Pop-up’ afterparty venue so please watch this space! In the meantime we warmly welcome you back in your teeming thousands to join us at this year’s Notting Hill Carnival.
A year out from NHC meant that we (Good Times) have had to overcome new financial and logistical challenges in order for us to even be here this year. Thankfully though we have managed to attract a partner sponsor in the shape of HAVANA CLUB for Notting Hill carnival 2012. We warmly welcome HAVANA CLUB brand to help us and you celebrate the much vaunted return of Good Times Sound System to Notting Hill Carnival 2012.
In light of current HEALTH & SAFETY legislation, there will be one or two small ‘visible’ changes to our SOUTHERN ROW / WEST ROW London W10 site set up this year. Our legendary double decker bus will still be there of course and in exactly the same place on SOUTHERN ROW, as will our ever popular SOUL KITCHEN (located in West Row) offering the best in authentic Caribbean finger food. There will also be 3 fully licensed GOOD TIMES / HAVANA CLUB branded bars located around the bus offering ice cold beer, wine and fantastic cocktails as well as soft drinks and bottled water. Please be advised NOT to patronise any street vendors selling food or drink in the area as they are NOT authorised or licensed and are ILLEGAL. Any food or drink purchased from them could be a potential health hazard and directly impacts on us financially.
Remember by purchasing your alcoholic beverages, food and official merchandise exclusively from OUR officially licensed bars and stalls over the bank holiday weekend really HELPS US FINANCIALLY. In essence it means that EVERY £ pound you spend with GOOD TIMES over the bank holiday weekend, you are DIRECTLY CONTRIBUTING and helping to meet the ever increasing costs of us appearing at NHC in the future.
Just to put it all into context, we have NEVER made any money/profit from playing at NHC in all the years we have been there. Nor have we EVER had any help, financial assistance, grants etc, from local government, the Lottery or the Arts council to help cover the enormous cost of appearing at NHC each year. For the record, we at Good Times have been responsible for personally funding our appearance at NHC over the last few years OUT OF OUR OWN POCKETS!. A ludicrous situation which was simply NOT sustainable and was indeed a major contributing factor for our non-appearance in 2011. The annual Notting Hill Carnival as you are fully aware is a FREE EVENT TO THE PUBLIC but costs the many participants like ourselves, £1,000′s of pounds in bar and street trading licenses, production hire and public liability insurance fees etc, costs which ALL have to be met somehow. As there is NO entrance fee or cover charge to the event, we have NO way of recouping this huge financial outlay. This is why YOUR continued support is so vitally important to us. We really value it.
This year for example and for the first time ever at our carnival site/stage, we will be providing a total of 10 SERVICEABLE PUBLIC TOILETS which will be located on the NORTH pavement on the eastern end of SOUTHERN ROW, towards the LADBROKE GROVE STEPS which will now be a designated EMERGENCY EXIT ONLY. We tried (in vain) to get the local council to provide this essential service for FREE but to no avail. This year the local council decided in their infinite wisdom NOT to install the men’s urinals usually located between Southern and Middle Row W10 much to our dismay. So in the end we decided to hire them in ourselves (at additional cost to us) for the EXCLUSIVE USE OF GOOD TIMES FANS ONLY.
So please be advised, THERE WILL BE A NOMINAL COVER CHARGE TO USE THEM ON BOTH DAYS (cover charge yet to be confirmed). A token system for their exclusive use will be in operation over the entire weekend. Anyone who has ever attended carnival before will attest to the fact at just how difficult it is to find a toilet which is accessible and above all, CLEAN. Many GT carnival goers are often forced to turn to (some) local residents who have been known to charge up to £5 per head to use their private faciliites. Again I stress this is a non-profit exercise but wholly for YOUR benefit . All monies raised by their patronage over the weekend will go directly into covering the cost of hiring them in (which is pretty substantial I have to say). We have taken it upon ourselves to implement these new changes in order to help enhance your Good Times experience at NHC. I hope I have gone some way to explaining exactly why these toilet charges are necessary and that you fully understand the situation and thereby continue to support us on it.
I will be back very soon with more important NHC updates. Filling you in with daily start and finishing times. What time you should arrive at GOOD TIMES etc, New limited edition GT merchandise (only available on the day behind the GOOD TIMES Bus or adjacent to the SOUL KITCHEN, unfortunately as our online shop is currently closed, official after party update (IF we have one) and NEW Met Police crowd control measures as a record Good Times crowd is expected this year. Until then have a great weekend. I’m very much looking forward to my first ever appearance at the NOTTINGHAM CARNIVAL this Saturday (see live dates page for more info).
Speak again soon!
10:55am Tue 31st Jul 2012
Hello everyone and welcome (back) to my website. I’ve finally managed to get off my lazy arse and found some time to update this here blog after litterally months of willful neglect. Sooo much has happened in the intervening period and I’ve sooo much to tell you, it’s difficult to know where to begin. But with continued gentle ‘persuasion’ from my manager Dan at Dusted World Management, Andy and Patsy and everyone here at GOOD TIMES who are close to me, between them shall ensure I make every effort to regularly update this page in future. Keeping you bang up to date with what’s hot and what’s not with Norman Jay, Good Times Sound System and Shake & Fingerpop events.
So let’s start with some great news. It gives me great pleasure to OFFICIALLY announce the return of GOOD TIMES Sound System to this year’s Notting Hill Carnival 2012 on SUNDAY 26th AUGUST and Bank holiday MONDAY 27th AUGUST after a one year hiatus. Not gonna go there about why we weren’t there last year, that’s now all ancient history. Right now it’s all about being back there THIS year! We can’t wait to welcome you back to by far the most popular part of North Kensington over the bank holiday weekend, namely the junction of SOUTHERN ROW and WEST ROW London W.10 as our valued fans gathered in front of our iconic red double decker bus, just the way nature intended. So get out there, shout it from the rooftops, share it on ALL social networks, let everyone know GOOD TIMES ARE BACK AT NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL – and it’s OFFICIAL!!!
I will be back soon with more updates and important info regarding Good Times at NHC, Loads of forthcoming gigs are listed on the LIVE DATES page so please check them out.
Be back soon and thanks for reading this stuff..
03:17pm Tue 15th May 2012
By right royal appointment, Norman Jay MBE, the legendary provider of the best good times on the planet, presents the official ‘Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Festival’ after-party, ‘A Right Royal Carry On’ at London’s infamous party central, The Clapham Grand on Sunday 3rd June, a four day weekend!
Known by his peers and contemporaries as ‘The Peoples DJ’ because of the width and breadth of his deejaying style and universal appeal, Norman Jay (MBE) will take to the stage complete with his legendary wheels of sound, the ‘Good Times Bus’, to treat the crowd to one of his signature sets of infectious deep, diverse and unrestricted Good Times party tunes, and bring an exceptional night of revelry to the celebrating London masses over this prestigious weekend! This jam packed bootie shaking party will see Norman bring with him hundreds of party goers from the daytime Diamond Jubilee Festival celebrations at Battersea Park into the night and all the way through until the early hours, completing what will be nearly a 15 hour all day Good Times marathon, set to pack out the Clapham Grand to the rafters and lift the roof of the joint!
To help celebrate this monumental event, Norman will also be joined on stage by a very special guest…… to be announced soon!!!!! (Check www.facebook.com/normanjaymbe to be kept up to date with the details!)
TICKETS: £10 in Advance from www.normanjay.com/tickets or £15 from the Good Times Bus at the Diamond Jubilee Festival in Battersea Park during the day.
TICKET LINK - http://www.normanjay.com/tickets
02:34pm Wed 25th May 2011
This Summer, Strut teams up with one of the most revered of all DJs, Norman Jay MBE, to celebrate 30 years of Good Times, the party that changed the face of the Notting Hill Carnival and which has become a Summertime fixture at festivals worldwide.
Jay set up his first sound system, Great Tribulation, in 1979 with his brother Joey which became Good Times Sound System in 1981, the start of a 30-year residency at Notting Hill Carnival. Norman changed the face of the music played there, introducing a range of gritty, soulful styles to complement the predominantly reggae-based sound systems. The move paved the way for the open-minded Carnival we know today, with Good Times still at its core.
From Good Times, Jay’s career burgeoned. He became a key DJ during the ‘80s London rare groove scene, hosting a series of legendary clubs – Shake ‘N’ Fingerpop, High On Hope (inspired by New York’s Paradise Garage) and famed sessions at London’s Bass Clef (later the Blue Note), all of which built his reputation for open-minded soulful selections spanning soul, funk, disco, early house, reggae and hip hop. Through his club nights, he was one of the first to introduce legendary US DJs like Tony Humphries, Louie Vega and Blaze to the UK. Further success followed – he was one of the founders of London station Kiss FM and ran the seminal Talkin’ Loud label alongside Gilles Peterson at Phonogram.
Jay’s tireless work as a DJ has earned him many accolades – he has appeared on the BBC’s Question Time, and received an MBE for his work in 2002, the first time any DJ had received such an accolade.
In the wake of his many achievements and the ongoing success of Good Times, Jay has enjoyed a series of essential compilation albums on React, Resist, Nuphonic and Azuli stretching back to 2000, as well as a recent spin-off album, ‘Good Times Australia’. Now, the maestro returns with a special 30th Anniversary collection for Strut, another bumper set of genre-hopping classic and rare Good Times favourites. Tracks include boogie rarity ‘Dreamin’ by short-lived band Zalmac and Fries & Bridges’ ‘Forever This’, a 4×4 belter featuring an early vocal by chart superstar Cee-Lo Green. Jay touches on independent hip hop with Basement Chemist, jazz grooves courtesy of Kira Neris and Attic Tree, skanking reggae from Jacob Miller and doo-wop soul courtesy of Little Anthony & The Imperials.
Norman Jay presents Good Times 30 is released on CD, LP and download. For the CD and LP formats, leading journalist and author Lloyd Bradley interviews Norman Jay for an extensive career-spanning sleeve note. The package also features rare and unseen photos from across Norman Jay’s career as a DJ.
1. MARK CAPANNI – I BELIEVE IN MIRACLES
2. AVERY SUNSHINE – I GOT SUNSHINE
3. TED TAYLOR – GHETTO DISCO (Edit)
4. ZALMAC – DREAMIN’
5. TERRI WELLS – WHO’S THAT STRANGER
6. LITTLE ANTHONY & THE IMPERIALS – I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WORRY
7. MARIO BIONDI – MY GIRL
8. JACOB MILLER & INNER CIRCLE – TIRED FE LICK WEED IN A BUSH
9. THE BASEMENT KHEMIST – EVERYBODY (L I F E)
10. J BOOGIE’S DUBTRONIC SCIENCE feat. GOAPELE and CAPITOL A – TRY ME (People Under The Stairs Remix)
11. ATTIC TREE – VOAR
12. CURTIS MAYFIELD – VICTORY
13. DANTE – FREAK IN ME
14. FRIES & BRIDGES – FOREVER THIS
15. THE DETROIT EXPERIMENT – THINK TWICE (Henrik Schwarz Remix)
16. ASHLEY SLATER – PRIVATE SUNSHINE
Label: Strut Catalogue No: STRUT080CD/LP
Formats (all unmixed): 2xCD / 2xLP/ digital
Release date: 19th July 2011
05:19pm Mon 24th Jan 2011
The Flip the Script book is an unparalleled collection of photographs documenting some of the most talented artists from both sides of the Atlantic to have emerged over the past decade and further back.
The preface is by Norman Jay MBE with special images taken at the 2010 Notting Hill Carnival & Good Times 30th Anniversary. In the book are never-seen before images of Jamiroquai, Omar, Erykah Badu, Roisin Murphy, Brand New Heavies, John Legend, 4 Hero, Estelle…plus much more.
It features insights into the changing music scene and also discusses the preservation of the music we grew up with being manifested in new forms.